When most of us think of making changes, we typically think in terms of our big goal, the end result. What we don’t always realize is that the small choices we make each and every day are working to build up to that big goal, the outcome we hope for.
Ultimately, that future vision of you depends on the small decisions that you make each day. In fact, every decision you make today is creating a habit pattern. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you repeat the behavior. It becomes what you do.
For example, if you are used to treating yourself to a bowl of ice cream every night while you watch television, you are encouraging that habit to become more and more ingrained. Our brains learn from what we do consistently – that’s how habits are born. Over time, it becomes a fixed long-term behavior – something you do automatically without thinking about it.
Unless you make a conscious decision to choose differently, you will continue to repeat the same behavior pattern over and over.
The good news is that the same is true when you decide to make a different choice. If you make a decision that you will no longer have that ice cream treat at night, you may find it a struggle in the beginning. You may even slide back a night or several, but the more you consciously choose the new behavior, the more it will become automatic. That’s how a new habit is born.
That’s why you truly are a creation of the choices you make day after day after day. Every time you make a conscious choice to decide differently than you have in the past, you are building your strength muscle to keep moving in that direction.
The key to building effective habits is to consciously practice that new behavior. One day you’ll realize that you have a new habit, a healthier habit, and that it has become a part of you.
So next time you are thinking of making a change, remember – you are the small decisions you make every day. And you’re in charge of those.