- I want to lose weight
- I want to get fit
- I want to quit smoking
- I want to drink less
- I want to learn a new skill etc etc etc
And then what happens? More often than not, well, nothing. Life carries on and you don't lose the weight, you don't get fit and you don't quit smoking. And the 'I want to...' idea continues to live with you, giving you guilt but never a result. What can you do about this?
You need to change the message your brain is sending. 'I want to ...' is a preference; I want to win the lottery. How about switching out this preference for a decision? So instead of saying 'I want to lose weight,' you think and say, 'I have decided to lose weight.' 'I have decided to get fit,' 'I have decided to quit smoking.' Just words? No.
These are not just word plays, because importantly, whereas a preference remains just that, a preference, a decision is followed by action. Accordingly, when you decide you are going to do something, you must also decide on the action. 'I have decided to get fit... the action I will take to get fit is to join a gym tomorrow.' 'I have decided to quit smoking... the action I'm going to take is to buy some nicotine patches from the chemist on the way home and start wearing them from tonight.'
A decision compels you to an action, a preference does not. The very definition of 'decide' is to 'bring to resolution' and to 'decide between choices.' Preference is simply a 'greater liking for one alternative over another.'
So the next time you think, 'I would like to lose weight,' or 'I want to lose weight,' stop. Realise this is a preference and ask yourself if you are serious about losing weight etc. And if you are serious, take a real step, make a decision. 'I have decided to... and the action I am going to take to make that happen is...'. Oh, and the action always starts now, not next week and not next month.
Deciding to do something is the first step towards achieving that goal. So be brave, and make that decision today.