"I want to optimize my life" etc.
Why is it so difficult? (either to optimize life or any other real life targets)
First, lets note the implied definition of this elusive yet tempting optimization
Its is always beyond the obvious. Nobody goes "I have not slept, let me optimize my sleep and go to bed". This is technically an optimization. But it is too obvious, and a given to be included.
We will normally optimize our lives, cooking, etc without resorting to explicit optimization talk.
Optimization talks about the less obvious, usually ignored, yet still plausibly achievable plans.
Thus, optimization will normally be somewhat marginal. Not marginal really, but veering towards the margin in terms of added value.
Difficulty and not being obvious is another feature of so-called optimization. The reason is as above. Adding more salt to a dish might be marginal in value, but is so easy to do that it sin;t included.
Those definitions in themselves explain some mysteries about optimization. Why it is not always done. They also lay the ground to deeper study optimization, how it might work, and why so often it either is not initiated, and why it sometimes actually fail.