How often do you feel you have made a decision and for some reason you are not able to carry through on it? I think everyone, at some stage in their lives is familiar with this feeling. We make up our minds to go on diet and then someone offers us a slice of chocolate cake and we are unable to avoid the temptation. We decide we are going to commit to doing more exercise, we however wake up on a freezing cold morning and all our good intentions fall by the wayside. We are going to stop smoking but a stressful day at the office gets to us. We decide that we are going to focus on our financial futures and work on another project along side what we are currently doing but we are constantly distracted by birthday parties, family commitments, finances etc. So why do we do this, it’s simple, our new decision or goal is not cast in stone.
So how do we know we have made a Real Decision? How do we know we have really made up our minds to do something different with our lives? What prompted us to make this major decision? Were we forced into making a decision or were we just sick and tired of being tired? Who impacted our decision? Are we motivated by the outcome of the decision? What are we prepared to do to make sure we don’t default on our decision? What has to change in our lives once we commit to our decision? Do we believe we are capable of achieving the results we are looking for?
Below are five points that may help you decide if you have made a Real Decision.
Your decision scares you
You feel sick in your gut. You get scared, fear sets in. You know it’s a do or die situation. It really is so important to you on a personal level, that you achieve what you set out to do. You are willing to share your new found vision with everyone because there simply is no turning back. I have made many a decision in my life with tears in my eyes and a beating heart. Sometimes the fear becomes so overwhelming that you even experience sweaty palms because you know what you know and you just have to stick to your guns.
You develop a winning attitude
You will, until. You don’t negotiate the price of success. You look for solutions instead of focussing on the problems. You become bullet proof. You refuse to be distracted. You are not going to be derailed by a boss, a brother, a sister, a parent, your best friend or even your spouse. Your passion becomes so visible that people buy into your vision. You understand that there will be obstacles, you also understand that not everyone will give you their full support. You get focussed. You develop mental toughness by sharing your decision with the right people, people that will stand on the sidelines and cheer you on.
You are willing to work harder than you have every worked before
You are prepared to go the extra mile. You commit to daily deliberate actions. You work on your dream, you track your progress. You write down affirmations and read them every day. A book that contributed enormously to our work ethic was the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson in which he points out that “everything in life is so easy to do and so easy not to do.” This book also highlights how easy it is to be distracted. It’s so easy to stick to an eating plan, it’s also so easy not to. It’s easy to commit to exercising everyday, it is also easy not to. It’s easy to work hard, its also easy not to.
You think differently
Your self talk becomes, I can as opposed to I can’t. You don’t think about what will happen if you achieve your goal, you think about the change to your life when you have accomplished your mission. You don’t allow yourself to get down. You always have a pick yourself up attitude. You don’t focus on what hasn’t materialised you are only concerned by what still needs to be done. You are willing to make sacrifices, missing a family vacation is not a big deal, there will be plenty to attend once the job is done. You will be willing to simplify your life. You will resign from the school board or the body corporate understanding that they do not contribute to your success. You will take out a gym contract that will hurt your pocket if you don’t use it.
Your decision must be yours
How often are we told by a doctor that we need to give up smoking, exercise more, or watch our weight. This however seldom results in us making a a Real Decision to change our lifestyle, in fact it often leads to depression and hopelessness. This is because the decision is being forced upon us as opposed to us making a mental shift to change the way we live. When confronted with a situation like this, we need to change the have to lose weight into I want to lose weight. We need to focus on what’s in it for us to get any form of motivation.
While most people steer away from major decisions that will dramatically improve their standard of living, their health, their relationships, their career path, their impending retirement, decisions are necessary, if we are wanting to effect change in our lives. We often get caught up in creative avoidance when we feel pressured into making decisions and this generally makes us feel bad, so it is way healthier to make certain decisions on our own.
When we fail to act on decisions we have made, it has a direct impact on our self esteem, which impacts on our self image which in turn affects our performance. A typical example might be, once we have decided to work on our weight and we renegade on our decision and eat the chocolate cake, we feel guilty and feel like a failure. The result of this action, leads us to go on and eat the ice cream compounding the erosion of our self esteem. The same holds true for when we have made a Real Decision. We avoid the chocolate cake by being prepared, we carry a healthy snack alternative in our bag. We feel proud that we did not succumb to temptation, this raises our self esteem, which improves on our self image and we feel like a winner.
So what decision can you make today that will have a huge impact on your life? Who can help you stay true to your word? Who will encourage you? What will your life look like in a year from now as you work on your personal decision to make personal changes? Will anyone else benefit? How will this make you feel? Making a decision is easy, sticking to your decision is where the challenge comes in. Just like everything else, making a decision is so easy to do and so easy not to do? So next time you want to change something in your life, will you make a Real Decision?