Decision Muscle Memory

As my wife is cooking dinner, my family and I are sitting at the kitchen table reading Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. We begin a discussion on this quote, “making a true decision means committing to achieving a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility.”

As we talked about it, I recalled my decision to quit smoking and how it was the only option. I didn’t leave any other option available. By isolating myself in a cabin in the mountains without cigarettes, I cut myself off from anything that could bring me back to it physically, at least for a period of time.

Other things I had to cut out where self-sabotaging thoughts.  I had to change to be better and reinforce the beliefs that benefited me.

As we went on reading the book, Tony goes immediately to an example of quitting smoking. We couldn’t help but laugh at the coincidence.

As I think about my life and the lives that I help manage on a daily basis, I think of things that people are just not really committed to. Most will say they want something, but then don’t really make a committed decision to do it.

Our discussion went into a truly revealing and supportive fact that I think we all could benefit from: “information is power when it’s acted upon” or “faith without works is dead”.

My wife Dianne remembers a book she read about how it is human nature for us to lose confidence in ourselves when we tell ourselves we are going to do something and then don’t follow through with it. This part of discussion is what inspired me to write this blog.

In previous blogs I have talked about perception and creating good habits, but during this discussion I realized there is a missing link; Ones self-image/self-belief that they have created through past none committed decisions.

Who out there has told yourself that you were going to stop eating too much, quit smoking, or going to exercise every day, and then not followed through with doing it? In these situations we are lying to ourselves, so  after a time we stop believing ourselves. The problem is that this creates a self-image that is self-sabotaging. You are just weak at making decisions and sticking to them. The next time you try to make a decision to do the right thing, your inner talk tells you that you will not follow through because you didn’t the last 28 times.

How do we change this? It really is quite simple. We practice making small decisions every day and following through with them. Just like creating muscle memory when playing a sport, we have to create ‘decision muscle memory’. We have to exercise with smaller decisions and following through on those. Then we work our way up to making bigger decisions and following through on them. If you haven’t been in a gym in a while, you can’t expect to show up your first day doing two hundred burpees; you have to work your way up to it. For example, decide to do ten burpees everyday and hold yourself accountable to that decision.

If you find yourself not going anywhere in life, doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result (the definition of insanity), then you might want to try to make better committed decisions and follow through with them. Create good habits with good committed decisions often, which will create “decision muscle memory“, create a better self-image, and a more fulfilling life.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Michele Rosenthal says:

    Very interesting and so right. You just don’t start something and don’t finish whatever it is.


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