Column 14 – Do Over? By The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Did you ever sit and wonder how your life would be if you had only made a different decision? One time I was queuing up an email to go out at a later date. By accident I put yesterdayís date in the box. Programmers can be so funny sometimes. A little error message window pops up and says, ìI know you had to send this message yesterday, but I just canít do it till my time machine gets back from the shop.î Well folks we donít have time machines and if we did would we really want to use them.

Our lives are the decisions we have made. Albeit good or bad; they are the decisions that send us on our journey through life. Reminiscing is not negative but regret can take years from you. Why do we beat ourselves up over decisions we have made? We donít have to live in regret anymore. We can release the regret by forgiving ourselves of those bad mistakes and accepting them as part of our path to where we are today.

Bad decisions help us to make better choices in the future. There are many reasons we made regrettable decisions in our past. The first one had to do with our impetuous and rebellious teenage years. Those years are no different than the terrible twos. We have to prove ourselves. No one could tell us anything. We didnít listen because we thought we knew it all. Our parents tried their best to keep us from making the same mistakes that they did, but we had to make our own mistakes in order to learn something from them. There is nothing like a dose of reality to send us in a different direction.

We may not have a time machine to change the past but we do have a type of a crystal ball and it is in our heads. The power of that crystal ball comes from all those decisions we have made in the past and what we have learned from the good ones and the bad ones. Those choices become the filters that help us to process the decisions we have to make every day.

We donít get a ìdo overî in real life! Or do we? We are destined to continue to make the same mistakes if we donít learn from them. One New Yearís Day I used my crystal ball filter system to figure out why I had trouble keeping my home clean. When I examined the system that had worked once it was easy to see the mistakes that I had made in using the Sidetracked Home Executive card file; it was a great system. In my impetuous rebellious state of mind, I had to do it my way! Doesnít that sound familiar?

The first thing I figured out was that I had never established a habit. Then I noticed how hard I was on myself by trying to do everything at once in addition to piling on more and more to do! I decided to be nice to myself by only picking one habit at a time to practice. I even gave myself a grace period of ten days; instead of beating myself up when I would miss a day, I would jump back in without having to start back over. We hate that defeated feeling of failure. There were no excuses because I didnít have to be perfect to establish a habit; I had a whole month to do it. The rule was I could not skip two days in a row. Anybody could do it.

That first habit was shining my sink. When that worked I added another habit the next month. Each new habit was setting the foundation for keeping my home clean and shiny as well as getting rid of those awful regrets.

We donít have to be stuck in our own Groundhog Day Movie. We have a choice to use our filter system to help us make different decisions. We have our brains that can think. We have the ability to take advice instead of rebelling against it. We are a crystal ball because the choices we make today set the path for our future.

Are you ready to FLY by letting go of your regrets and forgiving yourself? Our choices have made us who we are today. When we learn from our mistakes we can use them as a filter to keep us from making those same bad choices again.


For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

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