Why is it that we can't help but give into emotions and habits even when we know that they only harm us or bring us down? Why is that we crave the need for an excuse for how we feel sometimes? Are we tired? Do we simply need a break? Or is there a deep-rooted part of us that takes pleasure in the misery and pain?
Sometimes it can be easier to throw our hands up in the air and just give in, even when we know it's not the best thing for us. But how do we evolve to a place where choosing the best for us is automatic and completely second-nature? By being aware of the choices we make and intending to choose wisely daily.
Here are some tips to help get you started :)
- The Power is in Your Hands. Recognize that you are in control of the decisions you make and that you (and you alone) are responsible for the consequences that come along with them. Learn to take ownership of the choices you make daily; whether it's that extra glass of wine that leaves you with a headache the next morning or a workout that leaves you feeling revitalized, understand how every choice you make affects you in the long run, and know that true change begins with this awareness. After all, how can we make better decisions if we don't even know the impact they have on our day-to-day lives?
- Know What Makes You Feel Good. Become familiar with the choices that leave you feeling good and fulfilled and those that drain or bring you down. Keep a running list if you have to. The more you stop to recognize the effects of what you choose, the more you're able to modify your daily habits and learn to choose wisely. Knowledge is power so take a moment to self-reflect every day.
- Learn to Choose Wisely. Learn to continually say "Yes" to the things that uplift and fulfill you. And perhaps, more importantly, to say "No" to the ones that don't (e.g., that extra piece of chocolate cake that not only leaves you with a tummy ache but also mental guilt, an extra hour of TV or reading on your phone when you're heavy eyes just want to go to bed). Now, we all have days when we want to indulge in things that may not be the best for us. And that's okay, as long as we're aware and making an informed choice, and it's not our daily way.
- Allow Yourself to Grow. And, be patient in the process. We all have good days and bad, easy days and hard ones. Learn to be kind and gentle with yourself and remember that true growth takes time. Change is a journey that doesn't happen overnight. Enjoy it. Learn and grow with every step, and allow yourself to flow with it rather than against it.
- Hold Yourself Accountable. Regardless of what choices you decide to make, own them, and all that comes with those decisions. Hold yourself accountable for how you feel and know that you have the power to change that anytime you choose. While this may feel like it makes life harder, believe me, the opposite is true! It's quite empowering when you truly realize that everything you feel is in your hands; we may not be able to control the world around us, but we can control how we react to things and the choices we make. It's all about how your process things and choose to view them ;)
- Practice. The only way to make better choices regularly is to put it into practice. Start by making one conscious decision a day and work your way up. Know that you'll have days when you're successful and days when you're not. Keep intending to make conscious choices that leave you feeling good from the inside out, and start living the life you dream to see!