Behind every lifestyle change we advocate here at Lifestyle Updated you will notice an almost obsessive fascination with systems and strategically deciding over our habits, routines, what makes us who we are. The reason why we are so eager to constantly parrot this around is the same reason we find responsible for success on many levels in life – it works.
You see, planning and strategically laying the foundation of every habit in your life, on every routine you are bound to repeat on daily basis, on the way you perceive reality and react to it – is what creates one cohesive picture of your life as you want it to be.
And this picture, over time, percolates almost every segment of your personality, character virtues and vices, who you are as a person.
Deciding what that picture is going to look like upfront will make the process of painting much easier.
Set your priorities straight
Will Smith is someone who holds himself up to higher standards. Everything he does, he makes it look perfect. And trying to pinpoint the reasons why Will Smith has achieved so much is not hard at all. Just spend couple of minutes watching over some of his interviews, or type his name into YouTube and you will see that behind every aspect of his success he provides rationale which is fairly easy to grasp.
“You have to set your priorities straight”.
This, he claims, guided him through some very tough decisions in life. Decisions which, as he says, in all fairness brought him a bigger part of his success. But what surprises is the fact that he correlates making the decision with who you believe yourself to be.
“This is who I am, and this is how it is going to be”
The decisions and the priorities, as he understood them, are what shape his reality and more importantly his persona. Once he decides something, it is embedded into his personality – Henceforth, his identity changes. This, in turn, affects all of his actions, day to day activities.
“If you get your priorities straight it is really simple; either your family is first or your job is first. Decide ahead of time.
So if you decide your family is first, and then you are sitting at the Oscars, and your daughter has a fever and it’s 90 seconds before your award, you don’t have to make a decision about what you are going to do – you’ve already made the decision ahead of time.” – Will Smith
And this, in a nutshell, encompasses how Will Smith reacts on every stimulus whether it is related with his family, career, values. What should be the takeaway here is that once we decide about something it will never be an issue regardless how many times it repeats itself over and over.
If we have decided that every time we feel tired we are going to push forward, this will apply itself in myriad of instances from now till we decide otherwise.
If we however don’t have the time, courage, desire or whatnot to decide upfront, we will always face the same problem whenever the issue of feeling tired occurs. And it is like that for everything else in life.
“Passion and emotion in the moment are always going to give you the wrong answer. So if you do the math ahead of time it’s not an issue in the moment.”
Whenever we decide and set our priorities about some area in life, we have made a permanent decision. If I say that I’m going to work out six times per week there is no stimulus that is going to make me hesitate when the time comes to break some sweat. If I however fail to make the decision upfront, every time my body feels week, or there is one of ten thousand excuses out there I will skip the workout.
How deciding upfront can affect every area of your life
Every aspect of life is bound to shape itself over the long run. Health, success, relationships, even belief systems… these are all build over time, never in an instance. Hence deciding upfront about how they are going to look like, and what values you are about to associate with any of them is a rather big deal.
If you decide that healthy food is an important factor in your life, and that you will never under any circumstance allow yourself to eat junk it is all set for your health to be dramatically improved and maintained over a longer time frame.
If you decide to tie your shoes and exercise Daily, no matter what happens you will find a way, make a schedule, prioritize… And this is what I’ve been saying to most of my fitness clients in the past – when you make a commitment, and decide upfront, you’ve done with your prioritization, and all of the tough decisions that are about to come are not that tough any more. And this is mostly true for radical journeys such as losing weight – if you want to lose 10 pounds in a week, you better decide upfront that you won’t be having a single bite of junk food for the next 7 days. Otherwise, it is an exercise in frustration.
If you decide that you will get up early in the morning so you can aspire for more and do more in life, then, no matter how tired you feel once the alarm goes off you know what you must do.
If you decide that you will act a certain way in a particular occasion or set of circumstances, then there is no emotional response that would make you behave otherwise. It is already being decided.
If you decide that you will behave a certain way toward your friends or family or significant other, then no matter what happens you will stay true to your values. Like when people try to justify cheating based upon some emotional response or certain stimulus- If you have decided that you are loyal to someone, or something, then there is no force that will make you act out of sync with what you have decided. It is really that simple.
If you decide that workout is a must any day of the week, then there is no excuse that will make you skip one.
The thing is that once you decide about how some areas of your life are going to be, slowly but decisively you will get there. Not letting passion and emotion in a certain moment to affect your decisions, regardless of their gravity, will bring your life in sync with what you’ve decided for it to look like. But for that you need a system of planning and setting your priorities upfront.
And when you do this almost every other decision in your life is going to require almost zero effort.