75 Hard Challenge – Day 35

I’m about halfway through the 75 Hard Challenge, so I thought I’d share my progress and thoughts on the program so far. For those of you who haven’t heard about Andy Frisella’s 75 day plan for getting strong. I wrote a bit about the intensity of the program and an overview in a blog post a few days ago. If you’re interested in learning what it’s all about, check that one out first.

So, now to the progress. 35 days into this and I have a lot of adjectives to describe how I feel. Here’s a general list:

  • Amazing
  • Proud
  • Influential
  • Big
  • Improved
  • Achy
  • Fit
  • Better

    As I mentioned in my original post, it’s definitely not easy and there are a lot of aches and pains that accompany this program. But, those aches and pains are indicators of growth and that’s exactly the goal when you start 75 Hard. I’ll get down into the detail of those adjectives I’ve described above in my progress update below, but one question I have for you is – if you could consistently do something for 75 days knowing that at the end of it there’s a 100% guarantee of even a slight improvement in your mental and physical health, would you do it? I’ll let you think about that for a few minutes.

Physical Progress on 75 Hard

According to a lot of articles out there, working out twice a day is not always the best for your body. And I agree! You have to listen to what’s going on with your muscles and you need time to recover. It’s proven that during recovery is actually when your body is doing the most growing. But, don’t for one moment think that it means you can’t be active more than once a day.

Sometimes low-impact, easy activity is better than nothing. Also, with the right alternation of muscle groups, you can workout pretty much every day twice without working out the same muscle group too soon.

Physically, I think I may be in the best shape I’ve been since high school. I am more of an athlete than I ever was and I’m leaning into that belief. Part of this program is that it reprograms you to think differently about what you’re doing to and for your body. Eating has become a science. Working out has become a career.

When I say I feel amazing – I mean I feel clear of mind, focused, energized, more capable and stronger than ever. When I say I feel proud – I feel like I am confident and able to showcase the hard work I’ve put into my body. Sure, I’m achy, this is super tough. I have to refuel and think about vitamins and foods that are going to help me replenish and rebuild. These are all ways that in just 35 days I’ve experienced complete transformation. And I say transformation because honestly, I never had this will power before. I’m consciously noticing my body changing, my fat melting, my muscles becoming more visible, and my eating habits becoming more of unconscious decisions.

Mental Progress on 75 Hard

What’s even better about the impact that 75 hard has on our bodies is that it truly impacts our brains. I crave the motivation and the hype I get from reading and improving my mentality. Each day I wake up ready to read my identity statements, watch inspirational videos and get motivated to improve.

I’m currently reading Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. (Side note: one of the requirements of 75 Hard is to read at least 10 pages a day.) Hill expresses one way that people are capable of achieving more money and more success that is probably the number one thing I’ve struggled with my whole life – belief.

What’s amazing with 75 Hard is that I’ve really changed my mentality to accept what is mine. I have cast aside any negative self talk and replaced it all with positive self talk. This positive self talk has led me to finally figuring out how to believe – really believe. I’m not talking about the type of “wishful thinking” belief that most people go around claiming to have. I’m talking about “deep down, I’ve got a fire within me, this is an unshakable truth” kind of belief.

It’s been 35 days and I SWEAR, I’ve affirmed and manifested a completely new life. I undoubtedly look back at my life just last month and think to myself how drastically different it is compared to this moment. I do plan to go deeper into this topic in the coming weeks, but I will leave it at this.

When I say I feel influential – I mean I feel like I have the power to change the world. When I say I feel big – I mean I feel like I am the greatest, no one can knock me down. When I say I feel better – I mean I feel like I’ve reached a wonderful place in my life where I am improving every day.

The progress I’m making on 75 Hard is just that. It’s progress. Isn’t that what we’re all after? Wouldn’t just some progress every day make you feel good about your life?

Motivation Programming

What is the difference between a motivation program and motivation programming? As I dive deeper into the world of positive psychology, motivation, identity creation and the concepts that drive us as humans to achieve our ultimate goals, I have focused on a few terms at a time to break down and discover. Today, I simply wanted to learn a little bit more about motivation and its uses.

Defining Motivation

Wikipedia probably has the best explanation of the term motivation.

Motivation is a driving factor for actionswillingness, and goals. These needswants or desires may be acquired through influence of culture, society, lifestyle, or may be generally innate.”

