As the youngest child in a family of six, I can quite honestly say that I didn't take much responsibility for myself.
Why would I when I have a number of older (mostly) caring people to look after me?? And although this trait threatened to follow me into adulthood - I've also been a solo mother, lived for many many years on my own and had to learn to be furiously independent.
One thing that I did learn over the years - slowly but surely was the understanding of taking responsibility for myself. This included two things:
If I was struggling with anything, be it myself, my job, my health, my weight - I slowly began to realise that I and I alone was the only person that could change it.
Another thing I began to realise, was that I had a choice. I had a choice is just about anything. I won't say that the choices were very easy, or that the selection of choices were very grand - but there was almost always a choice.
Big choices such as: Do I stay with a partner I don't really love, but that provides me with safety and security?
And the smaller choices in life, such as: Do I go out for a walk this morning - getting my daily dose of exercise in (and no doubt feel better for it) or do I stay in bed and have a lovely leisurely lounge in - enjoying the moment but perhaps not feeling so good at the end of the day?
And then - once I make that choice - how do I accept it? Do I berate myself for the rest of the day for laying in bed and not going for a walk - or do I say "Oh my I so loved that lay in this morning - I'm glad I made that choice".
Same goes for eating. For drinking. For just about anything.
When I was 20 and found out I was (single, Catholic, in a foreign country, alone) pregnant I had three choices. I could adopt, abort or have a child. Let me tell you - none of these choices were any preferable over the other. But, choose I did.
The essence here is that everyday we make choices. They might enhance our lives, put our lives in a more negative slant, or have very little impact at all - but the choices we make throughout the day are numerous and they all make a difference.
The choices you make today, shape your future.
Do I get out of bed early? Do I eat fruit for breakfast? Do I take my vitamins? Do I make that phone call I've been putting off? Do I?...?
At the end of the day - what choices have you made in the day - and how have they affected your day? What about at the end of the week? At the end of the year? How have all those little choices (and maybe some big ones) stacked up?
Before making a decision - think about the consequence of your choice - short term, long term
Once you make the choice, be satisfied with it. Choosing to have a lie in? Great! Enjoy every moment of it. Choosing to eat a donut? Mmmmm - enjoy. Just understand that you have made the choice to eat it and you understand the consequence. If you don't think you will like the consequences - perhaps you need to make a different choice?
If you don't know what choice to make you have two options. One is 'just choose' you will soon know if it is the wrong one, and the other is to put off the decision. Often given a little space the decision will 'show itself'.
The biggest thing is understanding that you have complete and total responsibility. It is your life. You are in charge. You are in charge of your one precious life. What choices are you going to do make today? And where will they lead you?