Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Healthy Eating, Thought | Posted on 11-28-2014
[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]
When I was recently at the 3PGC Three Principles Conference, at one point I was chatting with a few new friends over a glass of wine. I happened to mention that I had lost 25 lbs. about a year ago and was asked how I did it. My response was “I just decided to.” I had intended to go into the logistics, i.e., counting calories, doing more exercise, etc., but the waitress had interrupted, and the conversation took a new turn. Later in the evening my friend told me that she loved my answer on how I lost weight.
That’s when I realized–all I really did was make a Decision.
The methodology didn’t matter. How I got from here to there didn’t matter. There are a zillion ways I could have gone about losing weight, but until I literally and meaningfully “decided to do it,” it never would have happened. At least not to the extent that it did, and not permanently.
For me, it was something I had been thinking about for a long time. Perhaps even as much as a year before I made my actual decision. But thinking about and deciding upon are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Thinking about losing weight might cause us to not eat quite as much fettuccine alfredo as we used to. But at the end of the day (or week, or month), for the most part, our eating habits won’t have changed significantly just by thinking about it.
Deciding, however–really deciding–is a whole ‘nother ballgame.
At least for me it was. That’s when it became an actual mission. And not just to lose weight, but to start living a healthier lifestyle overall. From the very start of my journey, I intended for it to be a lifestyle change. (And ultimately, that one decision was the start of my entire transformational journey even though I didn’t know it at the time.) I wasn’t “dieting” because I knew that was just a temporary solution. The reason diets, in general, don’t work for the long haul, is the same reason other things in our lives come and go:
We never really and truly decide we want them.
Yes, we may want to lose weight, but without the actual decision to live an overall healthier lifestyle, it’s unlikely to happen. Because when we make a firm decision, there’s really no going back.
I hear you saying, “Hey wait a minute there, Jill! I decided to do plenty of things in the past that somehow never came into fruition.”
And so have I. But I would argue that in those cases you and I didn’t really make a decision–not a real one. We likely made half-assed decisions that sounded good at the time. Those, of course, provide half-assed results.
However, you and I both know and have experienced that when you really and truly want to bring about change, start something new, get rid of something old, or whatever else, once you’ve decided upon it, it can’t help but happen. The wheels have been in motion and there’s no turning back.
Take a moment to think about a decision in your life where this was true for you. Perhaps it was the decision to find a new job. Or to leave a relationship. Or to book a specific vacation.
It was likely that it took you a long time to get to the point of making your decision real. You may have waffled about for quite awhile, perhaps even years. You probably had lots of reasons and excuses why it was not the right time, or you just shouldn’t even attempt it. But once you actually made your decision to act, I’m betting there was no going back.
This is not to say that everything you decided upon turned out the way you originally planned. There were probably bumps and obstacles along the way that tried to thwart your intended decision. But because you really and truly decided to do whatever it was, they could not stop you in the end.
And that, my friend, is how transformation happens.
Make a decision–but only when you are truly ready, willing and able to commit to it. Only when you know in your heart of hearts that it’s what you want…no…need to do.
Then just start doing it.
Not all at once, just the first baby steps that will start your motor running. And if at all possible tell at least one other person what you’ve decided. Ideally someone you see or talk to fairly often who will be supportive of your decision. There’s something in the telling that holds us more accountable.
So…what decisions have you been putting off? Are you ready to make them? What’s stopping you from doing it right now?
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