I seem to have found myself at a point in my life where I know changes have to be made for the better. I know that something needs to be done but I always struggle to ultimately make these all important decisions.
I find myself procrastinating until the decision is made for me or the best choices are no longer available. I wasn’t always like this, when I was younger I knew exactly what I wanted and made strategic plans to get there, I reached my goals and did well.
Once I started having children, all of a sudden it felt like my future choices were all mapped out for me and I found myself drifting instead of being in control. Then, when I was made redundant, I found the only way to cope was to believe that “everything happened for a reason”, that my redundancy was a sign that there were better things out there for me. I decided to “wait and see” what came along next.
Ultimately, that did actually work out for me and during my time of unemployment, I began to write a little on-line family diary, which then unexpectedly led to a new career in writing and editing.
However, I know very well that it doesn’t always work to wing it and I definitely need more control over my life again. I read recently that the most successful people never leave decision making to chance so, I’m starting to look at ways to make better life decisions again:
Five Ways to Make Better Decisions
1. Toss a coin.
Usually I would only reserve this random method for choosing between two relatively unimportant outcomes, such as to solve the “who goes first” argument between my children etc. However, then I heard the above saying and realised it was true. Tossing the coin doesn’t help you to make the decision but it can confirm for you which outcome you want the most.
“In that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.”
2. List the pros and cons
Writing about any dilemmas I’m facing always helps me to reach a conclusion. I also find writing a list of pros and cons helps me to reach a decision. When I’m finding it easy to think of lots of plus points then that’s definitely the decision to go for.
3. Picture the future
Any decisions that I am contemplating, I take them and mentally picture what my future will look like if I make them. If I like the look of that future then I will make that decision. This method of visualising can also help me to summon the strength needed to make that choice.
4. Talk about it.
This for me is the most effective method of making a decision. Talk it over with a friend, partner or family member. If you find yourself sounding unsure then maybe it’s not for the best, but if you’re full of enthusiasm, and your audience is too then it’s usually a great idea. Remember to give your own voice, opinion and gut instinct as much attention as you give to others.
5. There is no right or wrong path
If you don’t know where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which path you take. Some paths will take longer or be harder but by sticking to it and working hard you can still reach your destination. Don’t dwell on making the wrong decisions. Read spiritual teachings or seek spiritual advice to help make you stronger. These can remind you that “the difference between the guy who wins through and the loser is the ability to keep on keeping on, and to learn lessons.”
Once I’ve made my decisions, I am going to work hard to take responsibility for them and fully commit to them. I’ve become so guilty recently of telling myself that I don’t have time to get fit or time to take the kids swimming.
However, I can make time. I can organise to do these things, pack our bags and just go for it. It makes me feel empowered when I remember that it’s not time stopping me doing anything, it’s the way I organise my time and I have full control to change that.
How do you make your best life decisions? If you have any tips please let me know!
In collaboration with The Circle