Owning our decisions is one of the most important actions we can take. This means we need to do 2 things. We need be aware we’re making a decision, and then we need to commit to that decision. It’s not good saying we’ve decided to stop smoking, eat healthier, or maintain a positive attitude unless we also commit to taking actions that move us toward our goals. We also need to remove those things that inhibit that decision, like getting rid of junk food, throwing out the cigarettes, or deleting our Facebook profiles.

Owning a decision can be a challenging thing for people. It means taking responsibility, admitting that we are mostly the cause of the discomforts and challenges in our lives. It also means accepting that we’re not as perfect as we think and that we will fail. You decide to marry someone, only to discover a few years down the road, that you’ve changed and the person you’re with is no longer the right person. Do you commit to recreating your relationship with that person? Or do you decide to end the marriage? There’s no right or wrong answer, and each decision comes with the possibility of failure. In either case, you need to make a decision. You need to take action.

You also need the flexibility to recognize you made a poor decision and correct yourself mid-course. Is the new assignment is too much for you? A talk with your manager may get you more resources (time, money, people) to help you complete the project on time. You can’t stick with the new eating plan? So, you find one that works for you. You can still reach the goal you wanted, but it may mean trying many paths until you find one that works for you.

Owning your decisions can be tough, but it’s the first step to making the most of the time you have left. A the proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago and right now.

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