I am a big believer that life is all about choices. Each day you are presented with hundreds if not thousands of choices, ranging from small stuff like what to wear all the way to major decisions like making a career change or deciding to start a family.

You also choose your reaction to events, your judgements, the way you drive, how you feel about your career, and who interact with. You choose what you eat, and whether you exercise.

You get to decide. No-one else can make you do anything. That being said, it may take a while to realize that you get to shape your outcomes by the choices you make. You are the CEO of your life and you impact it every time you make a choice.

When I graduated from high school, my aunt gave me a card and inside she wrote, “Remember, life is all about choices. You will always have a choice.”

I coach clients about their own choices. Not every choice has two options: black and white. That is why it is important to take a moment to reflect and ask yourself questions about the situation presented to you. You are then empowered to make your choice.

How to apply this to your health and fitness? You can choose health and choose to exercise regularly. On the flip side, you can also choose not to lead a healthy lifestyle or not to exercise. This is where the “pause and reflect” strategy comes into play. Every choice has a reaction and a consequence.

A great example is the choices made by parents with demanding careers filled with shift work. I have had clients in this scenario. They make choices all day long that affect their lifestyle. They have a family, full time jobs and work long shifts that challenge every part of their being. It is a hectic life that wreaks havoc on their body, stress levels and appetite. This lifestyle may not appear conducive to healthy eating or regular exercise. But with each obstacle there is a choice: to continue on as before, or to make changes to overcome these stressors.

You can make a host of choices: To map out your week by planning your grocery list to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. To prepare lunches to take to work with you. To break up your exercise efforts into 15 minute increments. To draw on your support systems to help you with child care and emotional support. Or you can choose to do none of these things, and therefore live an unhealthy life.

Know that you always have choices. Will you choose the grilled chicken breast salad or the fish and chips? Will you choose to go for a brisk walk at lunch break or to sit in the lounge watching TV because you feel tired?

My aunt gave me great advice, which helps to remind me to make my own choices in every situation. I am in control of my choices, and therefore my destiny is in my hands.

Choose to get in shape, become stronger and live a longer and healthier life. What choices will you make today to achieve for tomorrow’s goals?

Finish this sentence, “I choose__________________________________________.”

Now go for it! Choose, believe, achieve!

Doris Ward: fortheloveoffitness@hotmail.com

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