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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

3 Steps To Avoid Regret

Do things your future self will thank you for.

We have all experienced it. The woulda-coulda-shoulda feeling of thinking how we should have made different choices than we did. Wishing we would have had a different outcome than the one we are experiencing. I should have paid more attention to my health. I could have spent more time with a certain friend.I would have done this differently if I had known more. The fact is, you can pay more attention to your health. I can spend more time with people you care about. You can learn more, there has never been more information available on every subject than there is today.

Being realistic, it is impossible to eliminate every regret from your life. What we can do is monitor, greatly reduce or control the possible ones we can predict. In order to do this, you must focus more on the process of living. Pay more attention to the journey than the destination. When you focus on the destination too much, you may tend to become more stressed out if it seems you are wavering too mush on your trajectory or it is taking more time to get there than you estimated. When you focus on the journey you are taking, it is similar to what we refer to in baseball as taking it one game at a time. This is not how our mind wants to function. It usually puts additional pressure on us through negative self-talk and fear generation that we will somehow mess it up or not make it. When that happens, we miss lots of opportunities to simply enjoy each day.

3 Steps To Avoid Regret

1. Imagine that is is now six months down the road, and you are looking back on your season, your work, your fitness program. Using your past experience as a guide, what five regrets could you have at that time?

2. Once your list is created, answer; What 5 or more actions or behaviors could I perform, that, if successful, would eliminate the chances of having those regrets? These are specific, tangible tasks to be performed, such as the proactive tasks to eliminate the regrets listed above.

3. Having stated these tasks, take those you are certain to commit to, and begin to create a daily, and/or weekly schedule of activites that will guide you to consistent effort.

Always ask yourself: The time period is over, it’s Monday morning, list the regrets you could have at that time. Commit to certain activities, tasks or behaviors that will help eliminate the regrets. Next time you are about to go on vacation, go through the steps and discover how much more fun you will have if you avoid regrets in advance. This will give you a deeper sense of purpose and vision.

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