EVERY day we are faced with situations in life which require us to make decisions. Some of these decisions may be easy and some can be very difficult. Easy decisions may range from foods to eat, movie or television programmes to watch or clothes to wear. On the other hand, difficult decisions would require a deeper level of thought and would include deciding on which university or college to attend, whether to purchase a house or build your own, or whether to take on a new job opportunity. These types of decisions are difficult because they are life changing decisions which can shape who we are, and directly impact our future. Below are a few simple steps that can be considered when making decisions.
Step 1: Identify your goal
Identifying your goal simply means identifying the purpose of your decision. You need to consider what it is that you want to achieve, or the problem set before you that you need to solve. Determining why the problem needs to be solved is also important. Knowing what’s most important to you, and where you see yourself in the future will also help you make good decisions. When you can attach a value to a particular decision, you are most likely to stay with it and defend it.
Step 2: Gather Information for weighing Your options
The next step is to gather all necessary information that is directly related to the issue or problem. Doing this will help you generate ideas for a possible solution. When gathering information it is best to make a list of every possible alternative; even ones that may initially sound silly or seem unrealistic. You may also need to seek the opinions of trustworthy friends or professionals. You will want to gather as many resources as possible in order to make the best decision.
Step 3: Consider the Consequences
Next it is important to determine how your final decision will impact yourself, and/or others involved. In this step, you will be asking yourself a few questions such as; what is likely to be the results of your decision? How will it affect you and/or others now? And how will it affect your future? This is an essential step because it allows you to review the pros and cons of the different options that you listed in the previous step. It is also important because you want to feel comfortable with all your options and the possible outcome of whichever one you choose.
Step 4: Make Your Decision
Now that you have identified your goal, gathered all necessary information, and consider the consequences, it is time to make a choice and actually execute your final decision. This step can cause a lot of anxiety because this is where you have to trust your instincts. Even after you make your final decision there can still be a feeling of indecisiveness. At this point, you have to take into account how this makes you feel by asking yourself the following questions: Does it feel right? Does this decision work best for you now, and in the future? Have you accepted the possible consequences of this decision? How does this decision affect others? When you answer those questions back, you should feel good about the result.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Decision
Once you have made your final decision and put it into action, it is necessary to evaluate the decision and the steps you have taken to ensure that it works. This final step helps you in assessing your final action and ensuring that the expected outcome materializes. This step is essential because it may require you to seek out new information and make some changes along the way if necessary.
Patience and perseverance are very important qualities required during this step. It is during this time that you may question or doubt your decision because it may take some time to see the final outcome. Be willing to be flexible and open to recognize when the first decision is not working, you may have to go back to step two and choose another option. Always look out for possible unexpected problems and deal with them appropriately so that you can alleviate undue stress in the process. Come on! Take a leap of faith and make that decision that you have been procrastinating…
“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ― Michelle Obama
(Trudy Edgar-Louis is a Certified LMI Consultant. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org)