What we’re constantly faced with on a daily basis, is to make numerous decisions, hopefully the right ones. The majority are minor and instinctive, while at times, there are major life altering ones which suddenly presents themselves. The usual are what to wear, what to eat, our path to work, who to socialize with. All short term decisions.
We’re also faced with long-term decisions, life altering ones that could potentially change our lives. For the bigger decisions, they’re harder to make, this because of our motivation, mood, the situation, or the specifics and the potential outcomes of the decision. How it can effect you or others.
These are the times we come at a crossroads, weighing its implications, and we become stuck and indecisive. We at times can feel paralyzed, then decide to procrastinate to put the decision off.
All that we’re doing to putting more pressure on ourselves as the anxiety compounds, which makes us feel worse, which makes us feel yet more paralyzed.
Define The Decision
You’re not wondering if you should be going on vacation, this because you’re short on finances since you just fixed your car. What you’re deciding on instead, is a vacation that will fit into your remaining budget.
What you’re not debating is, “Can I even afford to go on vacation? or “Should I just stay at home?” What you’re thinking instead is, “Will the best vacation I can afford be worth it?
What you’re doing is defining the decision, which forces you to realize that it has two steps: You need to find the best option that will fit your budget, and second, you’ll then be able to decide if it’s worth the cost.
What Are The Options
Realize that taking no action at all, is also an option as well. For instance, you’re debating whether to invite someone you don’t like, to your party.
What you have are three options: You can go ahead and invite them, decide not to invite them, or you can just avoid making the decision.
What’s obvious is that not making a decision is the same as not inviting that person, this since they’re not invited either way, which is apparent. But it’s different psychologically.
Decisions which aren’t made, can be a distraction which cause stress. The more decisions we don’t make, does is hovers over us, which places an unnecessarily burden on our minds.
List The Pros And Cons Of The Options
What you need is to consider all of the various options. When you’re listing all of the pros and cons, this whether to go home for the holidays this year, or to stay put and celebrate with friends.
Consider all of the past experiences that you’ve had of previous holidays. The ones when you actually went home, and the times that you didn’t
If you don’t go home, consider whether you’ll be obliged to visit home at another time during the year instead, and once doing so, if the outcome will be better or worse.
Consider the feelings of the family members, the feelings of your friends who won’t enjoy your company if you go, along with the logistics of travel, weather, cooking, etc…
Set A Deadline
What some decisions have is a time stamp on them, where it’s urgent and you have a short period of time to decide. Say you need to decide whether or not to accept that new job offer, or to stay at your current job.
Or you need to decide on Wednesday, whether to join your friends on a sudden weekend getaway trip, this when you’ve already made plans to catch up on gardening the yard.
There are also decisions that have open timelines, such as needing to decide whether to finally lose some weight and go on a diet, clean out the garage, or join that inviting online dating platform.
When you’re faced with making a decision that isn’t urgent, then impose an artificial deadline on when you need to decide. If you feel that you’re not ready at that time, then defer it until later, this if it’s not that pertinent.
Just make sure that this later date is specific, and don’t waver by setting another new date once it approaches. Avoid procrastinating. Once you revisit, make a decision on the task, and stick with it.
Visualize All The Options
We often make “gut” decisions, so the key becomes giving your gut enough information, such as all of the facts. Find a quiet spot, and visualize with your eyes closed, all the options you have, this in graphic detail.
Be as visual as possible by painting out the scene, the more detailed the better, as the more real that it appears, gives your intuition better more accurate information to decide.
Say you’re deciding to buy an expensive piece of clothing you can’t afford. Visually envision how much you want it, when and where you would wear it, while looking at the expensive price tag. Feel the stress of the credit card bill, that you need to pay off.
Putting It All Together
Now that you’ve given your gut instinct a better read on what you need to do, then choose the best option that you’re leaning towards, this while not getting emotional.
If you think it was an actual “gut” feeling, and not based on emotion, then proceed to the next step, this once you’ve made the decision.
The final step is sleeping on it. If you’re thinking your decision was motivated by emotion, “I know I shouldn’t, but I want to,” get a good night’s sleep, and then review the pros and cons the next morning. This to make sure you’re not being impulsive.