Monday, January 6, 2014

Small Decisions

Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.

Keri Russell

“It is only in our decisions that we are important.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.

Shawn Achor

Like everyone else, I wake up in a different mood on different days.  This morning I woke up feeling unmotivated.  I’ve been up for about two hours and except for making my bed, reading some of the Bible and listing some comic books on eBay, I haven’t done a lot this morning.  I just don’t feel like it.  And feelings can be dangerous.  If I let feelings control my life, I won’t accomplish much.  This is why it’s important to sit here and write, even if I don’t feel like it.
Part of my problem may be that I haven’t slept well for the last few nights.  Or this may just be the rhythm of life in which enthusiasm waxes and wanes.  I might be hungry.  I might be bored.  Or depressed.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters to me is that I follow through on my commitments.  Here are some actual truths and truths are more important and more meaningful than feelings.
·      I’m healthy.
·      I have everything I need for this moment.
·      I have a written list of tasks for the day.
·      Every one of those tasks will bring me closer to my house on the beach.
·      I have already completed two of those tasks and am now working on part of the third.
·      If I stay focused, there is no reason that I cannot be done with all the tasks in the next three hours.

One thing that keeps me working when I don’t feel motivated is thinking about the future.  I’m thinking how bad I will feel in a couple of hours if I don’t get some things done.  I’m also thinking about how good I will feel if I get everything done in the next three hours.  And nothing I have to do is difficult.  I just need to stay focused.  I just need to make the right decisions. 
The smallest decisions are usually the ones with the biggest consequences, because a lot of small decisions add up very quickly.  For example, I can sit here and write this blog and get closer to my goals, my dreams and my house on the beach.  Or I can play online games and get closer to nothing.  So I’m making a small decision to write.  In the grand scheme of things one decision either way won’t make much of a difference, but decision after decision after decision will make a huge difference. 
This week I saw two articles on Facebook that, combined, will allow me to have saved nearly $2,000 by Christmas.  If I’m diligent I can do it.  If I’m really diligent, I can save even more.  But it will take a lot of little decisions.  It will mean saving a little money every day and every week.  It will require some self-denial and it will require consistent daily and weekly practice.  It might be a little difficult.  But it won’t be as difficult as being broke this December.  So I’m going to do it.
I’ve often said the biggest factor in reaching goals is being consistent.  More accurately, it’s being consistent with the right activities.  Most of us are already consistent.  For years I was consistent in wasting time, making bad decisions and putting off difficult decisions.  Now I’m trying to change all that.  It’s not easy.  I still waste time.  I still put off difficult decisions or tasks.
So I’m sitting here and I’m writing.  When I’m done, I will read or go to the Post Office or wash the dishes.  I might do my radio show or work on a resume.  I might read.  I have a lot of reading to do in the next three hours.  It’s all going to be fun, though.  There will be two more things that will be fun. 
It will be fun to check things off my to-do list.  It will also be fun when I can look back in a few hours and know that I did everything I wanted to accomplish.  It will be fun to Get Started and to Keep Going.  In fact, it already has been…because I made a few small decisions.