At a recent outing, a woman seated near us lit a cigarette. My 7 year-old-son commented to her, “Smoking is bad for you.” At which the woman replied, “Yes, so make sure you never start.”

Every day you wake up, you make literally hundreds of choices. You choose your mood and your attitude. You choose what you wear and how you style your hair. You choose to brush and floss your teeth – or not. You choose what to have for breakfast or to skip it. You choose to yell at your kids for being late or at your spouse for leaving a mess. You choose to get hugs and kisses from everyone before you leave for work. You choose your route to work and you choose to enjoy your drive – or not.

Everything you do, say and think is a choice. Some of the things you do regularly, you do automatically - out of habit. This can make it seem like you don’t have a choice. But the choice still exists. With some effort, you can change any habit, including smoking. You always have a choice. The power is within you.

The Power Of Awareness
Creating habits is effective. You learn to do something a certain way and continue to reinforce the behavior by doing it over and over again. For a while, this habit may add value to your life. And until the moment you become unhappy with the results, you may never think to question how you do things.

Creating habits is very efficient for us as humans. The conscious mind can only focus attention on one thing at a time so if you can learn to do certain things automatically, your conscious mind is free to focus on something else. So naturally, you are always creating habits.

Habits left unchecked aren’t always helpful. A habit you formed when you were a child may no longer serve you as an adult. Even a habit you created a few months ago may no longer be needed. Becoming aware of your regular habits will bring them into consciousness. Then you can evaluate them for effectiveness. In other words, by paying attention to how you do things and to the outcomes you are getting, you can change what you are doing in order to get different results. If you continue to do things the way you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten. So if you’re not happy with your results, you need to change your actions that are giving you those results.

By vigorously identifying and qualifying your personal habits, you become empowered. Awareness is powerful because we can’t choose to do something different if we’re not aware of what we’re doing in the first place.

The Power Of Choice
With awareness comes choice. At any given moment, you can choose a different path. The choice is yours.

You can wake up one morning and decide to be a nonsmoker for the day. What would that be like? What would be different if you were a non-smoker? If you make different choices about health and caring for yourself, other things will become important and smoking will no longer fit into your self-definition. Do that for enough days and it will become habit. (In this example you may find that the actual quitting of smoking occurs after you’ve spent enough time re-defining yourself, which could take several months.)

You choose whether to be nice or to be sarcastic, to love or to withhold love, to take care of yourself or to please others, to blame others or circumstances or to take responsibility. Everything is a choice. You choose a life or a lifestyle. You choose how you spend your money and what to save. People will live in avoidance and denial for years rather than make a choice. This is itself a choice. Are you choosing to live a lie? Will this permit you to live the life you most want?

Awareness doesn’t mean you have to do something different. It does mean that you can do things different. Awareness provides you with choice. If you operate under the notion that there is always another way of doing something and of thinking about something, you empower yourself with choice. Choosing wisely can be challenging for many people. You can learn to make better choices by learning to choose integrity and to honor your highest self with every choice you make.

The Power Of Responsibility
You alone are responsible for your life experience. If you are not happy in some area of your life, you have the power to change it. You don’t need to do it alone; that’s where a Coach can help. You must make the decision to take hold of the steering wheel of your life. You have to sit in the driver’s seat. If you believe you’re only a passenger in your life, you’ll never be completely happy with your results.

You are amazing! You can accomplish whatever you can dream of, commit to and follow through with. Accept responsibility for all of your choices. Choose to become more aware of how you think and the impact of your actions in your life and in the lives of everyone with whom you’re in contact. You deserve a great life and to experience personal fulfillment and happiness every day. Only you can get you there. Choose well.

Author's Bio: 

Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is a Personal & Career Coach and Author. Julie’s passion is coaching her clients to stop struggling and start enjoying their lives and careers! How do you want your life to be different? What needs to happen for you to be happy with your progress? For your free consultation, visit Julie at www.nurturingyoursuccess.com, write to her at Julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com or call her directly at (484) 530-5024.