So through this definition we have ourselves two versions of driving factors that influence our lives – intrinsic motivations and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic is something we desire internally. Extrinsic is something that externally rewards us. You can tell if it’s an intrinsic motivation or an extrinsic motivation by asking yourself from where the desire stems and what you’re getting in return.

Motivation is something we use every single day. We may not even realize that most of the actions we take are just results of motivations pulling and pushing us in different directions. The greatest thing about motivation though is that you can use it to your advantage when you realize how to manipulate it on your own accord.

Using Motivation

You wake up any given day and you have to “motivate” yourself to get moving. Maybe it’s the idea of getting a paycheck at the end of the week that motivates you or the desire to get that next promotion. Some people are motivated by the desire to want change for their family. Others are motivated to seek a better physical condition whether that’s internally or externally. Whatever these motivations are, they usually are inherent in our actions. We sort of let the motivations unconsciously take us through each action.

Unsurprisingly, due to our need for immediacy and value, we expect motivation to just work when we really need it. Otherwise, there isn’t a single thought we put around what is motivating us to do one thing over another.

This reminds me a lot of people who talk about praying only in situations when they need God. They say they are regretful that they neglect their relationship with God most days, only reaching out to Him when needed. Motivation is very similar. We tend to forget that we need motivation to accomplish our goals. So, we only rely on it when we think we really need it.

Needing Motivation

When I looked up “motivation program” in my web browser, I found a really interesting search results page. Every single item on the first page related to “Employee Motivation”. Why do we only think about motivation when it comes to work – work in the physical sense or work in the mental sense – athletes and employees?

And, it’s interesting to me that you can find countless articles about how employers can alter your actions by influencing your motivations. Think Google’s incentives to give all employees a reason to stay at work for longer hours. Think about maybe some of the benefits and incentives your employer gives you to stick around.

So, instead of letting others externally influence our motivations to do what they want, I thought about why we really need motivation in each day – to accomplish what WE want. The reality is, you can’t get where you need to go if you don’t get the motivation. That’s what your employer knows and they’re using it to their advantage!

Let’s then reframe this idea and think about “Motivation Programming”. Motivation programming is the new way to go about achieving your goals and accomplishing more in your day. It’s all about seeking the right motivation each day and programming your brain to crave it, seek it and follow it.

Daily Motivation Programming

Any new habit or routine is going to be difficult at first. You’re going to despise it for a little while and will even find yourself annoyed at the whole thing and ready to give up. However, you have to fight through it. Again, I’ll preach that our brains are constantly trying to get us to go back to what’s comfortable. Constantly deceiving us, our brains are tricky things, focused only on getting immediate satisfaction.

To get into a new frame of mind, try waking up every day and watching a motivational video or listening to a motivational podcast. Do this for a week straight and see how you feel. Do it when you don’t want to, then keep on going. Here are few great options to get started:

Ben Lionel Scott’s Weekly Motivation on Spotify

The Motivate App on the Apple App Store.

Motiversity on YouTube

Morning Affirmations to Change Your Day

I have a secret to share, the secret to claiming life’s gifts and achieving the rewards of each day… morning affirmations! I know I know, you’ve heard it before. You’ve tried them. You make an effort to get them done, but you can’t seem to stick to the routine or convince yourself they are true.

But that’s the thing about successfully finding your path to freedom and joy, it’s hard work. It’s telling yourself that even if you don’t want to, you will. Your desire to change must be stronger than your deceitful identity. See, your old “self” will always try to convince you that it’s not worth it. You will sabotage yourself over and over again, until you decide your stronger than your own self. Usually, it’s our own mind that is our biggest enemy, yet we don’t stay vigilant against it.

So, make it this easy for yourself. Decide today that you are going only focus so much on yourself that you have no time to focus on what other people are doing. There are no external competitor’s for the foreseeable future, only your internal self.

Copy and paste these affirmations into your notes on your phone or somewhere you can find easily each morning and read them. it only take a few minutes to rewire your brain.

10 Affirmations to Read Each Day

I AM grateful I AM happy.
I AM grateful I AM loved.
I AM grateful I AM optimistic.
I AM grateful I AM strong physically and mentally.
I AM grateful I AM committed to my friends, family and partner.
I AM grateful I AM disciplined to work hard.
I AM grateful I AM joyful and kind to others.
I AM grateful I AM learning and curious.
I AM grateful I AM welcoming money and wealth into my life.
I AM grateful I AM a representation of the hard work I put in every day.

