How Every Single Decision Affects Your Future

Who you are today is a result of all the decisions you’ve taken in your life. That includes everything you’ve done, thought and said in the last few days.

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So is the way your life looks like, the relationships you have and whether you’re happy or not.

The thing is that the little decisions that eventually lead to actions, are what defines how your life will look like some day. So with everything you do, you’re creating your future.

Let’s assume that you’re in a bad shape and not satisfied with the body you have.

If you analyze the things you’ve been doing for the last few weeks, you’ll realize that this is the only possible outcome.
You will remember each cheat meal, every time you missed a workout and chose to stay in front of the TV instead of going to the gym, the many times you avoided walking or basically every form of being active and chose driving, public transport, or just didn’t go anywhere. Also the nights you went to bed late, the mornings you skipped breakfast, the midnight snacks, and so on.

Thinking about each of this separately may look like nothing serious to you. But combining them and seeing the whole picture opens your eyes.

And what you need to do is change your habits and lifestyle in general.

That applies to every aspect of your life. To many of mine too. When I summarize my decisions in one area, the current situation seems absolutely expected.

Here are a few ways to take more deliberate decisions:

Stop and be aware.

We live on autopilot most of the time and do things unconsciously.

So before you do anything, try to stop for a few seconds, to look around, understand what’s going on and think about it. That will make you mindful of what you’re about to do.

Examine the pros and cons.

That can take just a minute or two, but can become a solid reason not to do what you were going to.

So just tell yourself the good and bad (focus on these) sides of the situation.

Think about your future self.

Will the future you be happy with the choice you’re about to make?

When it comes down to eating junk food, for instance, it won’t be, for sure. You may feel the instant satisfaction this kind of food brings, but you’re making future you fat and in a bad shape.

See the bigger picture.

You may make this choice now, okay. But if you’re realistic, it won’t be just one time (even if you’re so sure now).
So consider the long-term outcome of a few decisions like that. Or doing it for years. Or daily.

Try to imagine how you’re going to feel about it after some time. Maybe your unhealthy, spending, egoistic or career choices will make your future life full of diseases, jobs you don’t like, money issues, no meaningful relationships.
Is that how you want to spend your life? Are these your big goals?

I guess not.

So the only way to change that negative outcome is to come back to the present moment, be fully mindful of it, and make good decisions.

And there are ways to stay positive and feel the benefits of these choices, even though you’re not doing what you currently want to:

  • focus on what you already have;
  • be grateful, appreciate it;
  • know you’re doing something about your future today;
  • imagine how proud you’ll be some time from now;
  • you’re fighting your inner demons;
  • every time you make a decision and consider your future self, you’re building character and becoming a responsible person;
  • your willpower increases;
  • you’re a role model for others.

Have you made small choices like that which affect your future recently? How do you feel after that?

See also:

Savor Discipline: Merge the Interests of Your Future & Present Selves
Make kick-ass decisions
Think long term to make good decisions
Harness Your Mind’s “Future Self” Bias to Make Better Decisions

Image by MCC Current @Flickr

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

2 Comments

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  1. “The smallest of disciplines start the process of life change.” — Jim Rohn
    “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” — Jim Rohn
    The process you recommend is powerful I changed simply, because I examined my ways and concluded how my life will be looking in 10, 20, 30 years. I decided to change that direction.

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