Goal Setting and Prioritizing · Life's Challenges & Choices

Freedom: Decision Making Made Real

reaching for the sky www.maryhumphreycoaching.comI have mulled over one word these past few weeks: Decision.

This thought process came to a head on New Year’s Day, 2016. How fitting is decision for a new year, a new start…and I ask, how about making it a permanent thought process for the rest of your/my life?

As I have, you might want to print this post, or take notes. I tape reminder notes in places where I see them often. This is because a quick change of heart or mind can take place immediately, but lasting change, especially when it involves a mindset, normally involves an overhaul of life-time thinking patterns. We need reminders!

Decision. It is only an idea, a thought, until we take action.

“I made a decision today. I settled, concluded, chose, voted, made up my mind to ____________ (fill in the blank).” I may have decided to write a new book a year ago, but until I start writing the book, it is only a goal or aspiration.

What can we do to make our decisions stick? Take the first step, move it to the next level, and follow-up with subsequent steps until the decision becomes an action…until we can announce, “I did it!”

Procrastination is the killer of turning decisions into reality. (I raise my hand in admission to this fault.) Why do we procrastinate? The number one reason is FEAR. Bold faced fear.

So, what do we do now? We have this idea, this “decision,” and now we find our fear-filled selves saying, “Oh, perhaps I should not make that decision. I should not rock the boat. I should not create more work stress for myself. I think the best thing to do is nothing…” Yes, taking the easy way out. Is it truly the easy way out? No. What happens a week from now, or a year, or even a life-time later when we realize that we have never done what we felt called to do? We miss out. That is sad. We miss out on making a difference in our lives, or the lives of others. We fail to make our personal contribution to the world.

Face your fears. Stare them down. Study them. Know them inside out. Break them down into small manageable chunks (or crumbs). Change what you can and make the choice to ignore or forge through what you cannot change. Remember, we cannot change others, and we cannot change the world. We can only change how we react to it. You can only change you!

By breaking fear down, we discover the truth–real things that we should fear, which ultimately amounts to very little. We also become aware of our inner-generated story and falsehoods. The lies that we believe, and we are often monumental story tellers.

Meditate on people, those that you consider a mentor, or those that you admire. Think about the accomplishments of these people. Where would they be today if they used fear as an excuse in their lives? What if they never moved forward with an idea (made it a decision) because of self-doubt, “I am not (educated, beautiful, trained, smart enough, young enough, old enough).”

I made the decision to not accept the “what if’s” that surface in my life. The action that I took when I made that decision was to not mentally use any excuse, to only use good judgment. What if I make a mistake? What if I make the wrong choice? Growth is a bundle of both bad and good choices. Can we mature without a solid learning process?

Steps for the three F’s: Break down fear. Release your faith. Allow your faith to spread until there is no room for fear to survive. Experience freedom.

Keep moving forward, my friends. Move those feet, take those steps…advance. Turn those decisions into actions!

Believe & Invest In You · Goal Setting and Prioritizing · Life's Challenges & Choices · Women in Transition

The Damaging Excuses We Use

motion www.maryhumphreycoaching.comMaking a choice to pursue a new avenue in life involves several actions: doing it, doing it later, or choosing to not do it at all.

Doing it now is the best choice, as long as we have a solid plan in place. A plan that includes specific and measurable goals to keep us on track. With this in place we remain focused on the outcome, and we do not walk down paths that lead us astray from our vision — picture a straight road versus a narrow one with sharp curves and branches that leave us wondering which way to go.

The decisions that we make in life that are “on a whim” are usually things that we have always wanted to do, but fear had always stood in our way. Think about that!

Not doing it at all is a good choice when we know our goal is not meant to be. These are dreams that make no sense at all, not even to ourselves, and they always lead to bad outcomes.

Doing it later can be a very dangerous choice if filled with procrastination. A decision to move ahead later, accompanied with a measurable and dated plan is smart, but we often allow excuses to follow close behind.

Major delay excuses

  • I am afraid of change.
  • What if it does not work out?
  • What would people say?
  • I will do this after I feel less stress.
  • I will do this when I have more time.
  • I need to feel (physically) better first.
  • I have never done this before.

If you recognize yourself in any of these major excuses, ask yourself these questions:  When will I not fear change? What is the worst thing that can happen if it does not work out? Does it matter what other people say? What would have to happen to make me feel less stress? When will I have more time? When will I feel better physically, and what can I do now to feel better/take a small step even though I do not feel 100%? How do I do it?

Minor delay excuses

  • I’ll do this after my kids leave home.
  • I do not have the money.
  • My house is not big enough/too small.
  • I live in the wrong area.
  • I need training/education.

We make mountains of minor excuses. I call these types of excuses minor because they usually depend on some action in our life that is currently out of our immediate control (but are do-able or fixable). If you see yourself in any of these, or similar excuses, ask yourself: What can I do today to move one small step closer to making this happen? Is this a valid excuse, or can I move towards my goal today even though I am in these circumstances? Can I take a class next week (even a free one to just get started)? Can I rent a space, or a room? Can I rent a room out? Can I commute several times a week? How can I fund this today? How can I save a small amount of money beginning today? Can my children, or spouse, help me in large and small ways, and how do we/I implement that change?

The day you take the first step, the day you take action, you are making the choice to move forward. You are in motion. Motion is measured by movement — and not at all by speed!

God speed to you!

~~~~~~

Mary L Humphrey, LBC

Paint your life masterpiece today!

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