How to make better choices in life and at work – a step by step guide

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We make a lot of choices in life, which vary from irrelevant to critical. Regardless of who you are or where you find yourself, the choices you make takes its effect on you one way or the other, and in some cases could dictate the type of person you become later on. If you’ve ever made choices in life only to lament over it in future, this is a step by step guide to help you make better decisions.

1. Outline the issue and identify your motive

To enable you to concentrate on the decision you make, you need to outline the problem clearly. This not only relieves you from random distractions but also helps you make a sound decision. You can trace the issue by writing it in an exact sentence such as: “The decision I need to make is…”

Furthermore, you have to identify your motive behind making this choice in life. You should also ask yourself questions such as: Why do i need to make the decision? What’s my inspiration for that? And sincerely answer these questions to yourself. This would help you appreciate the actions you are about to take. Let’s say you intend to buy a new vehicle. Are you buying a car because you need a new car? Are you purchasing a new car because one of your mates has a new one? Understanding what inspires you will help you stop making the wrong choices in life.

2. Keep your emotions in check

Our emotions can significantly influence our choices in life, which isn’t always a bad thing. The secret to keeping your emotions in check is to help you recognize and control how you feel at the moment, so you don’t make bad decisions as a result. Effective decision-making is achieved by using intuition and being rational about your choice at the same time. It would be best if you only had feelings linked explicitly to the decision when making choices in life.

For instance, you received some bad news on your way to work, and you feel worried or angry about it. Those negative feelings would likely affect some of the choices you make. However, If you are mindful of this, you should take a second to calm down and keep those emotions in check; as you remind yourself of the need to concentrate on the job at hand.

Life choices

3. Consider multiple options, not too much information

Create a list of your available options, regardless of how ridiculous you believe they are. With enough opportunities in your disposal, you’ll be able to make better comparisons. However, don’t consider too much information as some may become irrelevant. You might hear people talking about making informed decisions. Although it is essential to have information on which to base the judgment, so much information can be a bad thing. We generally make decisions based on the most recent information we have made. To make better choices in life, you should give preference to the most significant details and applicable to your decision. You may decide to make a mental or physical list of precisely the details you need.

If you’ve been worrying about your decision for a long time, take a rest and clear your head. It would help if you took a stroll or do something else for a while.

4. Be mindful while choosing

Your unconscious mind plays a crucial role when making choices in life. Scientists have discovered that we make the most of our decisions based on our unconscious mind. These decisions also turn out to be the correct decisions, depending on available facts. Learn mindfulness is a crucial part of the decision-making. Put aside all distractions and create time to meditate on the issue at hand.

When you feel overwhelmed with the decision-making process; take a deep breath to bring your mind to the present, and then carefully think about your choices, possible options, and the pros and cons of each choice. Meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness, and just 15 minutes of it has been found to enhance decision-making. You should make your meditation base on the moment and issue at hand, and if your mind starts to wander, redirect your thoughts back to the decision you need to make. Make sure to keep your emotions in check and make uses of the information you need to make better choices.

Check out: How to stop over thinking

5. Imagine you are not to decide

It’s hard to make a choice when it directly involves you. One way to gain a better perspective of the issue is to pretend you’re not in the position to decide, and you’re just helping a friend who needs advice. Sometimes, we happen to give our friends further advice than we give ourselves. By putting you’re in the position of not deciding, you allow yourself to see the choices from different viewpoints.

When you contemplate whether or not to quit your job due to a scuffle with your boss, pretend your friend is in that position, not you. You will then approach the situation from the viewpoint of the two parties involved in the disagreement. Then you can quickly think of how your friend might fix the issue, and what the possible consequences might be. By using an outside perspective, you’ll be able to make choices in life with your emotions in check.

6. Consider the risks and rewards

Before you finally make any choice in life, you should create a list of all the good and bad stuff that could happen due to your decision. Understand that there are pros and cons to any decision, and no decision you make is going to be flawless.

The best choices in life are those with more good things than bad things; You should consider who else might be influenced by the decision and the best and the worst things that could happen due to making that decision. Also, think about what would happen if you don’t decide (which in itself is a decision).

Choices in life

7. Make your decision

With clear motives and useful information, mindfulness and your emotions in check, haven weighed your options considered the pros and cons of your choice; you can finally make a decision. However, be careful not to sabotage your decision-making with your preferences and usual way of thinking. You can construct your judgment, get the right facts, balance the pros and cons and still not make the best choices. You must be mindful of your interests and prejudices that can affect your decision-making process. Don’t make a decision simply because it’s the most convenient; often look at the dilemma from multiple angles instead of sticking to the original solution. It would help if you also consider getting advice from people who think differently from you and get some insight. Once you’ve got your mind made up, don’t just search for evidence that supports what you want to do. Take the issue objectively and consider all aspects of the matter. Concentrate on the present decision you have to make and don’t allow decisions on past failures or successes interfere with the present one.

Read Also: Here’s what to do if you’re always making bad decisions

8. Create an action plan and commit to your decision

Upon making a decision, you should write down the steps you intend to take to execute everything finally. Your action plan should include your step-by-step strategy, a timeline for implementing your solution, and how you can incorporate any other person who might be influenced by your decision.

Furthermore, focus your time, attention, ego, intent and resources on the decision. If you cannot let go of other options, fail to do the necessary or still search for other alternatives, you wouldn’t make successful choices in life. It is of significant importance that you follow through on your decision. Committing to your decision is one of the most challenging parts when making a choice in life. You might get caught up in making the right choice to hinder you from taking any action. If you do not commit to your decision, you may miss out on some opportunities, rewards and benefits.

9. Have a backup plan

Have a backup plan in place: no one makes the best choices all the time. Often we are compelled to take decisions without enough time or knowledge to make a decision. Therefore it’ll be safe to have something to fall back to in case things go wrong. Always take things easy and don’t be harsh on yourself. And if the decision doesn’t turn out to be the way you expected it to, you should use the insight to make a new plan. You probably weighed a variety of choices before you made your decision. You should go ahead and try any of the other stuff you’ve been contemplating on.

10. Assess your decision

Part of making better choices in life is to evaluate the conclusion you have reached. Often people fail to care about the choices they have made. The evaluation will make you aware of the things that went well and things that didn’t, which would also help guide any choices you make in the future. To assess your choice, ask yourself questions such as: “I’m I satisfied with the outcome?” “How should I have done better than that?” “Is there anything I’d do differently?” “What have I learned from this?”

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