Wise choices feel good, energizing, heart warming and affirming. Unwise choices make you feel like crap. How do you want to feel? The choice is simple but simple isn’t always easy.

For example, for many years in my early thirties, I would work really hard to be a better person and cultivate good habits only to let one thing bum me out and then use it as an excuse to go out and drink too much or spend too much and then spend the next day regretting it. This created a domino effect of having to return something I bought or deal with the subpar work product that a hangover yields. Then the stressed out and depressed thoughts that only self hatred brings would drag me down even more and sometimes it would take me a week or two to get back to practicing the good habits that I had worked hard to cultivate.

Eventually I learned that making one small choice in the right direction could prevent several actions in the wrong one. Instead of having a beer when I get home from a stressful day at work, I could have some tea. Instead of getting right on my computer and shopping I could call a friend that I’ve been neglecting or read a book. Even taking ten minutes to tidy up around the house creates momentum in a healthier direction. These may not seem like much, but over time you will see how one small choice can help you trust and respect yourself. Enough to continue to make better choices the next time and forgive yourself quickly when you slip up.

Take the day to practice making small but wise choices and see if you can make it a daily lifestyle change. You can pick one area of your life to get you started and you will find that this practice will become a habit.