Looking for a process for making decisions? Then, discover this step by step approach that I’ve been using for a few years now and that works like magic…
ENGLISH DISCLOSURE: I’m from Switzerland (yes, chocolate!) so English isn’t my first language. Please forgive me for my mistakes 🙂
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✓ Should I read/listen to this? If you struggle to make decisions or if you struggle to accomplish the things that you set out to do this is for you. Even more, if you really want to achieve great things but just don’t know how to get started, this is for you.
✓ How is it going to help me? You’re going to learn all about how to make decisions and that’s going to let you decide what things are important in your life and how to carry them out. You’ll learn how to choose what you want to do in a given day, week or even year and then you can make sure that those things happen.
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How to make the right decision quickly
We all want to be able to make decisions the fastest possible!
So, we don’t feel torn between many choices to make and stress to feel!!
I used to ask me this question all the time 🙂 until I’ve found something that has worked for me…
Have a look and make the best decisions for you and your life! 🙂
Why Do I Need to Know How to Make Decisions?
If you do anything at all during the day you’re already making decisions.
Did you know that? Just getting up out of bed is a decision. Picking out clothes is a decision and even things like going to work or grabbing coffee on the way are decisions. Each of those things require you to make a choice 🙂
You choose between any number of clothes to find the ones you want to wear. You decide that you’re going to work instead of staying at home. You decide to get coffee instead of just drinking whatever is at the office. But those are all decisions that most of us don’t even think about.
Important decisions are sometimes entirely different. Some people, the lucky few, seem to have absolutely no problem making a decision about anything and everything.
You want to know where to eat? They know the best place. You want to know if you should go back to school or keep working your way up at your current job? They can tell you all about their decision.
But for the rest of us … well, it’s just never that easy. Unfortunately, instead of learning how to make decisions, far too many of us just let someone else make the choice for us!
We tell our sister we’re thinking about having a baby and she encourages us. So we do it. We tell our best friend we’re thinking about going back to college and they think it’s a terrible idea so we give it up.
There are plenty of times where we start thinking about doing something and then let someone else decide whether it’s going to work or not. That’s definitely not helping you live the life you want to live.
And that’s why it’s so important to learn how to make decisions so whether they are big or small, you’ll be able to take charge of your own life, as I always say, to TAKE CONTROL OF/ON YOUR LIFE 🙂
How to Make Decisions – A Step By Step Approach
Okay, so you know why it’s so important to make decisions and now you’re just not sure how you’re going to go about it, right?
Well, there’s actually a step by step way that you can work on it, but it’s not going to be easy, especially if you’ve never been the type to make your own decisions before.
Hard or easy decision – use this step by step model
I know that some people may say that it’s not the same making a hard or a simple decision…
I understand, but I think that this model can fit both of them 🙂
In the end, all what we want is a bit of simplicity and clarity when it comes to take decisions… Let me know what are your thoughts about it, I’m always open to debate 😉
Step 1: Identify the Decision
The first thing you need to do is figure out what it is that you’re trying to make a decision about.
It’s definitely going to be easier if you start out small. Maybe deciding how you’re going to do your hair or whether you’re going to get this drink at the café or that way. Maybe you’re trying to decide which book you want to read next or what you want for a snack.
These are the type of decisions that most of us make every day and in many cases, you may not even think about them, but you just do them.
By identifying that these choices are actually decision-making opportunities you can actually focus on how you’re already making decisions and use that towards making the larger decisions you’ll need to make in other areas of your life. But let’s focus on this one for right now.
Think about what kind of decision you need to make and what the options are for that decision. There might be only two options (turn right or turn left) or there might be a lot of different options (like that Starbucks menu).
Action Steps: Write out the decision you want to make and the choices available.
Step 2: Think About the Outcome
What will happen when you make your decision? What is the outcome of choosing option one? How about choosing option two? Think about what each of those outcomes is going to mean for you right now and later on.
If you have a dairy intolerance then you could choose that extra-cream latte, but your decision to enjoy a sweet and creamy beverage now will likely backfire on you later. If you have a huge presentation at work you could decide to stay home today, but it’s probably not going to be good for you when you return the next day…!
Think about each of the different options and don’t just think about the immediate things, but the things that are going to come about as a result of your decision later. Be a detective and dig into not just the little things but also the other side effects.
Maybe stopping for that coffee means you’re also going to go through a different part of town and it will take you longer to get to work. Maybe skipping work today means you’ll also miss seeing one of your favorite colleagues from another branch who is coming to visit. Think about everything 🙂
Action Steps: Next to your choices write down what each of those will mean immediately and in the future.
Step 3: What Sounds Best
Once you’ve looked at each of the different outcomes it’s time for you to start looking at which one sounds better to you. By weighing out the positives and the negatives you’ll be able to take a closer look at the things that you want most. This is super important when you’re making big decisions too.