These are very simple, but very powerful statements. If you’re feeling a little adventurous or maybe like you have other statements you would like to affirm in your life, then adapt these and change them to fit your needs.

You should be asking yourself the right questions to ensure you’re living life to the standards that you intend.

  1. What am I willing to do today to reach my goals?
  2. Who am I going to influence and impact with positivity?
  3. How am I going to change the world and lives around me?

    When you start to think about life in this way, it’s amazing what you can accomplish!

Identity – Discovery, Decisions, Determination

When it comes to your identity, you’ve probably heard of “identity theft” or “identity crisis” and you may have felt scared or anxious when thinking about these topics. What most people are scared to lose, they rarely stop to think about how it’s created and protected. I’m not talking about identity theft protection or ensuring your personal information isn’t leaked online, sure that’s important to us and we are triggered by the idea of losing our identity to the dangers of the world. Rather, I’m talking about the identity that forms your habits, thoughts and actions. This is the identity that someone couldn’t steal from us because it’s uniquely ours.

Identity is what drives your decision making. I talk a lot about conscious choices in this blog. Whether you’re making big life decisions or small daily choices, when you walk through life making them consciously you are honoring your identity. You’re saying in those moments that you know exactly who you are and what you stand for. You take action based on that understanding of yourself. But, what happens when you want to change? When you go from being a tv watcher to a gym goer, or you go from being a casual drinker to a sober friend. These are identity changes that we struggle to embrace and stick with.

See, I used to think I was lost. You may have also found yourself in this situation – wondering who you are, what your purpose is, and why you’re living this path. I used to question everything about my life, until recently when I listened to an amazing motivational video called Recreating your Identity.

Recreating Your Identity

In this video, the speaker talks about comfortability. He suggests that we all believe we are a certain person or on a certain life path because we are programmed to believe it is right for us and that we just need to embrace it and fall victim to it. He says that we look for change and we look for opportunities to grow, but our identity can actually get in our way. He says “your identity is going to literally go out of its way to deceive you, so that you go back to your old identity.” Isn’t it crazy to think our own self can get in the way of reaching a new potential. We’re tough beings…

But, he then goes on to talk about how we can recreate our identity, recreate who we are.

Consider the choice to be sober from drugs and alcohol. Consciously, I’ve not had alcohol in 30 days. But, a big part of my life has previously been to hang out with friends and family and enjoy a couple of drinks. We drink and dance, making a party out of any situation when we can be together. While I love that time with my family, drinking doesn’t need to be part of the equation to still be fun. However, I’ve sought comfortability in that. It’s familiar to me. Not participating scares me because it’s different.

But, as I learn to build my identity and become authentic and genuine to myself, this identity I create is just another conscious choice. In this motivational video that I watched, the speaker talks about going through four phases of transformation. These are:

  • Inception – the excitement stage: “ignorance on fire” you are so pumped up you are going on pure excitement
  • Deception – the moment of truth stage: “consciously incompetent” you may quit because you realize how hard it is to change
  • Transformation – the summit stage: “consciously competent” you are aware you’re getting results and you’ve made it through the hardest parts to see that things are actually working
  • Identity – the new you: “your new self” you have developed a whole new person and your new actions are now unconscious choices that you make every day

I like to think I’m in the Transformation stage of my new identity. With consistency and patience, I’m starting to make choices that are more in line with my new character and way of living. My new identity is just around the corner. I’m not sure how long the Transformation stage will need to last to finally be in that “unconscious competent” stage, but the key here is that you must make it through the Deception to get closer to change.

During those stages the conscious choices we make, as hard as they may be, are the most vital to creating lasting change. Today my mantra is to believe in my new identity and to consciously reinforce the actions and choices that make me who I AM.

Watch the full Recreate Your Identity video here, shared by No Limits.

What changes are you making to your identity? Leave a comment or find me on Instagram at IntentlyAmy.

How Affirmations Work

It’s difficult to see the science behind how affirmations work when you’re just starting out. In fact, most people – myself included when I first began – find it silly to express themselves in this way and rarely catch on to the magic for a prolonged period of time. If you’re like me, when you hear the word affirmations you probably think of that video of the little girl in her bathroom yelling into her mirror “I CAN DO ANYTHING GREAT!” I mean who wouldn’t, it’s adorable!

