Try vs make a decision

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on July 15, 2015

You’ve heard the old adage, “There is no such thing as trying; you either do it or you don’t.”

I had a recent experience with this. Perhaps my lesson will be useful to you.

I had been trying to lose weight for many years. I worked out 3-4x/week, logged my food intake and kept it within the number of calories determined for me to lose a pound a week. I lost nothing.

Then last year, I decided I had a problem with sugary sweets. I couldn’t eat just one cookie — one led to six. Several times a day.

To keep under my calorie allotment, I cut back on healthy food.

I decided I was going to cut out all sugary treats. Cold turkey. No more candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, etc. None.

I’d read about sugar addiction and I had all the signs. So I treated this as an addiction. Just as alcoholics can’t have a sip of alcohol, I was not going to have a bite of a sugary treat. I knew it would launch a craving for more. (I realize sugar is common in many prepared foods, so didn’t feel I could declare I’d cut out all sugar — I focused on just treats.)

I kept up my practices of working out 3-4x/week and logging my food intake. Instead of ending a meal with a cookie (or 6), I had a piece of fruit. It worked. I lost a pound a week. I even lost 2 pounds on an 11-day cruise.

When someone recently commented on my weight loss, I told her it was the easiest 30 lbs I’d ever lost. She said, “I’ve been trying to lose weight.” I said, “That’s the problem. You’re trying. You need instead to decide.”

When you decide, you are resolute. You do what you know you need to do to accomplish the goal. When you decided to go to college, you didn’t just try — you decided. You didn’t try to buy a new car, you decided to buy a new car. You have decided to accomplish other goals and you did them. If you didn’t, I bet you were just trying.

When you are resolute, you are unwavering, purposeful, determined. When you try, you are making some effort — maybe. Or maybe you just have an idea that you’d like the outcome but haven’t decided to take action.

What do you want to convert from try to decide? Share with us in a comment.

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