Are you someone who thinks something through many times before making an important decision?
Or are you someone who leads with emotion before weighing out all options? Life is full of choices. Regardless of whether it’s what to eat for dinner, or something way more important – good decision skills are useful to have in your life toolbox. If you have a strong framework to push those important decisions through, it’s much easier to make informed choices about the big deal stuff that comes up for you. Here are the 5 questions to ask yourself before making any decision. I hope they help.
1. Do I have enough information to make this decision or do I need to do more research to get a clearer picture?
I usually gather all the information I can before making any kind of important decision. We’re so blessed to live in a technology-driven world where information is available at the touch of a button. Doing research helps me to get clarity on anything. Whether that’s pricing for a product, looking at reviews, or comparing trends in the market – whatever it is.
2. What are the Pros of this and what are the Cons of this?
There are always two sides to a coin to any decision you make. Sometimes when we’re blinded by emotion, we can’t think objectively. Make a list of the pros and cons and weigh them out.
3. Is there any emotion involved in making this decision or am I looking at it with a calm, logical mind?
Again, emotions get the better of us when we’re faced with important decisions. My usual rule of thumb is to wait a full 48-72 hours before deciding. It’s helped me think about what I want logically instead of when my emotions are running high. I’ve held myself back from responding to an email or text in anger and quitting important projects just by giving it time.
4. Which part of this decision is in line with my values and am I being true to myself with what I value in life after making this decision?
This one is so important. Get CLEAR about what your values are. Then use them to make every decision that has an impact on your life. I’ve said yes to a few job offers in the past that were in direct violation of my values, and they never ended well for me. I became miserable and was looking for a new job soon after. If you value your freedom as much as I do, don’t take the most compliance-filled role where you will be tied down to deadlines and deliverables. That’s a surefire way to get you in a bad space. If you value authenticity, why surround yourself with people who don’t know the first thing about being authentic and real – just so you don’t miss that party? You’ll end up feeling like you got the short end of the stick. Take your values into account before deciding anything.
5. How is this decision contributing to my big picture and am I going to be closer to my goals after making this decision?
Don’t get distracted by the shiny-object syndrome. Deciding to buy that new car when you were planning to be debt-free in a couple of months is not contributing to your big picture (unless it’s changed). Tying yourself down to another 3 years of studying when you wanted to travel abroad and experience other cultures is not how you honor your travel dreams.
I hope this gives you a strong, solid framework when you’re making those important decisions in your life. I know not everything is this simple. But these questions are centered around deciding for your highest good and well-being. When you follow that, you will be happy with the path you’re on.
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