Looking back through some notes I found a handwritten, circled, scribble that said, “Decisions & Discipline”. I think it meant something more to me then that it doesn’t today, but I read those two words and felt an inspiration from them.
So soon after the holidays when many people have overindulged in many ways, it seems that this is fitting to talk about. We come across clients all the time that say “I don’t know why I can’t make a decision about this”? “do you help with a budget?” and “why can’t I get a handle on my house?” I have a simple, probably sarcastic answer, but that is not what is needed. We indulge in buying more than we should, eat more than we should, play more than work and give free rein to what feels good. No time schedules, or gym time, eat whatever we want, and I buy whatever we want, in the name of the holidays, and then we have a resolution to get ourselves in order and will commit to weight loss, staying on budget, and paying off everything.

Becoming stagnant or paralyzed in making a decision, seems foreign to me because the fact is, you need “it” or you don’t! But Why you think you need it, is a whole other ball game.

We can justify almost anything we desire. I can want to lose five pounds and justify spending four hours daily in the gym, or my friend can justify staying in bed till 11:59 am because whatever. We make excuse and believe the lies that we tell ourselves are because of why we think we should. We excuse the rules and indulge. We gratify the enjoyment of our desires, even when it is not good, healthy or affordable.

Our decisions, will be determined because of three things. Emotions, necessity or desire. We fall to social pressure to eat and drink when we are at a party even though we are full or intoxicated, for appearance’s sake. We feel guilty because “it might look bad if we don’t get a gift for an acquaintance in return.” Let me just say…. If you do anything out of OBLIGATION, you are doing so with half the heart. If you have ever been the recipient of the “obligatory gift”, you will KNOW it, and it usually a gift that you could live without. We feel shame for not doing as good as, or better than others and if we listen to what media or social media says to do, we might not ever do enough or be enough, because if we get into the mode of comparison, we will always feel less than or greater than someone else. When we are genuine, and clear about the intention of our decisions there will not be negative results or feelings that come. It just won’t happen. If you put a carrot stick in your mouth instead of fudge, its because you really have thought through the big picture. (“I will feel better eating a carrot, and I won’t have to work as hard to work it off”) That one thought took discipline. You know you are not obligated to eat fudge, nor a carrot, but we make a decision either way. What happened to self-control? When “what I want” has more power over us than “what we need” we allow emotion to control what we decide to do.

I challenge you and myself to be slow and deliberate about our decisions. Be self- disciplined and we will not have as many regrets and negative emotions to walk around with. Yes you know the guilt cause you ate more than you should, bought more than you could afford, or didn’t do all that you thought you should. Give yourself grace for past mistakes, they are already in the history books. Take some time to decide. When we are pressured to make a decision we mostly make an emotional one, and that’s never a good thing. Yet, when we think deliberately about why we are buying stuff, eating stuff, or getting something for someone…. Why are we? Is this a deliberate decision or an emotional decision?

Then you will know why you are making a decision and you will make it. Then you will know what you ate and why, and why you are still within your budget and at peace.