Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Is it time to make different choices for your life?

If you are like most of us, you put a lot of thought into the things that you would love to change and improve about yourself and your life! If you make that long list of New Year's Resolutions every January--you are in good company. Likewise, if you find yourself annually breaking and remaking many of the same resolutions--you are not alone in that either! 



While the new year brings a fresh start on a clean slate for us--the reality is you can make a change at any time!  Any day in any month is a great time to examine the patterns and habits in our life and make some tweaks and efforts to change some things that just aren't working for us. What can you do to bring some change to your life?  How are all of those little daily choices impacting your overall well-being? Is it time to make some different choices in your life?


Make Real Choices to Make Some Real Changes

“Big changes don’t have to be hard, but they do have to start with a choice. This is where real change begins; this is where you start taking control of your life and how you choose to live it; this is where it all starts.” 

– Nathalie Thompson 


This year (and last year!) were bumpy ones for me!  I found myself falling into patterns of busy work that kept me constantly in motion--but, never really moving out of my comfort zone toward my goals.  I also found myself falling back into old patterns and habits that had actually created some of my problems needing change.  I do (and still) have a lot of changes that I want to make in my life.  I have had many of these goals for change for a few (and some for many) years!  


While I can certainly say that my life would benefit from certain changes, I can also honestly say that many of my daily choices haven't really aligned with the direction of the changes I claim to want to make in my life! 


Whether you have hit rock bottom and know that today has to be the day that you begin the climb toward your future or you have just been wishy washy in your resolve to change--you have to make a choice if you ever hope to see real change.  Are you going to accept your life as it is--or make the tough, challenging choice to do some things differently?


Accept Responsibility for the Changes Needed in Your Life.


“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”

 – Denis Waitley


I understand that some situations and conditions in our lives are created by forces beyond our control.  While we may not be entirely responsible for the life circumstances that created us as individuals--or, in many cases, created some of the patterns, habits and conditions that we wish to change--we always have two choices:  accept life and stay the course or accept the challenge and take on the responsibility of changing our life.  Are you ready to accept the responsibility to take on the tasks of changing the things that you don't like about your life?   


Your Life is (Mostly) a Product of Your Choices


 “In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.” 

– Dr. Kathleen Hall



I face many choices in a given day.  I say that I want to eat healthy, exercise more, spend more time with my family, live a more mindful life, practice more environmentally friendly living, etc.  Are my daily choices supporting those goals?  Or are my choices dooming me to another year of failed resolutions and goals?

  • This morning, I had to make a conscious, grumbling choice to decide if I was going to pour a bowl of sugar loaded cereal and milk for breakfast--or make a healthy breakfast egg scramble with protein and veggies instead. 
  • Then I had to make a choice about walking a slow, power sniffing, old dog for 2 miles in the rain or skipping the exercise this morning.
  • Then I had to force myself to  decide if I was willing to make the time to power through a handful of busy work tasks that needed finished today before noon or if I was going to skip them and make excuses and/or lose the potential client. 
  • Next it was time to decide if I was going to go grab a cheesy meatball sub from the shop down the street or eat those healthy veggie and grilled chicken leftovers from last night's dinner. 
  • Am I going to meet the husband and daughter at the gym--or am I too busy this afternoon to take the hour to exercise after work?
  • Dinner out and a few drinks or drag the family into the kitchen and cook some homemade soup and salad? Use up leftovers, save money, teach the kids a new recipe, have some family time, eat healthier...
  • Scroll mindlessly through social media or play a board game with the family--and interact?
  • Stay up in silence watching the family play individually on the phones or spend a few minutes and plan an impromptu family movie night?   
  • Toss those empty cat food cans into the trash or rinse them out for the recycling bins?
  • Write a to-do list for the weekend or let it all swirl without direction through my mind--and keep me awake and stressed for three days.
  • Start that gratitude journal or waste the opportunity to become a little more mindful of the day's events?


I know you go through these constant decision making dilemmas--and many of your dilemmas may even be the same as my dilemmas!  In the end, every single one of the choices I face throughout the day has an impact on the success or the failure of my goals.    

“Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar


And, if I am honest, when I write down some of the choices that I am choosing between--it seems a little silly that I am even feeling pulled between the choices!  Unless, of course, I am not actually committed to the changes I seek. 

I know what I need to do--but, those old bad habits...those old comforts and conveniences always try to pull me away from meaningful changes through bad, quick, easy choices.


You Can't Control the Bumps in the Road--

But, You Can Control Your Responses and Reactions to Those Bumps


“Life is a choice – as is how you handle the pitfalls along its bumpy road.” 

– Julie Donner Andersen


Bad things happen.  Schedules and best-laid plans blow up.  Kids get sick.  Grown Ups get sick.  Jobs and clients are lost.  People we love die.  People we need and trust betray us.  Life happens.  Even the most intuitive, skeptical and independent of us fail to see a bump in the road every now and then!  Sometimes life throws us some unexpected, unfortunate curve balls.  Sometimes life throws a whole bunch of those rock-bottom slamming, life shattering cannon balls in rapid order.  

I know it's hard.  Some days are harder than others.

But, even if some of our choices are taken from us or made for us--we still have the opportunity to choose our responses and reactions.  We still have the opportunity to choose to change course and redirect ourselves toward our goals through new and different choices.


When bad things happen to you, focus on what you can learn from it. If you focus on the bad, you’re doomed to repeat it. 

– Mel Robbins


I know this is one of my biggest personal challenges! It is oh so easy to fall into the negativity trap of seeing only the bad things happening. Seeing only the good things falling apart or disappearing around us. The path to self improvement is not an easy own.  It is littered with distractions and bumps and pitfalls.  


 Ready to Commit to Making Different Choices in your Life?


It is important to remember that:

  1. Real changes require real choices in your daily life
  2. Only you can decide if it is time for a real change in your life
  3. Only you can decide if you are ready to accept responsibility for the choices needed for change in your life
  4. You will need to face many choices throughout a day.  Some will lead you closer to your goals while others will slide you backward on your path.
  5. You can't control all of the bad things that happen as you journey toward your goals--but, you can control your response to them and their long-term impact.

Is it time to make different choices for your life?  

No comments:

Post a Comment