I decided…

Ben Crom reservoir from the top of Slieve Binnian, November 2017

I decided to stop drinking for two months. So I did.

I decided to sever a series of toxic relationships. So I did.

I decided to take some risks in my career. And I did.

I decided to start taking yoga classes. And I did.

I decided to start writing again. So I’m writing this.

At the beginning of those yoga classes, the instructor utters some words which are magical to me. “I invite you to set your intention for this practice…”

Those simple words seem to bring out whatever’s been bubbling away in my subconscious that day. Often, it’s a situation that’s been gnawing at me. Sometimes it’ll be an aspiration for who or what I want to be. Other times a quiet summoning of strength. Either way, for the duration of that class, I’m proceeding with intention. With purpose.

There’s power in deciding. We humans are a complacent bunch, after all, and change is hard. But there’s incredible power in taking stock of where you are in life and deciding to make changes. Setting intentions.

I started with a small but significant decision back in August – I decided to stop drinking for a while. Just for kicks. The original goal was for a month, but I ended up extending it until early November. But that’s a post for another day. It wasn’t the incredible lifestyle change that I’d hoped, but it definitely proved to me that when I set my mind to something I can achieve whatever I want.

Deciding isn’t the first step in the process of changing things. It begins with you identifying a problem in your life. Something isn’t right and needs to change. It could be a relationship, your fitness, your career. Whatever. The signs will be there.

The crucial thing is identifying that problem and visualising what will fix it. Those toxic relationships I desperately wanted to resolve, but in the end I realised that I didn’t have the power to do that. As it turned out, the only option for me to move forward was to end those relationships. Surprisingly, the sheer act of making a decision strengthened my resolve that I’d done the right thing.

I’d forgotten that I had the power to decide.

Every new decision, every new commitment to a project or an idea, has spurred me on to newer and better things. I’m taking more risks. I’ve been drawing the line on what’s acceptable. I’ve been choosing the kind of people I want in my life and those I don’t. I’m shaping my life in a way I hadn’t been just a few years ago, and that’s such a rush.

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