Make Quality Decisions
Have you wondered why it is difficult to make quality decisions? Following this simple step by step matrix you can approach future decisions with confidence.
You may be in a situation where you have to make life-changing decisions. Change is inevitable. Most upsetting changes come when you least expect them and when someone or something else initiates the changes. You have temporarily lost control of some aspect of your life. The following are some suggestions to help.
Example: Suppose you have to move.
STOP REACTING. First, get over the reaction phase as quickly as possible and move into the action phase.
Example: “I know that I have to sell my home and move.”
FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT. Evaluate your life goals. Are you on track? How can you use this change to your advantage? If you have not considered your goals recently, now is the time to look closely at them. You can take many roads to reach your long-term goal. Everything in your life must move you toward that goal for you to feel satisfied. So, close your eyes and concentrate on that goal, forgetting all other considerations. Once you know what you want in life, change becomes easier to live with and the decisions you need to make become much more obvious.
Example: “If I get a smaller home, I can afford to spend more time on my hobbies, as long as I have room for my hobbies. I won’t have to get a part-time job.”
GET ADVICE. Talk to people you trust and who understand your goals. You do not have to take their advice, but they may say something you haven’t thought about before. They can be more objective than you at this time.
Example: “My daughter says that she will help me get settled into a new home.”
TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t make your decision in haste. Evaluate all options. Always consider your options based on your goal. Keep that target in front of you. This is the most important point you must focus on. Everything else is a detail to be worked out. You may want to make temporary arrangements while you decide on something that will affect the rest of your life.
Example: “I could live with my brother until I find a home that’s perfect for me.”
MAKE SMALL DECISIONS. Sometimes, the big decisions can feel overwhelming. Making the small decisions can help you decide the bigger ones. If you are thinking of moving and looking for a job in another city, spend time in that city and decide if that is where you can live. Do you want a house or an apartment? How long will you plan on living there? Do you need to consider proximity to relatives?
Example: “I might want to consider living in an apartment. The upkeep would be easier. I could try it for a year.”
What options are available to you? Is there something special you need? Does this city or area offer that?
Example: “I have always wanted to take courses in pottery and jewelry making. If I move closer to the college, I could take those courses.”
When possible, ask yourself yes or no questions.
Example: “Would it create any problem if I moved closer to the college? No.”
CHANGE IS GOOD. Look at change and the decisions you make as a good thing. This decision can be made, not to avoid disaster, but to improve your life. Concentrate on the positives involved, not the pain that may come with change. Even a bad decision can be rectified. Nothing is forever, even if it seems so today. Consider how you will overcome the negative aspects and always remember the advantages to your decision.
Example: “This may work out well for me. I need time to adjust to being single again, but I can do some things in my life that I have put off for too long. It won’t be easy, but, with my family’s help, I can do this.”
“Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.” ― Anonymous
WORK OUT THE DETAILS. Now it’s time to make your decisions work. Do what you need to make it happen. Follow up on leads. Consider consequences to your decisions. Plan. Plan. Plan. A decision without implementation is no decision at all.
Example: “I think I will move into an apartment and put some things in storage until I decide what to do with them. If I don’t like apartment living, I’ll take my time looking for the perfect home.”
K.I.S.S. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. The simpler the decision, the easier it is to accomplish. You will never be able to consider everything. Things will go wrong. You cannot plan every detail. Don’t worry about what might happen. You can work that out when and if the need arises.
IS THIS THE REAL ME? Ask yourself what you like and what makes you comfortable. If the decision will not add to your feeling of comfort, it will, in all probability, prove to be a bad decision. Any decision based on who you are, how you work, what you like, generally will work out. You may be impulsive or calculating, slow or methodical. You may take longer than another person. Be patient with yourself. Making a decision may be no big deal or it may be faced as though your very life depends on the choice. However, it is your decision and your responsibility.
Understanding your personality style helps you know how you handle decisions.
IF YOU ARE A DIRECT PERSON, you make a quick, accurate decision and may not budge from the decision. Think about the impact your decision has on others and emotional reactions others may have to your decision. Consider long-term consequences. Gather facts and take a little more time than normal.
IF YOU ARE AN INFLUENTIAL PERSON, recognize that decisions are difficult for you if you feel others will disapprove of you. Make logical decisions that are socially acceptable. Gather the facts first. Ask another personality style to help you with the facts. Your decision will show poor judgment if it is based completely on your emotions. Discuss your plan with someone who can be more objective. Listen to this person’s advice.
IF YOU ARE A STEADY PERSON, you make decisions slowly. It is acceptable to consider all the risks, but don’t let fear of change hold you back. Setting deadlines and prioritizing may be difficult for you. Low risk decisions can be accomplished immediately. Do not let fear of confrontations cause you to put off decisions involving conflict with others. This fear will hold you back. Procrastination makes the problem worse.
IF YOU ARE A CAUTIOUS PERSON, collect all the facts and take time to analyze them. Make lists of pros and cons. Set a deadline and stick to it. Don’t worry. Everything will be okay. There may not be a “perfect” choice. Although you see all the negatives to the decision, make it a rule to intentionally remember the positives.
“Most of our sadness and traumas in life come through loss, death, divorce, job, failing health, financial setback or broken friendships. For most of us there is no way to avoid them. These situations in our lives are part of the reality of human existence. However, the only lasting trauma in life is the one we suffer when we don’t make some sort of positive change. In time, the pain subsides, the wounds heal and you discover the all-important truth: what remains is the most valuable thing we possess, life itself.” ― Anonymous
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
- Do your decisions usually turn out well?
- If not, do you know why?
- Based on your personality, how do you make decisions now?
- Have you ever made a bad decision about something serious and regretted it?
- Are you willing to do what it takes to improve your decision making ability?
- Will you apply this information to your next major decision?
[box type=”bio”] Betty Eddy is a published author and member of the Netiv community. Her work as a life coach has given her unique insight into self help. In her book “Untying the Knots of Life” she deals with concepts which guides the reader though self discovery. [/box]