Ever feel you’re in a rut?

Most people do from time to time. One reason is that we begin to believe that our actions are determined by others: our bosses, our employees, our spouses, our children, our friends and neighbors, our doctors’ dietary advice, the government, or whatever.

To shake that feeling – which is harmful to both your work and your private life – try this exercise:

Make a list
For one hour, list every choice you make, as you make it. List everything: Whether you chose to turn on a reading light, whether you chose to make your list with pen or pencil, whether you chose to drink one or two cups of coffee, etc.

At the end, go back over your list and reflect on what would have happened if you’d made a different choice each time.

The goal: To remind yourself that even when you feel you’re barreling down a predetermined course, you’re not. Your choices matter; they change your life, in big and small ways.

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