Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense. -Arnold Bennett

I think the biggest problem that keeps people from realizing their goals and truly achieving the things that they desire is not their lack of action, but instead their inability to decide.

Take for example new years resolutions. While I was in college I worked at Gold’s Gym and every January I would observe the flock of people coming in to sign up for memberships. These well-meaning individuals would regularly come for the first couple of weeks and then it would slowly trickle down until by mid February only the same old crowd would remain. Sure, a small percentage would join these gym rats but most would fall by the wayside, once in a while coming in only because their $300/year contract would guilt them into showing up at least twice a month. What happened to all these people? They set goals, they took action, what were they lacking? Well they never truly decided that no matter what happens, no matter how great the costs, they would DECIDE then and there to commit to their goal. It was their hesitation that doomed them to failure.

Like anything, the ability to decide takes practice; and like muscles the level of effort that you begin with needs to start small and gradually increase.Here are some suggestions to strengthen your decision making muscles:

  • Every day make a decision that is relatively quick and easy but still requires a little effort. Do this for a week For example going through that pile of paperwork you’ve been meaning to organize but just haven’t got to yet. Or turning down one of the freshly baked brownies that your coworker has brought in from home.
  • After a week of succeeding with the smaller decisions, make one of the more difficult decisions that you’ve been putting off. Make the decision and follow through till the end.
  • Keep a daily decision-making journal of all your victories and defeats. Detail why you were or were not able to keep to the decision. Maintaining a record of your successes and failures will open your mind to what the key factors are to your success as well as teach you wisdom from your failures.
  • Remember to keep an open mind and stay flexible in your decisions. Don’t stick to just one plan in carrying out your decisions, rather stay open to new ideas or inspiration that might come to show you a different way of achieving that for which you are working towards.
  • Enjoy the decision making process. Have fun with this and take it as a challenge!

Remember that where you are at this moment, is the sum of all your decisions and indecisions! If you look back at your life you will notice that it is those things that you’ve decided upon or the hesitations that you’ve made that have determined who you have become today.

Decide now not to hesitate, but take control of your life by making decisions!

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