LifeThought: People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits

People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures. — F. Matthias Alexander

Do you want to create a better life? Do you think about what it will take to create it? You can want and think, but nothing will happen until you start doing something about it!

This quote by F.M. Alexander was one of the ideas that caused me to stop and think about my life and how I wound up where I was. And the phrase “wound up where I was” is exactly how I had gotten there. In my early forties, I was very unhappy with my life and, in particular, my lack of success on many personal levels. I was not where I wanted to be financially, spiritually, or relationally. Oh, I had many excuses for why I had not reached my goals, but what it boiled down to was that I didn’t really have any goals–I had been just hoping life would get better…

As we move through the years, it is very easy to get sidetracked by the activities of daily living. We may start out with goals, but, somewhere along the line, we develop the habit of just living from day to day without any real plan for the future. We fall into routines that become habits–and habits are hard to break.

Think about the ways you spend time on a regular basis. Do you sit and watch TV most evenings? Spend hours a day online just for entertainment? Do you sleep late most Saturday or Sunday mornings? What about reading? Do you like to read fiction for entertainment? If you don’t think that these are habits, trying quitting them! How you spend most of your days, will be how you spend most of your years. I don’t know any old people who say “I wish I had spent more time watching TV when I was younger…”

I want you to enjoy your life and taking time to simply be entertained is good for you, occasionally. However, I let these seemingly harmless pastimes rob me of many precious years and I don’t want that to happen to you!

Live intentionally. Make plans for your future and work diligently to achieve your goals. Look at your habits and evaluate whether they are moving you closer to your goals or holding you back from achieving them.

I know, in my own life, when I changed my habits, my present situation began to change and that is changing my future for the better. Will you join me on this journey? I hope so!

~You might enjoy hearing me talk about this topic on the “Life Is A Marathon” podcast: We do not Decide our Futures, We Decide our Habits

This is one of my daily “LifeThoughts” posts. If you enjoyed this, or any of my other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share it with your friends and followers!

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve written? I’d love to hear your comments!

5 Responses to LifeThought: People don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits

  1. Derick February 20, 2014 at 7:50 AM #

    Bruce, this thought – that big life changes are the result of many little changes that we make everyday – hits right at home with me. It’s right in line with the theme of my blog – Make Today Count. So many people want to change their future, but aren’t willing to make changes to their lives today and tomorrow. One of my favorite quotes is from John Maxwell: “You can’t change your life until you change what you do everyday.” Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Bruce February 20, 2014 at 8:33 AM #

      Thank you, Derick. I appreciate the kind words. I love the theme of your blog. Let’s make today count!

  2. Brandon Stremkowski February 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM #

    Bruce, I am in the Educational field and the amount people just “surviving” each day is astonishing considering that we are the people who can directly inspire kids! Living each day intentionally and creating specific habits are key, as your blog tells. We overestimate what we can do in 1-2 years but underestimate what we can do in 10,20, or 30 years! We also take time to plan out our Fantasy Football Draft but we don’t take time to plan out our lives??? I love you blog and your words as they ring so true. I am a future entrepreneur for writing books and motivating people to break through the status quo and Become the Difference! You are an inspiration to people like me everywhere!

    • Bruce February 20, 2014 at 7:35 PM #

      Brandon, thank you so much for your kind words!

  3. Mark Galan February 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM #

    I just hit 40 so I sat here thinking about what the article meant:self reflection. I only wished you’d add the reinforcement from breaking those bad habits that will eventually follow you into the future.