Yesterday I had a thought to post on my facebook wall, “If you had begun your journey with me – we would both be healthier, trimmer, more energetic, and feeling amazing.” The thought made me get quite introspective about why we eventually get to the place where we simply decide to make the positive changes we need to make.
I know we’re all different and have different reasons that motivate us. I’m a huge consumer of motivational books, quotes, speeches, etc. After I read them, I think, YES! It’s time for a change. And then….I don’t change. But those seeds are planted, and as time goes on they get watered. But why? Why don’t we make the changes before it’s so overwhelming? Why do we become 40 pounds overweight before we take control of our bodies? Why do we continue buying chips and drinking pop when we know it’s horrid for us? I remember driving through McDonald’s almost every day to get a ginormous coke because it was only a buck and feeling like I knew it wasn’t a good decision. But I was making it anyway.
As I was thinking personally about when my mind began really shifting, I came to the realization it was from the book by Darren Hardy called The Compound Effect, Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success. Today, as I was out running, I thought back to a story in the book about a woman who was overweight and could barely walk across the room, but she decided she was going to make a change. The thing she figured out was that she simply had to take the first step. The first step lead to the second. And before long she was running half marathons.
So why is it that we often take a first step but it doesn’t lead to a life of changes? Maybe it’s because we don’t really have an accurate idea of what the first step for us is. Maybe we don’t put enough thought into how we’re going to get from point A to point B. I remember wanting to make a lifestyle change about a year and a half ago. I joined a gym and went faithfully 3 x’s a week. I had decided to stop drinking my favorite pop, a Code Red. I started drinking water. Then, I made one small choice – to drive through McD’s and get a coke, just once. That turned into an every day once a day habit, which turned into a two times a day, go ahead and super-size me habit. How in the world can a choice without any thought turn into a life altering habit that is horrible for you? What keeps us making the right choices? Do we ever get to make bad choices? Why would we even want to make a bad choice?
I remember when I gave up smoking for good. I had tried giving it up many times. My former in-laws even paid me $500.00 to quit smoking. I quit for a few weeks. The threat of having to pay back the money wasn’t enough to not take another puff off of a cigarette. It wasn’t until I saw the danger to my family that I finally made the decision that changed the course of my life path. I told myself, I can never take another puff off of a cigarette again. Ever. Not one. And I haven’t. That was twenty-one years ago.
About eighteen months ago I watched my mom die at the age of 65. She wouldn’t have had to die if she had made the right choices. If she had quit smoking one of those times that she tried. She might still be here with me. If she had lost weight and exercised, maybe she could have fought the cancer. I’m not blaming her – not one bit.
But it’s making me see how much of our lives are simply based on the choices we make on a daily basis. We either make them for our good. Or we make them for our bad. And our choices don’t just affect us. Our choice to drink a coke may one day have an impact on our children. Sitting and watching mindless television may one day turn us into mindless zombies. Make the choice to improve your brain today, not let it waste away.
It’s not about will power. It’s about choice power. We have the power to make the right choices in our lives. Each little choice. We don’t have to fight our will, just that one choice, over and over and over. It’s an easier battle when we’re only fighting one little thing at a time.
Are you ready to fight? Make one choice today that will better your life!
What have you been fighting to win, but losing? Make a pact with yourself to make one positive choice today. Then do it again tomorrow.