And the big ones will take care of themselves.
In my experience, most of us (including me!) discount how much the ‘small’ decisions we make every day have in shaping our lives. We make hundreds if not thousands of small decisions daily that we often discount, unaware of their impact on the bigger picture. However, it’s rarely the big choices that have the largest effect on how our lives turn out.
We don’t all of a sudden wake up out of shape, broke, in a bad relationship, unhappy and stressed, etc. as the result of one bad decision. It’s more likely to be a slow build-up of bad decisions, one after another causing a compound effect.
For example, you make one small decision not to exercise today. As a result, you then decide to have pizza rather than the healthy meal that you’d planned, and as you’ve done that, you might as well have a bottle of wine with it too and a huge dish of ice-cream – afterall, ‘the diet can start tomorrow!’ While you’ve taken the bold move not to exercise, you decide to indulge in your favourite box set on TV.
The next day, you wake up feeling sluggish, vowing to eat healthily and go to the gym. That is until someone in work mentions cake and as your body is still reeling from the carb overload of the previous night, before you know it, you decide to dive right in. After all, who starts a diet and exercise regime mid-week? And so, it continues…
That one small decision (not to exercise that one particular day) can have a knock-on effect on other decisions for weeks, months even years to come.
Take the example of someone who ‘suddenly’ finds themselves in an unhappy relationship or job they hate. Again, there’s likely to be nothing sudden about it. One day, something may have happened that you chose to ignore and not deal with for whatever reason. That one decision can lead to more and more small decisions not to act, compounding until the situation becomes unbearable. Often, had they decided to take action when the first small thing occurred, it may never have reached such a level.
What small decisions have shaped your life? Your life is a result of all of those little decisions combined.
For the next few days, make a conscious effort to pay attention to your small choices and see what a difference it makes in your life. For example:
- What you eat
- To exercise or not
- To pay your bills on time/check your account balance
- To confront an issue or not
- To be happy or grumpy today
- To see something as positive or negative
- To flop in front of the TV or do something more constructive
- To spend less time at work and more with the family
We always have a choice, so choose your next decision wisely!