Want to jump in and get started with affirmations? Go to the end of this post for a daily affirmation tool you can use each day.

But, affirmations aren’t really like this….

Yesterday, I wrote an article about an interesting question I ask myself to realign my path toward the goals I want to achieve. The question is “what remarkably stupid things am I doing today that will ruin my life?” It helps me to see not the tasks I should be doing, but rather helps me evaluate the tasks I should not be doing. As I went on my day and began to think more about how this question leads me on my path, an empowering thought came to me.

If I’ve been this blessed to experience so much of the world, so much giving, so much growth and success already in my life, then what God has in store for me next is just going to be unfathomably amazing…

Like…. WOW. And, I don’t say this to rub into anyone’s face that things are going well for me and that I have success and happiness just flowing endlessly. The reality is that my life is probably just as ordinary as others. A lot of people are probably much more blessed than I am. But, I am profoundly grateful for all that I have. That thought I had proved to me that I really do believe that abundance and joy are not just coming for me, but they already are here. The belief I have is like a fire in me that no one can put out.

This is how affirmations work. Affirmations rework your brain to cause fierce optimism and positivity. I love that word fierce to describe the outcome of affirmations. It means “furiously eager or intense.” Can you stop fierce? I don’t think so. You can try, but it would take a lot of effort. And, so affirmations every day – simple positive phrases that you can listen to and say each day work to make you believe what maybe you didn’t know you could believe in before.

If you don’t believe that this could work for you, I challenge you to just try it.

An Easy Daily Affirmation

Each morning for the next week, wake up and say this to yourself:

I love myself.
I am grateful I am strong and confident.
I am grateful I am blessed and successful.

After 7 days, leave me a comment or DM me on Instagram @IntentlyAmy and tell me how you feel. If you’re not fiercely believing these statements and feeling their impact then keep going.

Change Your Perspective: Ask Not What Should I Do, But What Shouldn’t I Do

The best question you can ask yourself today is “what remarkably stupid things am I doing today to ruin my life?” Is that dramatic enough for you? Ruin is BIG word, but really we don’t fully understand the impact of our decisions until they’ve slapped us in the face. As I reflect on this question, it’s actually really simple for me to see that a simple change in my perspective can completely change myself.

This whole internal conversation was spurned by a consideration I had about what the difference is between perception and perspective. Perception is your interpretation of a situation. Whereas perspective is your view on a situation. Perspective is guided by your beliefs and attitudes and isn’t what you take away but rather what you bring to the table.

Consider what it takes to get motivated to accomplish your goals. Let’s use fitness as an example. You see that super fit, healthy image of a person that makes you feel a lot of different emotions. Perhaps, you see that image or person and think to yourself how badly you wish you could look that way. Maybe it evokes want, or guilt, or shame. Maybe it inspires you to go for a run or hit the gym. But, rarely are we thinking about that positive image when we’re in a compromising situation that we know will keep us from hitting our goals.

Instead, during those moments when we’re tempted by a donut or a big, unhealthy pizza that we know will just sabotage our diet, our will power crumbles. I don’t about you, but I don’t just carry magical motivation cues everywhere I go. Finding motivation in a time of what feels like crisis isn’t really my go-to. But, what if we were motivated by what we don’t want and our perspective is just skewed.

What if we saw these unhealthy habits and our view on it wasn’t that it was a delicious meal guaranteed to deliver a hit of endorphins and make my tastebuds explode with flavors? What if we thought instead that the pizza or donut is going to RUIN MY LIFE. How? Well, first it will clog my arteries or inject me huge increase in glucose levels. Then, I may get diabetes or start to gain fat around my belly that eventually causes a heart attack. That could lead to me in the hospital or maybe even premature death.

Ok, this is a very extreme example that doesn’t happen that fast usually, but let us for a moment think about how our brains are wired to think about the foods we eat in those moments. Shifting your perspective and asking yourself simply how you’re contributing to negativity or life-ruining consequences could save you from the rollercoaster of pleasure-seeking decisions that actually in the end do not provide you with any true value.

