There’s a big difference between simply deciding to do something and actually making a decision. That might sound funny, so let me give you an example to hopefully make things clearer.
Every year as we get closer to January 1st, the new year, thousands and possibly even millions of people around the world “decide” that they’re going to start living healthier. They decide that they’re going to work out consistently. They decide that they’re going to clean up their diet, get more sleep, and take the stairs more often.
But then… it goes nowhere. They wake up hungover on New Year’s Day so they don’t do any of those things that day. The next day they need to get up early to catch up at work and there’s a thing going on that night that they can’t miss, so nothing happens that day either. Then the weekend hits and there’s football games on Saturday and Sunday (and you can’t miss those). They forget to set their alarm on Monday, wake up late, and don’t have time to meal prep or grab their gym clothes. On and on the cycle goes… and no new habits are formed, no goals are accomplished, and no decision was truly made.
What’s the key here? Deciding implies a passive action. Deciding isn’t hard. It may be stressful at times, sure, but there’s usually no physical effort. Deciding is easy. It’s quick. It doesn’t take much.
Let’s compare that with making a decision. What does “making a decision” imply that’s different? Well, let’s start simply with the word “making.” That word alone implies action. Making things requires something to physically happen. You make food. You make your bed. You make money. You can even make excuses by verbalizing them (though that’s a pretty weak example in so many ways). But all in all, it would follow that in order to “make” a decision, there needs to be physical ACTION that takes place in contrast with passively “deciding.”
In short, you can decide to do something without actually doing anything. Making a decision calls for action. That’s the biggest key to following through on things and accomplishing your goals versus failure – taking action.
So next time you want to really make some changes in your life, make the decision; don’t just decide. Take action toward your goal as soon as possible. Don’t wait! Taking the first step truly is the most important part, and there’s almost always something you can do immediately to solidify making a decision. If your goal is to start working out, do 10 pushups or situps RIGHT NOW. If your goal is to drink more water or to eat healthier, grab a glass of water and an apple RIGHT NOW. If your goal is to read for 15 minutes every day, get it done – NOW. If you need to have a tough conversation with a co-worker, friend, or family member, make the call or send a text to set up a time right now.
Simply taking action toward a goal as soon as possible sends your chances of success skyrocketing through the roof compared to just “deciding” and waiting until tomorrow to actually do something about it. Take the first step immediately no matter how small it may seem at the time. It might just be the difference between a decision made that forever changes your life for the better and a lie you tell yourself that goes nowhere and adds to the “I can’t do it, I just never follow through” attitude that’s been holding you back from what you truly want out of life.
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