//The Power to Choose

The Power to Choose

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“Once we know a habit exists, we have the responsibility to change it or cherish it.”

I mentioned before that getting up at 5 a.m. is a habit that works for me. Getting up that early makes it possible for me to do the things that I need to do to become who I want to be. I like my 5 a.m. habit. I want to keep it.

I have plenty of other habits that need to change because they are not getting me closer to my goals. Once we’ve determined who we want to become in this life, it becomes much easier to decide which habits we need to ditch and which ones we need to cherish.

To determine who I want to be, I like to start with the end in mind. I look back at my life from the end of it and determine who is the person I’d be most proud of. The way I do it is a bit melodramatic, but you may want to create your own version of it.

I envision myself at the end of my life. In my case, I’m 100 years old and was participating in a triathlon and God has decided to call me home. I want to actually be moving when God calls me home. Feel free to choose an equally grand ending to your story.

Anyways, I am toast. I know this is the end of my life and I have a few minutes to look back. Was I the husband and father I wanted to be? Were there dreams I should have chased and was afraid to? Did I serve God well? This last one is very important since I’m about to meet him!

Think of the life categories that matter most to you. What are the building blocks of a great life if you are looking at yours from the end? Family, finances, faith, fitness and fun are my biggies. I know finances won’t matter at the end, but finances are an important part of the journey.

Once you have a clear picture of the finish line in each of your major life categories, it gets easier to determine which habits will take you there and which ones will not.

My habit of late-night sugar binging has to go. I must develop a habit of blocking my calendar so I can get my most important work done.

When you clearly see who you want to be in the future it becomes like a flag on a map. You can draw a straight line from where you are today to that point in the future. Every decision you make either takes you closer to that destination or further away from it.

What habits do you need to keep? What habits do you need to ditch? What habits do you need to create?

I love this quote from Charles Duhigg in his excellent book titled “The Power of Habit”.

“..once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp and the only option left is to get to work.”

In the end who we become and how we live this life is up to us. Our experience and our outcomes are mostly a function of our habits. We have the power and responsibility to change our habits.

If you’d like some great resources to help you on your journey you can find them on our resources page at www.valuesdrivenresults.com.

Curt Fowler is President of Fowler & Company and Director at Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey. He is dedicated to helping leaders create and achieve a compelling vision for their organizations.

Curt is a syndicated business writer, keynote speaker and business advisor. He has an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School, is a CPA, and a pretty good guy as defined by his wife and four children.