As a basic premise, we as humans have the right to determine how we spend our time, where our energy goes, who we have relationships with. We have complete autonomy over our lives. We know this at our core but when it comes to implementing it and OWNING it every day, we give away all of that power.
With my clients, I most often see this happen when we start envisioning changes they want to make in their life.
Making commitments is easy. Following through on them is what distinguishes successful people from the rest.
Many of my clients have similar items on their wish lists —
I want to make time to workout
I want to spend time playing with my kids
I want to have a date night with my partner
I want to leave work at a reasonable hour every day
When it comes down to implementing and executing on those wish lists there are a mountain of reasons why it never happens–I’m just so tired at the end of the day, I just don’t have enough time, it’s just not a priority, something always comes up.
Any of those sound familiar?
You have the freedom to make your life whatever you want it to be.
If you don’t want to workout everyday, want work late every night, and want to rarely have one-on-one time with your family, that is absolutely your right. But let’s get one thing very clear: you are CHOOSING do to do those things. You are CHOOSING not to play with your kid when you get home, you are CHOOSING not to go to the gym, you are CHOOSING not to make your self-care a priority.
In order to get serious about creating the lives we want, we have to start getting honest with ourselves.
This life is not just happening to you–you are creating it.
You have to take ownership for the choices you are making every day.
Being tired at the end of the day is not a universal justification for not going to they gym. You are choosing not to go to the gym. People do all sorts of things every day when they are tired. YOU are doing all sorts of things every day even though you are tired. You are simply choosing not to make the gym one of those things.
When it comes to work, it is no different. You are choosing to answer that phone call right before you were supposed to head to your kid’s soccer game. You are choosing to work late and honor that last minute deadline.
You do not have to honor any deadlines.
You do NOT have to honor any deadlines.
You are CHOOSING to do so. Maybe you believe that if you don’t you will get fired or you will lose the client, whatever your justification may be, there is likely a reason you are doing it. A reason that you believe you HAVE to do it. But the truth is, you are simply making a choice. People blow off clients and deadlines and bosses and phone calls every day. You are choosing not to and that is your right. Own it and stop blaming your choices on everything else. Take ownership of the decisions you make in every moment.
Recognize the reasons for your choices and own them for what they are–choices you are making for whatever justifications you decide are important.
I pay my taxes every year not because I “have to” but because I choose to. I choose not to commit tax fraud. I choose not to violate the law. That’s my choice. Many others in this world do not make that same choice.
Sometimes, I choose to disregard my schedule completely and make something else a priority. Whenever I get a call from my family during business hours, I answer immediately and drop everything else. That is my choice. In that moment, I remind myself “You are choosing to do this, you do not have to do this.” I don’t let myself be a victim to circumstances outside of my control. I choose to blow up my schedule and best laid plans if I want to. Because that is my choice. It’s as simple as that.
When we stop telling ourselves we “have” to do things or when we make excuses for not acting, we are ignoring the simple truth of it all–we are choosing to do or not do those things.
When we take ownership of the choices we are making in every moment of every day, it allows us to hit the reset button. It allows us to ask whether that is a decision we WANT to make. A decision we would make again.
In every moment of ever day, you are making choices. Do you like the choices you are making? Are you blaming someone else for your decisions?
When you look at your life and your days as a series of choices, you take back all of your power.
You reclaim your ability to decide how you want your day and your life to play out. Don’t allow yourself to believe that your life is at the mercy of anyone other than you. Live on purpose and choose consciously how you want to spend your time.
We struggle to make ourselves a priority. We are really good at not choosing to put ourselves first. Make an investment in yourself and your life.
What do you have to lose?