If you’re thinking about going back to school and you know that the outcome of going back is a job you really enjoy and the chance to make a difference or make more money or whatever motivates you then that’s a great outcome.
The other option is to stay at your current job (or even find a different job) that you’re not as crazy about and maybe make more money as you move up the ladder. Do you have a decision about which one sounds better?
By choosing one option or even narrowing down the options to what sounds better you’re going to be well on your way to making a decision on your own.
Let me repeat this: You don’t need your friends or your family to make your decisions for you 🙂
Sure, you value their opinions and you might take them into consideration, but you definitely don’t want them to have final say on something that’s going to affect your life more than it’s going to affect theirs. By looking at what sounds better to you, you’re going to be choosing to live your life the way that you want to live it, not the way they do.
And actually, let me add something here, this is already a step in which I know a bit more in my heart what decision I really want to take. Because I took the time to really think about the outcomes and benefits of each decision… Even if the consequences of deciding for something can mean that you will need to take actions and risks 😉 which is sometimes the reason why we don’t take the decision that we REALLY want to take… 🙂
Action Steps: Number each of your choices by which ones sound best to you.
Step 4: Decide on the Best Option
By thinking about the options that are available you’re going to get to the different outcome of each option. By understanding the outcome you’ll be able to see which option is going to be better for you.
You’ve already gotten pretty much all the way there. You know which option sounds best so take a look at your list and see what ranked in the number one spot. That’s the thing that you really want to do and that’s the decision that you should definitely be making.
Now, that doesn’t mean that decision is going to be super easy. Sure, right now we’re talking about drinks and going to work or taking a sick day, but you’re eventually going to be making even bigger decisions 😉
Action Steps: Choose your best option.
Step 5: Making it Work in Real Life
Sometimes, when you look at that list of what sounds best to you and what you really want in your life you may wonder if it’s really the best way!!
Sure, it’s what you want but can you actually make it happen? Well, making decisions and executing them are two different things, but the important thing to keep in mind is that everything happens one step at a time 🙂
There’s an old saying that goes ‘how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ That’s what you need to do when it comes to the things you’re making decisions about 🙂
We’re not talking about eating an elephant, but we’re talking about making the big things that you want and the big dreams that you have into smaller ones. Take smaller steps toward reaching that big goal!!
You want to go back to school? Great. What’s the first thing you need to do? Decide what you’re going to pursue when you get there. Then, decide what places you might like to attend school. From there, look at financial aid options or class schedules.
You don’t need to jump right from the decision to attending class tomorrow! 🙂
You just need to start looking at the next step and take action on one little thing at a time.
Action Steps: Write out a list of what it will take to execute your decision.
Step 6: Keep Applying It
Finally, keep applying all of these steps to every situation where you have to make a decision. Just keep looking at what it is, what the options are and what the outcome of each would be. You can even write them all down if you like. As you get better and better at this you’ll find you don’t need to write them down anymore, you can make the decision in your head 🙂
Ask your brain question!
I don’t know if you’re familiar with my posts 😉 but I like to share one tool that Natalie Bacon shared with us 🙂
If you’re asking yourself a question, ask a few times your brain the question and let it give you the answer.
Be careful to only ask positive questions! If you ask a negative question (why is this always happening to me?), your brain will also give you the answer and you don’t want an answer to a negative question 😉 it won’t be useful at all!
I did it a few nights in a row and it worked really good 🙂 after a week or so, I got the answer to my question! Which was: How can I make money sharing my knowledge about self-confidence? I really wanted to help other people just like me, feel more self-confident and less compare their life to others.
And this is how I came up with creating my own courses 🙂 I was looking for something like this 5 years ago and I really want to bring that short cut to others!
How to use the 80/20 rule to make decisions
You know how much I love the 80/20 rule 🙂
So, I wanted to share how to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to making decisions.
Have a look at the great advice of Steve from Develop Good Habits
I also found this online when I was looking for decision making techniques 🙂
You can use it too!
I really liked the very last point downstairs… “Or you could always flip a coin”! 😉 🙂
To sum up!
As you can see, making decisions is also a skill to develop 🙂 🙂
You can become better and better at it by just practicing it every day or anytime that you need to make a decision!
And also, it will help you build your self-confidence because you will know that you can trust yourself! You know that you CAN make the best decisions for yourself and for your life 🙂 🙂
Honestly, the moment that I felt like I had this process working for me, I felt more self-confident. Because I had kind of a “frame” on how to do it, I felt confident, because I knew that I was making the right choice, the one that really makes me happy 🙂 🙂
You may also be interested in…
- The 80/20 Rule & How It Can Change Your Life
- 10 Steps To Discover The Real You
- 5 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence
- Take Control Of Your Life Today, Design Your Dream Life
What do you think about my technique?