On October 31, 2003 I made a decision, which changed my life. I was living in Los Angeles acting in independent movies, working as an extra in feature films and getting the occasional small, television role. I wasn’t living the dream, but I was living my dream…sort of. I was separated from my two sons most of the time and I knew that had to change, but I also knew I didn’t want to move them to Los Angeles. I would write letters to them every week, talk to them on a regular basis and even visit several times a year, but I knew it wasn’t enough. I had to make a decision.
How would today be different if I decided to stay in Southern California and not be the father I wanted to be? I probably wouldn’t have the close and loving relationship I now have with my two adult sons. In other words, I wouldn’t have the two of the most important relationships in my life and I would be the lesser for it. I made the best choice for myself and I am happy I did.
We all have past decisions in our life in which hindsight makes us think, “that would have turned out differently if…” Maybe it involves the college sweetheart you left behind in order to take a job or the move you decided against in order to marry someone. Perhaps it was a less momentous and more recent decision, like the one to order a pizza, when you knew you wouldn’t eat just one slice. Then again, maybe it was the decision to plan, prepare and enjoy a week of healthy meals. Clearly, whether the choice is large or small, your decision makes all the difference.
100% is easy. 99% is a b#@ch.
Implementing this into your life is simple. Get a sheet of paper and write out three choices for today and follow through with the actions needed. Begin writing out each choice with the phrase, “How would today be different if…,” and then add 2 or 3 ways in which your choice will make today different.
Here are two examples:
How would today be different if I get 7-8 hours of quality sleep?
1. I will feel refreshed and energized and be able to make breakfast for my kids, rather than rushing out the door frazzled and hungry.
2. I will be better able to concentrate at work and skip my 3pm trip to the coffee shop.
3. I will have plenty of energy to nail my workout.
How would today be different if I pack my lunch and snacks today?
1. I will feel more secure in my healthy food choices for the day, knowing I won’t be tempted to go to a restaurant for lunch.
2. I know I won’t be starving and grumpy when I get home and overeat.
3. I know I will feel proud of myself and will be fully present with my family.
You get the idea. Now, how will today be different for you?