When was the last time you made a real decision? You know, a decision about something you were going to stop doing or something that you decided to start doing? Have you done it yet?
I was standing in the kitchen earlier this week, ironing a shirt, when I got some feedback from my 7 year old daughter. Like all 7 year olds she is a skilled advice giver, with a big smile and a small laugh she said "Daddy you look funny with a big fat tummy, you'd look much better with a thin tummy!"
Now the odd thing about this is that I've already decided to have a thin tummy. In fact I've made that decision hundreds of times. I remember giving up smoking and deciding to stop loads of times before I actually did. Looking back, they weren't really decisions - more like statements of vague intention.
So what's the difference between a decision where you do it and a decision that is just a woolly statement of something you might get around to doing?
According to Tony Robbins (US motivational guru) a real decision means that you cut off any other possibility than the one you've decided to make into a reality. It's a bit like putting up a boundary line and saying "this far and no farther". He goes on to say that most of us haven't made a real decision like this in so long that we've forgotten what it feels like.
When you make a real decision, you draw a line in the sand. You know exactly what you want and you're clear about getting it.
I've adapted the experiment below from Tony’s book “Notes from a Friend”:
1. What are some things you've been putting off, some things you know you need to do to make your life better?
Example: Deciding to replace watching TV with going for a walk or replace smoking with reading. Or deciding that you're no longer going to blame anyone else and instead figure out some new action you could take every day to make your life better? Maybe it's a decision to acquire some new skills that will benefit your business or family.
2. Make two decisions you're willing to follow through on. Make the first one a promise to yourself or others that you can easily keep; this will build up your decision making muscles. Make the second decision something that will take even more commitment from yourself, something that inspires you and you are going to do.
3. Tell someone and take pride in achieving them.
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