Choices - we make hundreds of them every day whether we are aware of them or not. Put the dirty plate directly into the dishwasher or let it sit in the sink until we finish eating dinner…let someone over on the highway or speed up so they cannot get in front of you…wake up to your first alarm, or snooze for an hour...talk about someone in a negative light, or ignore something they did that might bother you…accept a new job in Chicago or stay with your firm in Washington, DC…commit to a relationship, or continue dating. The list goes on and on, is different for everyone and these decisions are equally as complex and important for each person.
Some decisions are seemingly larger and more important than others. Make your bed in the morning vs. interview for a job that could take you across the country. Clearly moving across the country is a far larger decision than to make or not make your bed, HOWEVER, it is the hundreds of little choices we make every day that form habits, it is our habits that make us who we are and it is “who we are” that determines how we make the larger “more important” decisions that our life presents us.
Once we start to realize the importance of everyday decisions, we can start to form new habits. Making your bed in the morning, deciding not to leave dishes in the sink, deciding to wake up to your 5:30 am alarm, getting your workout in at 6:00 am, getting off from work, and telling your co-worker you will not be able to go to happy hour because you need to get to your daughters game, working past the last beep of the clock during the workout instead of stopping short with :10 seconds left, doing all 12 reps in a metcon instead of just doing 10 because your legs hurt.
Whether you realize it or not, these seemingly menial decisions set your mindset, form habits, and will inform future decisions you make both large and small. Deciding to do these little things every time will translate not just into other “little” decisions in your day-to-day life, but also little decisions in your work life. Deciding to revise a deck that you are sending to your subordinate to make sure your work represents you well, re-reading an email to make sure there are no mistakes, following up with someone after a meeting that you told you would follow up with even if there was nothing to follow up about. These work decisions have been subconsciously informed by the hundreds of everyday decisions you make over the course of a week.
When trying to reshape a habit, change a habit, or create a new habit, remember the little decisions create the mindset that it will take to fully ingrain a habit into your routine. The way that you do anything, is the way that you do everything. Whether you realize it or not, the decision to count all your reps and finish a workout with whatever your 100% effort is that day is connected to a future decision you don’t know of yet, but that will be important to your life.