Sticking with the fitness example, now imagine looking at that desirable image of what you wish you looked like and thinking to yourself that it’s not too far off from reality. Your perspective shifts and now you’re not thinking about all the hard things you have to do to achieve that – lift weights, workout, eat healthy, but rather you are looking through a new lens of what you shouldn’t do. Suddenly, you’re making better decisions by recognizing that donuts are actually not all that good, pizza is kind of greasy and makes you feel bloated, sitting down all day makes you feel more tired, drinking a soda gets you all jittery and then makes you crash.

You simply asked yourself – what remarkably stupid things am I doing today that could ruin my life? Suddenly those things seem silly and unimportant. The best takeaway I had from reading that question to myself is that sometimes it’s just too hard to resist temptations thinking about the ways that I could make better decisions. But, when I look at it in terms of what stupid decisions I’m making and their consequences, it can be very eye opening and inspiring.

If you’re interested in exploring more on “changing your perspective”, check out this powerful other example.

I hope this helps you too! Share your thoughts in the comments or drop me a DM on Instagram @IntentlyAmy.

Thoughts on Parenting from a Childfree Woman

I started blogging about being childfree in 2018. It was during that time that I was able to digest and reflect on all the reasons people have children or choose the other path in life. I explored all sorts of topics, and listened to a lot of stories. Ultimately, it led me to focusing in on conscious choice – the idea that every decision in your life should be a conscious commitment.

Eventually what I found is that the conversations were sometimes too hostile. Two communities divided and completely unsupportive of the other. I found it to be a negative space that I just no longer could support. Childfree women were openly hateful toward children and parents were openly shaming childfree women. I decided this was not the type of energy I wanted to take part in every day.

After reflecting more on this and thinking about what I really wanted for my own future I realized there was a lot to break down. Maybe childfree isn’t the answer. Maybe my problem was that people weren’t using conscious choice in their decision to have kids and that made parenting a little off putting to me. What if I could do things differently and inspire others to do the same? I started to mold a new purpose to my blogging… sharing the ideas and wisdom I uncover throughout my journey of seeking knowledge and spiritual growth.

I listen to motivational videos every day… every day! It gets me going and reminds me why I am working so hard. One particular video got me thinking… Parenting is something you must prepare for and commit to. We literally must train for the act of raising children the way we train for sports or a fitter body. If we want to succeed and make this a fruitful decision, then we must be serious about preparation.

Life is a playoff game. We only get one chance at making each day the best it can be. It absolutely matters what you eat, what you think, what you prepare for.

If my commitment is to have to children then I have to wake up every day committed to making their life fantastic. The only way that will happen is by waking up every day with the attitude to create that life for them. For making myself the best I can be for them.

Teaching them. Growing them. Building them. Making them the best they can be that’s what we choose when we choose parenting. So, that’s why it’s important to choose excellence in our preparation. Choosing to be a parent is a life choice to be committed to something greater than ourselves, to shaping a new generation.

Perhaps we should think about preparation and how we train for these big moments in our life. Are we taking the steps to be our best? Are we asking ourselves hard enough questions each day? Are we pushing ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually enough to create growth?

If we answer no, then are we truly prepared for the responsibilities of parenting?

Think bigger…

A

How To Write Your Vision Statement

In my last blog, I explained what vision casting is and how to use it to guide your life path. In this post, I’ll share exactly how to create that vision statement and what the process takes.

As I mentioned before, this is a pretty creative process. Writing a vision statement takes reflection, brainstorming, and a lot of critical thinking. If this isn’t something you’re used to doing, then it may feel a little uncomfortable at times.

Be willing to take a risk with your vision statement. Step outside of your comfort zone and really dig deep for what it is you want out of your life. So, as you get started, preparing to write your vision out, be sure to think about the basics of a vision.

I’ll write these out in question form so you can come back and ask yourself these questions along the way.

  1. What are the emotions and sentiments you would like to feel about your life and your journey? ie. “I am proud” or “I am amazed
  2. What impact do you want to make on the world?
  3. Where do you imagine yourself being and who are you surrounded by?
  4. Is there a certain thing you want people to remember you for?
  5. What is life like for you in 15 – 20 years?

The Steps of Vision Casting

To vision cast properly, you need to be prepared to look beyond your present situation. Remember, that a vision is something you aspire to create. It’s a place you want to be, not something you already have achieved. That’s what so magical about a vision. You have to believe that anything is possible.

To think through your personal vision, there are three simple steps. Each step in your vision process can be done throughout your day, or at an optimal time when you feel you have the most peace.

