Decisions are the genesis of all the progress in your life. When you fail to make a decision, you’re just drifting through life. Many people make poor decisions which take their lives drastically off course. Others make it a policy to avoid making decisions at all costs.
However, making a poor decision is often better than making no decision at all. Your life rapidly deteriorates when you don’t make decisions. When you make a poor decision, you can always correct your course.
See how decisions are the first step to enhancing your life:
1. Decisions allow action to begin. You won’t take any action until you make a decision. And nothing happens until you take action. Any changes or progress in your life occur as the result of a decision. When you decide, things can start happening.
2. Decisions give your life direction. Once you’ve decided, you’ve started down a path. This is better than standing on the side of multiple paths and watching the world go by. When you make decisions and follow up with the appropriate actions, you’re actually living your life.
3. Decisions minimize distractions. When you can’t make up your mind, everything becomes a distraction because you have nothing to focus on. A decision creates something to point your attention toward. Decisive people are more focused than indecisive people.
4. Decisions require you to evaluate your life. Making big decisions requires you to dig deep and really examine your life, values, and preferences. You learn more about yourself when you make a significant decision.
How to Make a Wise Decision
Making smart decisions is important, but how should you make decisions? Most people are lured away from wiser decisions by options that feel good in the short-term. For example, going to a party is more fun than staying home, studying for a test, and getting a good night of sleep.
Keep these ideas in mind when making decisions:
1. Know your values. Know what is important to you, and you’ll make fewer poor decisions. Most people can’t list their values because they’ve never considered them.
2. Know your objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Which option available to you brings you closer to achieving your objectives? Which option takes you further from accomplishing your goals?
3. Rely on your experience. You’ve experienced a lot in your life and have had the chance to learn a lot. Use that knowledge and experience to make more effective decisions. Over time, everyone should be making better decisions, because they have more knowledge and experience.
4. Gather more information if necessary. You don’t know everything, so there are times when you’ll need to seek out additional information. The more you know, the better your decision can be.
5. Pull the trigger. However, there comes a time when you need to stop researching and start doing something. Give yourself a deadline to make a decision and stick to it.
◦ Once you’ve made a decision, immediately take action, even if it’s something small. For example, if you’ve decided to run your first 10K, you might go to the library and check out a book on running.
◦ Making a big decision can be a big relief, while putting off decisions is stressful. Being indecisive puts a serious load on your brain.
Decisions have the ability to completely change the direction of your life. Give each decision you make the respect it deserves but make your decisions quickly.
If you know your values and goals, most decisions are quite easy to make. Remind yourself of the consequences of failing to make a decision, and you’ll be more motivated to just decide and move forward.