A Guide to Building Good Decision Making Habits

For some folks, making decisions is natural and effortless while other people are painfully indecisive. If you’re in the latter category, fret not, there are ways to improve and get mad decision making skillzzz. Here is my helpful guide to building good decision making habits.

The more you practice, the easier it gets.

wooden sign with arrows going opposite ways that this way and that way
Image: Pixabay

1. Evaluate Your Options

Evaluate your options as they relate to your situation and goals.

While being decisive is a sought after character trait, you shouldn’t act too quickly before you know and understand the available options.

It’s a terrible feeling when you make a choice and later discover that a better one was available, and you weren’t aware of it.

2. Ask Yourself The Following Questions

Q1: Do I have enough information to make a decision?

You won’t always have 💯% of the information in order to make a decision. This is definitely scary when faced with a complex issue.

The idea is to learn what you can beforehand and work with the information available to you. If you wait until you have all the information, you may begin to stress over the situation and hesitate to move forward.

Q2: What is my goal?

Determine what your goal is and how each option aligns with that goal. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of the objective.

It’s easy to get so caught up in the decision making process that you forget what it is you want out of the situation.

Q3: Can I live with my decision 1, 5, 10 years from now?

Self-awareness is certainly vital in order to answer this question. You have to know yourself well enough to determine how something will truly affect you in the short and long term.

Yes, we change over time and something may affect you differently at a later time. But in general, you should be able to make a fair assessment.

3. Be Considerate

Be considerate to others who may be affected. Get them involved in the decision making process. This shows that you have respect for them and welcome their input.

When you make important decisions without involvement from the necessary people, you risk losing their respect and trust, especially if it turns out your decision was not the best. Just sayin’!

4. Seek Advice

Sometimes you need someone to talk things through with you. Go to someone you trust and have a chat, seek out their thoughts.

But beware, some people are under the impression that when they give you advice, you should take it. And they get upset when you don’t. What a biased mindset! That’s not the idea.

Some of the benefits is that you can get different points of view that perhaps you hadn’t thought about; get insight from (hopefully) an unbiased source; and hear from someone who may have had a similar experience.

You can then evaluate your situation. No two scenarios are exactly alike, which I believe contributes to the reasons we don’t necessarily learn from other people’s experiences or mistakes.

5. Pray for Guidance

One of the best advice I’ve gotten from my pastor is that if you’re praying for something, don’t take action until you believe you’ve heard from God with clear guidance.

Sun shing on pink flowers and tree in the background

6. Practice Validation

Sometimes, unforeseen consequences may arise, or you may learn more about a situation after it’s too late to change your decision. That’s ok.

When/if doubt, regret or guilt starts to set in, remind yourself that you made the best decision you could, with the information you had at that time. Don’t let your mind beat you up about it. Avoid dwelling on what-if scenarios.

This works much better if you put yourself in a position of strength (against your own mind) by building and practicing good decision making habits.

Following this guide to building good decision making habits will help you establish a positive pattern, and give you confidence in your decision making skills.

Numbered list of a guide to making good decision making habits

Keep in mind that the more you improve, the more confident you’ll become, the more you improve. Nope, that’s not a typo. It’s a beautiful cycle of the mind.

Decisively yours,

Judy Dove

What is something that helps you when you have to make a tough decision?

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

Tony Robbins

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