The important part of this is being sure that you have time to clearly think through what you actually want. You need to be able to spend time with yourself in an uninterrupted space, even if it’s just for 10 – 15 minutes.

  1. Let Your Creativity Flow
  2. Let Your Ideas Settle
  3. Write it Down and Reflect

Let’s dive deeper into each step.

The First Step of Vision Casting

The first step to crafting the perfect vision is the exploration phase. Some people consider this brainstorming or ideation, but it doesn’t matter what you call it. The only important part of this phase is that you write down every possibility of what you want for your future.

You see, most people don’t really know what they want. They want everything. Sure, it all sounds good. But, that’s not realistic. You need your version of the best possible outcome, so that it’s clear in your life path.

If you’re uncomfortable writing statements, or don’t have a lot of experience writing, then just bullet point out your answers. Be as specific as possible and write every single idea down, even if at the moment you know it’s not right. You’ll have time to sort that out later.

The Second Step of Vision Casting

After you’ve written down all your thoughts, the next step is let it all sit for a while. Yes, that means leave all your thoughts on that piece of paper or notepad or document on your laptop and move on for a bit. The most critical thing you can do in your process is to allow your brain to really process it all.

Processing your vision will give your brain time and space to clarify. I highly recommend meditating on the ideas that you brainstormed. Take time to sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and reflect on the ideas you have for your future.

The Third Step of Vision Casting

it’s time to start writing your statement out. Keep in mind that your vision statement can change. You can evolve.

The structure of a vision statement is pretty simple. It’s your end state, your impact, your surroundings, and finally your time frame.

In most vision statements, the time frame is not really mentioned, but I really believe a personal vision statement should have an understanding of when it’s occurring. As you get older, you’ll create new vision statements for further in your life. It’s essential to always have a goal for where you want to go.

As you write out your vision statement, make sure it’s clear. Write it down on paper and put it somewhere where you can reference it maybe once a week or if you’re feeling committed, every day. I wrote my vision statement in my goals and gratitude journal. It’s a simple journal where I write my gratitudes and thoughts each day and I have my vision statement bookmarked to reference.

Enjoy the process!

3 Steps to Making Conscious Choices

What’s the secret to making a choice you’ll never regret? The secret is there is no secret to it… Making choices confidently is done with one simple strategy in mind – think through it thoroughly! I can tell you from personal experience I’ve dealt with both types of choices in my life – the unconscious, the uncertain and on the opposite end, the conscious, the rooted.

Making conscious choices is really the only way to go about life with zero regrets. Otherwise, you’re constantly kicking yourself, wondering what could have been different. How often do you think back on decisions like that? When you’re completely committed to a decision, it changes your perspective completely, even when and if that decision turns out to be the wrong one.

Conscious choice doesn’t keep you from making the wrong decisions. It just helps ensure you’ve made the best decision at that moment for yourself. What comes of that decision is only left then to destiny. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen and at least you’ll feel good that you made the best decision possible.

The 3 Steps to Conscious Choice

When you have a decision to make, it’s always good to lay it all out and take your time. Of course, no one likes indecisiveness and that’s not what this process is meant to do. Indecisiveness is when you can’t make a decision. Conscious choice is the exact opposite of indecisiveness. It’s clarity in making choices and making them with full intent.

However, no one ever said you couldn’t take your time deciding. In fact, even the smallest decisions need room to permeate. Maybe you don’t always have time luxury to make decisions and that’s understandable, but I believe in using the time you do have wisely. Oftentimes, you’ll see that taking your time with a decision actually allows the universe to lay out more cards and create a clearer path for you.

When you have a big decision to make and some time, there are three phases to ensure the best possible outcome.

  1. The Written Problem
    As with any problem, it’s always best to write down your thoughts and situation clearly. Seeing the problem written down allows room for you to think through how you will deal with it. It frees up space to think beyond the idea and on to the alternate realities. Using the choice to be childfree as an example, write down the question, “Should I have children or stay childfree?” Now, you’ve established your problem, and it’s time to explore both realities.
  2. The Alternate Realities
    What happens when you make one decision over another? You only get one chance and one reality to live, so this decision is important. There is no going back, only forward. At this point in your conscious choice, it’s important to consider your alternate realities. You’ve written down the problem or the choices, and now you need to explore them each a bit further. Continue writing down what each reality could look like to you. What are the benefits? What are the consequences? How does each path make you feel?
  3. The Present Factor
    I call this final step the “Present Factor”. The question you should be asking yourself at this point is, what feels right to you at this moment? I can tell you that there are decisions that you either just know are right or know are wrong when you take the time to stop and ask yourself the question. Your intuition is good enough to tell you if you’re on the right path. So, listen to it. A lot of times, people make decisions only to look back and know at that moment they were making the wrong decision.

