By Motivational Keynote Speaker and Human Behavior Expert Connie Podesta
Bad choices? Sure, we all make them. Hopefully as we get older (and sometimes wiser) though, we figure out that we can do better than that. If you’re ready to start making BETTER choices, let’s take a look at the top 13 things to quit starting today.
- Quit avoiding reality. Too many people live in an “if only” or “I wish” fantasy world—and not in the reality of what is actually going on at this moment!Be honest with yourself. Making choices based on what you wish would happen or should happen or might happen is not a good foundation for decision-making. The results will never be what you need them to be to move ahead successfully. If you can’t realistically look at your life, then ask a good friend to be up front with you. The truth may hurt but you can’t make good choices without it.
- Quit living in the past. I get it. Stuff has happened that hurt you. Angered you. Frustrated you. But also, made you who you are today. If you want to successfully move into the future, you must reconcile the negative memories in your past. Let go. Reassess. Put aside. Because they will only set you up to accept and expect more negative. Making all your choices based on the way things used to be will keep you from creating a new future and determining for yourself what is yet to come.
- Quit making excuses. Excuses totally take you away from what you need to face in order to be better. Make more. Be healthier. Create sustainable relationships. Excuses are detours away from reality. They put the blame elsewhere and take away your power to make good choices for yourself. Excuses keep you from being accountable for your own actions and the consequences that follow. Take charge and determine your own path and you will make better choices.
- Quit putting yourself last. Sometimes making good choices means you have to put yourself first. Not in an egotistical, selfish way. But in a self-caring way. If your mindset is that you have to always please everyone and get everyone’s approval, then you will often make decisions that are not in your own best interest. There are lots of people who want your choices to be about THEM instead of about YOU. Be confident that you have the right to get your needs met and you will make better choices.
- Quit settling for less. Settling comes from fear. I will take this job because I may not get a better offer. Date this person because I might not find anyone else. Settling is unsettling to the rest of your life. Step up and figure out what you want. What are your non-negotiables? What is important to you? And then go after it. Stop thinking that you can’t have what you want. That mindset will always prove to be true—if you think it then it will happen. Raise your standards and require more—of yourself and others. Then make choices that align with those beliefs.
- Quit refusing to listen to good advice. Most bad choices occur because we listened to bad advice and CHOOSE to ignore the good advice. Listen to your inner voices. You usually know who really has your back. Cares for you. Wants the best for you. And who doesn’t. Trust your intuition and make decisions based on good research and people you respect for all the right reasons.
- Quit being so impulsive. STOP and think for just a minute (or a day) before you rush into making decisions. Most bad choices are made quickly without much time, effort, or serious thought. And they were ego-driven—more than brain-driven. Not a good idea. Very few big, important decisions have to be made right in the minute. Most choices affect you for a long time. So, take the time to do it right.
- Quit being so emotional. Emotional and impulsive usually go hand in hand. Emotions are great—sometimes. But NOT when making a choice that could change your life. People do NOT make good decisions when they are sad. Hurt. Grieving. Feeling low. Scared. In these times, you need to get through the emotion and approach your decision with your intellect and common sense working for you—not emotions working against you.
- Quit avoiding the red flags. There are usually clues around you warning you when things might not be right—just look for them. And then pay attention to them. If it doesn’t feel right- it probably isn’t right. Don’t ignore your gut feelings. Or signs that freak you out. The red flags mean “danger” somehow. Trust yourself more and you will make better choices.
- Quit being negative. Expect things to go right or things to mess up—and you will generally get what you wish for. Stop making choices based on how bad you think things will be. Nourish your positive self. IF you could have what you want and be what you want and live the way you want—in a positive way—how would that look and feel? Make choices from that mindset and you will be much happier.
- Quit avoiding change. Good choices almost always require some change. In attitude. Perceptions. If you want things to stay the same then all your choices will be based on keeping things status quo. And you will never get ahead. Or make more money. Or find new relationships. Change and good choices go hand in hand.
- Quit doing things that go against your values. If you value being healthy but eat junk food and never exercise, then your choices aren’t aligned with your values. Or value family life but work all the time. Or value harmony but keep bringing negative people into your life. What do you want? What kind of life? Health? Financial security? Job? Relationships? Make your choices with your values and beliefs at the forefront. Your choices will then reflect who you truly are.
- Quit avoiding making a decision. Refusing to make a choice is not the answer. Talk about being stuck right where you are forever! That’s a choice itself. Choices are never easy. At least not the important one. Each alternative has its pros and cons. And unfortunately, the best choices are often NOT the easiest ones to make. It takes courage to make choices. And even more courage to make the right choices for you. But to make no choice at all generally keeps you in a place you don’t want to be.
- Quit letting OTHERS define you. Your dreams, goals, realities – LIFE? They are YOUR choice. You’re the only one walking in your shoes. So, choose your own path and set your own pace! Ready? Your dreams. Your life. Your way.
- Quit thinking you know it all. Keep your eyes, ears, mind & doors open to new ideas, innovation & insights. Watch for new game-changing strategies, powerful perspectives and even some of those, “Wow-I needed to learn that” moments. Leaders are learners. Always have been, always will be. Leave your eyes, ears, mind & doors wide open to learn!
So, are YOU ready to start making better choices? I’d love to hear about it. Join me on Facebook for an open discussion! Want to learn more about how to channel more of the right choices and decisions into your life? Check out the first chapter of my book, Happiness is Serious Business.