This morning when I woke up, I saw these numbers on the clock: 4:44.
A number of thoughts scrolled through my mind. I’d love to stay in bed. I’m still tired. Do I really want to get up?
And then: It’s Tuesday. I missed my blog post on Sunday. If I don’t get up now, I’ll miss this blog post, also.
And again: I’m tired. I’d love to stay in bed. Do I really want to get up?
Every day, we have a thousand choices like thisone. When to get up, what to eat, how to prioritize our work. Whether to make that phone call, send that email, finish that task.
Most of them, we make without being fully conscious of the consequences.
An example: when I went to Chicago for a conference last week, I packed running clothes. My plan and best intention: to run… at least once.
So it’s Friday night, and I’m socializing with colleagues and new friends in the hotel lobby.
I am aware of the late-ness of the hour; I am aware of our plan for a 7:30 am meeting before the conference resumes.
I am not thinking about this: the longer I socialize, the less likely l am to get out of bed early enough to run.
I watch my colleagues say goodnight at fairly reasonable hour.
I stay up.
By the time I finally go to bed, the possibility that I’ll get up to run has completely diminished.
A thousand small choices every day. Individually, they may seem inconsequential. Cumulatively, they shape the direction of our lives, who we become.
A choice to stay in bed today may only mean that I post later or that I scramble as I start the day with my daughters.
This choice repeated might mean a neglected or abandoned blog, lost productivity with work, less time to connect with my girls before they go to school.
I don’t get all the choices right but today, at least, I got up on time.
Tell me something! What daily choices do you struggle with? What do you do to stay focused on making the right choices? What recent successes can you share?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Good morning, Becky. Like you, today, I looked at my clock, though in my case it was 5:55. I woke up thinking about a client meeting today: the topic is about opportunities and choices. Your post is a good topic for personal AND business reasons.
Daily choices result in long-range consequences (+ or -). Personally, I stay focused by thinking through the effects of the choice, short and long-term. But what works even better for me is visualizing a future focal point. Where do I want to be in 3, 6, 9 days/weeks/months, etc.? What kind of shape do I want to be in? What would I have wanted to accomplish?
By staying focused on the future, we can have a more serious conversation with ourselves about the decisions we face each moment. Today, we will take our client into the future by posing a few questions about where he wants his company to be in 1, 3, and 5 years. That vision will crystalize the choices he needs to make now, even if he wants the future to be the same as it is now!
Have a great day, Becky.
The mantra of a good friend of mine is “It’s All About Choices.” At work, in life, at home — the choices we make determine our courses of action — good and bad.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to admit that I’ve made poor choices along the way, some that have resulted in consequences with which I have had to deal. I can honestly say that I’ve learned something from my choices — good and bad — that have helped shaped who I am as a woman, wife, mom, and now business owner.
Accepting and owning our choices is the first step. Choosing to act upon them is the next (and more difficult) step — and one that separates exemplary leaders from mediocre ones.
Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Becky!
I’ve just recently began prioritizing choices in my day for this same reason, if I chose one thing I’m most likely choosing not to do another. I default to multi-tasking a million things at once which often leads to half-complete tasks, procrastination, or a harried day.
I know the most important choice I make in a day is to read my bible. Whether or not I feel I can or want to take a moment to read or pray, I really try to choose God. I’m not organized with a formal bible study right now, or committed to a time of day, but there are little pockets of time when I choose God over the other stuff.
I’d really LOVE to grow in making good choices and being intentional. I’ll ride the wave of ‘new mom’ and ‘newly working from home’ with all it’s excuses for disorganization for the next couple months. But I’ve got to make some kind of schedule or something to be accountable to here soon…
Thanks for waking up early today Becky!
Sometimes indecision and apathy can keep us from being good stewards of our time, often frittering our day or life away without focus, intention or purpose. Do this often enough, and it becomes a habit that can block our progress as we work towards our goals. At other times, we simply need a time-out.
I think being intentional in our choices requires that we first have a sense of direction, purpose and vision for our lives, without which it is easy to get lost.
At the end of the day, I’ve started asking myself three questions: 1)Does this choice fit into my larger vision for my life; 2) does this choice reflect my values; and 3) Does this choice have a heart?
Thanks for the great post, Becky!
As a writer and editor, my biggest daily challenge is between my real life and my writing life. Where do I focus? Sometimes it’s so easy to stay in my office, facing my computer screen, working with words and plots and imaginary people. I completely forget I have living, breathing people–a husband, a daughter (who is also a bride-to-be)and my other daughter and son–who need me. And, reality is, I need them. And I want to connect with them.
So I have to choose: Real life or writing life? I have to walk away from the computer, close the door on my office, and sit on the couch with my 10-year-old. Read a book. Talk about what’s important to her.
It’s a daily challenge of choices.
Becky reading your blogs make me feel like I am part of your life. Walking a parallel journey of your adventures.
I love reading your tidbits of your self reflection.
Keep up your amazing work