Whether you believe in luck, fate, or the laws of attraction, it’s easy to forget that you are in control of your life. While we can’t control the actions of others, we are in control of our own actions and reactions. We are in charge of what we do, how we do it, and what we focus on. In fact, we actually have a lot of control in life!

Never underestimate what you have the ability to do, or become. Life is a series of events in which you have the power to choose. If you don’t like something – choose again!

Carmel Joy Baird, Author ~

The power of choice is a principle I try to teach women of all ages and stages of life. It’s easy to forget we have the choice to navigate our own life, especially when we’re feeling unhappy with our body or our lifestyle. But, we can change these things and that is the power of choice.

The power of research

Research is a great way to learn and build confidence, and it will help you make strong choices when it comes to your goals. Take the time to do your own research, in order to develop a positive attitude towards health and fitness. Analyze your current situation and needs, including which programs are available that will work well for you. Discover what other women are doing to commit to health and fitness.

Visit bookstores and libraries for information, or browse magazines and online blogs for success stories and training advice. Feel free to pop into fitness stores to ask the staff any questions you may have or to talk about programs they offer. Sign up for workshops and training sessions and check out the outdoor activities offered in your community, such as a yoga or running club.

The more you talk to people, learn, and explore, the more choices you will realize you have when you build your fitness goals and program.

Create an action plan

Now that you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle and understand the ways to make healthy choices to reach your goals, create a fitness action plan. It is an excellent way to incorporate more physical and mental health routines into each day. Divide your day into different segments – mornings, lunch, evenings, weekends, work time and throughout the day – and write down the things you can do within each time frame to supercharge your fitness plan.

For example, before you get into the shower, do some squats or lunges in the living room. In the morning, walk or bike ride to work. At work, schedule time to take a walk on your break or find a quiet space to do a 10-minute mediation. At lunchtime, take some deep breaths and set aside quiet time just for you. In the evenings, work out if you have time. Make sure you do not work out too close to the time you go to bed since it’s important to spend time before sleep in a calm space. There are lots of ways to include fitness in your routine and, by choosing to create an action plan, you ensure that these little things are kept top of mind so you have the option of doing them.

If you want to work out at a gym, create your own plan with specific ideas on what you will do when you get there. If you’re not comfortable at the gym, create a home action plan, which outlines exactly what to do when you are at home. When you travel on vacation or for work, develop an action plan for your trips, such as running on the beach or doing pushups in your hotel room. These choices will empower you to achieve your fitness goals.

The power of positive thinking

There’s power in positive thinking, and you can change your brain to have a more positive mindset with practice.

By recognizing challenges that interfere with your progress, you can find ways to accept challenges and refocus to overcome these obstacles. You have the choice to be fully present in your life and to discover what will motivate or help you to reach your goals. Use inspirational quotes to stay motivated and print out your favourite photo or blog, and put it on your bathroom mirror.

Another way to a positive mindset is to challenge negative thoughts through self-talk. This applies specifically to the way you describe your body. Whenever you look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I hate my body. I’m so fat!” think instead, “I take pride in how I look. I have incredible hair and I love my skin. I run on a regular basis to get in better shape to reach my goal!” There is great power in choosing what you say to yourself and it can really change your mindset.

In the same way that you choose what to eat for dinner or what to wear in the morning, you can choose to be happy! It may seem like a work in progress, but knowing that you have choices is the first step towards realizing that you have the power to achieve your best life.