You have the power of choice! Everyday we go through our lives choosing a variety of actions, decisions and attitudes, however most people don’t realize they are making choices. Most people think life happens to them, not that things in life happen as a result of their choices. Now I’m not saying that life doesn’t sometimes throw us a curveball or an unplanned tragic scenario, but if you go through those events knowing that you are in full control of your mind and attitude I promise you will get through them and emerge better than before.
The trick is to become aware that you are actively choosing how you go through life. You can choose to buy that new SUV, or instead buy an economical commuter car. You can choose to stock the shelves with fresh greens, naturally-raised meats, and tap water instead or simply go out to eat and order a cheeseburger and fries. You can choose to meditate for five minutes tonight instead of flipping through TV channels.
Much of our society’s marketing and cultural norms have led us to believe that we don’t have many choices. We are bombarded with messages telling us we need the latest fashionable clothing to be socially acceptable, or that we need to join in eating tacos at two am when all our friends want drunk food, or that we don’t have time to exchange pleasantries with our co-workers in the morning because that doesn’t fit the ideal image of a hard worker.
We need to break these habits! We do have the choice! Here’s a few suggestions to increase your self awareness of the small choices you make everyday:
(1) Use sticky notes! Write a note, word, smiley face, whatever will jog your brain, and put them on light switches, inside your fridge, on door handles, on bathroom mirrors, on your car dashboard, on your phone at work, wherever you go that leads you down the small decisions each day that ultimately define your lifestyle that isn’t yet quite up to the minmylife vision. For example, I used to have a terrible habit of snacking at home. I put a sticky note on the cabinet for snack food with a sad face on it. Every time I opened the cabinet I was reminded of my habit. Within a few months I realized I had stopped most of my snacking and begun to lose weight. (Eventually I got disciplined enough to actually clear out all the junky snack food and simply not buy it anymore!)
(2) Set cell phone reminders for critical times during your daily routine. Want to change your habit of watching TV after work? Set an alarm to go off daily 30 minutes after you get home saying: “Are you watching TV again?” Want to change your habit of drinking too many beers when you’re out with friends? Set a reminder for 2 hours into your night out asking yourself: “How many waters have you had?”
(3) Enlist help from your friends and family. Get real with them! Tell them you’ve been inspired to join the movement at minmylife.org and are serious about changing your lifestyle before falling too far into the trap of our consumerist society! Ask your friends or family members to join you in the movement by holding each other accountable. Have them ask you each morning if you’ve eating a good breakfast and meditated before coming to work. Have them ask you each lunch what you plan on eating. Have them ask you each weekend what you did to get out of the house and connect with other people.
Bottom line: You have a choice! Choose your life decisions wisely and take ownership of the results of those choices. Use mental cues to assist in your habit-breaking.
Did you find this post interesting? If so, check out our website at www.minmylife.org. If the subject material of this blog post caught your attention, I recommend reading our post on the cure for wasted time.