Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

chooseHow many times have you said you wanted to do something but just didn’t do it. Maybe you really want to go to the gym a few times a week but never even get your sneakers out. Or you want to make a more concerted effort to get out and network to help  find a new job. Or you want to take a vacation and need to plan and book it. Or you want to spend more quality time with your kids. It’s easy to come up with what you want but much harder to implement what needs to done. It’s easier to make excuses for why you can’t than to take action.

•    “I’ve had a rough week at work and need to stay home and rest.”
•    “I may have a cold coming on so I shouldn’t be around people.”
•    “Next week my schedule may be lighter so I’ll start then.”
•    “I need to get organized first.”
•    “It’s not the right time.”

I’ve used all of them. But I’ve learned that making excuses or stalling doesn’t get you what you want. It makes you frustrated, which doesn’t feel good. Years ago there were many things I wanted to do and I talked and dreamed about doing them but couldn’t take the first step. Deep down I felt like a loser. What was wrong with me? I had many books in my head but never tried to write one. And when I did begin to write several but made no effort to get them published. And I kept putting off joining a gym though I knew I was important for my health to do weight training.

I gave it a lot of thought. We all have choices but often don’t use our options. I was subconsciously choosing to not do what zi said I wanted. So I sat down and asked myself what I REALLY wanted. I decided I did REALLY want to build my muscles, and to be an author. So I took on a new mindset. I stopped just wanting and made each thing my choice.

•    “I choose to write books and make an effort to get them published.”
•    “I choose to go to the gym regularly to build my muscles.”

When you say, “I choose,” it puts the onus squarely on you. It’s a reminder that it’s YOUR choice and you are responsible for it. You can also choose not to do it. But declaring, “I choose to__” instead of “I want to__” can change your attitude about it. It’ a reminder that you’ve made it a choice, not an obligation.  So the next time you’re trying to figure out why you can’t get started doing something you think you want to do, ask yourself if you want it badly enough to choose to do it. Then make a conscious statement aloud, “I choose to__.” And when you find yourself making excuses for not starting, declare your choice again to motivate yourself. You’ll get a lot more done when you make it a choice, not just a desire.
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