The other night, I ran three miles at the gym. I came home, showered, and started to pack my son’s lunch. I grabbed a bag of cheese doodles from the cabinet.

I ate one. Two. I told myself I could have one more. Just one more.

Then, a Kind Voice in my head talked to me.

It was not the Old Mean Voice that used to say things like, “OMG, Lisa, you’re fat! You need to lose weight!” I’m sure some of you reading this know the Old MeanVoice.

The Kind Voice was nice, kind, and nonjudgmental, and said, “Lisa, realize that you’re making the decision to eat these cheese doodles. It’s your choice. Why are you making this choice?”

I put the bag away.

I made the decision to put the bag away because I remembered my WHY, my reason for wanting to lose weight: I want to be healthy. I reminded myself that action is what creates the change. How can I continue to eat these cheese doodles, expect to be healthy, and reach my goal weight?

If you want to make a change, it’s a choice that you get to make, and then you have to act. Life is about making choices, putting them into action, and seeing the changes happen.

As children, students, employees, or other subordinates, we are told that we should do this, or we should do that. Those Superior Voices, like the Old Mean Voice in our heads, can harm our growth. It often fills us with guilt, shame, punishment, and judgment from ourselves and uses an outdated carrot-and-stick form of motivation.

When you change your thinking and clearly affirm, “I want…,” you can hear your desires.

I had to learn to change my thinking to make the right choices for me. It took time.

I started talking to myself in a Kind Voice because I love me. That love and respect for myself encourages me to make better choices for me, not because I should, but because I can.

Do you love the person you are? Are you making the choices that you want to make? Not because you should, but because you want to?

If you want, take notice of how you talk to yourself when making choices.

I suggest you start with making the choice to be kind to yourself today. Then try it the next day and the next. It’s a choice. Decide how you want to talk to yourself and make decisions that work best for you. Love yourself and be your own best friend.