    Back to our childfree example, if you are not 100% committed to having a child, then why would you make that choice? Your body, your mind, and your soul will tell when the right time is to do something. All you have to do is listen. Let’s use a different example, one that maybe is less life altering.

A Conscious Choice Example

Let’s say you are contemplating looking for a new job. You have a job, and it’s fine. You are pretty content with life at this job. However, you know there is better opportunity out there. Should you start applying for new jobs? (The Problem)

If you started looking for new jobs, it’s likely you’ll need to interview. You’d possibly find something that is more exciting, more pay, and more fulfilling. Or, you could stay. Life is pretty good right now, you make decent pay, and it’s a steady job. (The Alternate Realities)

What is happening right now in your life that is pushing you to have this feeling? Well, you’re bored. You know that job hunting is fairly straightforward, you just need to make a few tweaks to get it right. You have the time right now to pursue this and as you reflected on earlier, there are many benefits and few consequences of finding a new job. (The Present Factor)

After you’ve analyzed all of this, you realize, it is the right time to look for a new job and you can confidently set out on this path to finding the right job.

Conscious choices are simple. They are just decisions made with intent. These choices have purpose and clarity behind them. On the other hand, unconscious choices are made unwillingly. They have no alternate realities, only the one that is destined to be. You trap yourself and limit your potential when you allow a choice to be made for you.

Imagine if you didn’t make the conscious choice to look for a new job. Rather, you just started looking with no plan. You didn’t factor in the present situation you’re in and you overlooked how busy you are getting at work and in your personal life. There’s no way you have time to update your resume, no time to prepare for interviews and the whole situation becomes overwhelming and sloppy.

You’ve now found yourself in a mess of emotions because you didn’t think through the situation. It’s really easy for us as a human race to do things impulsively. We make decisions all the time based just off of our feelings. If you’ve ever put your foot in your mouth, you’re well aware of how condemning this can feel.

With conscious choice, even the little things we do each day become more purposeful and graceful. For small decisions, you can skip writing down the problem, but never skip thinking about the alternate realities or considering how the present situations factors into this decision.

Try this out the next time you’re contemplating a decision and let me know in the comments how you think it worked!

Conscious Choice: What is it?

There’s a deeper purpose to this blog than you may know. It’s to inspire you to think through your decisions and to learn to live by making conscious choices.

What are conscious choices? Maybe it is waking up every day with a smile on your face, choosing happiness. It’s a well-informed, active decision. It’s something you do with a pure heart’s intention.

The key to living this way isn’t just waking up and letting life happen to you. Sitting on the couch believing a higher power is going to plop greatness into your lap is about as effective as never getting out of bed.

One of my favorite authors and speakers, Joyce Meyer, has a particular thing she preaches about often. It is this idea of waiting for God to make a change in your life.

Don’t wait around waiting for God to do something that He’s already given you the power to do.

Joyce Meyer

What people so often mistake for having faith in what is supposed to happen, is really passiveness in life. Maybe it’s not laziness exactly, but it’s definitely a form of being unassertive.

You have all the power you need to do what you desire in life and to be the person you want to be. Are you making active strides toward fulfilling it?

The Power of Conscious Choice

It’s not an easy thing to make more aware decisions. Often, by making more conscious choices we have to give up things that make us temporarily happy.

There’s a level of self control involved with this heightened state. You begin to make choices not for an immediate gratification, but for a future purpose.

When you practice skillful decision-making, endless options are no longer a distraction or a pull. Instead, you come to perceive options relative to your value-inspired goals and trust your ability to create options and make important decisions.

from Want a Life with Purpose? Make Conscious Choices featured on thriveglobal.com

This blog post is simple and short for a reason. Begin to think about how you’re making decisions in your life.

Are you just sitting around letting the world push and pull you in the direction it chooses, or are you stepping into your role as the active driver of your future?

Take some time to think about conscious choice and really start to explore what it means.