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If you’re reading this, it means you have either made a decision and is now looking for better methods to make decisions or you’re making a difficult decision and you need some guidance.
Im here to tell you Ive got you covered.
You see I have been in your shoes multiple times throughout my life. From the time I realized I was pregnant and knew that I was going to keep him at 21 even though I knew that it meant uni was going to be put on hold for a while.
But learning to make the right decision for you is not that hard. And I know you might not be feeling that way right now but you’ll see once I share with you some of my go-to tactics to making the right decision.
So in this post I’ll show you
- My main go-to techniques to making the right decision.
- What to do when you realize you have made the wrong decision.
Lets get into it.
7 Decision Making Techniques to help you Navigate Your Life with Ease
Here are the 7 techniques I use to make better decisions without wasting a whole lot of time.
You Don’t Only Have Two Choices
When you’re making a decision, often at times you only think of do I do it or do I not do it.
And more often than we think, that confinement of choosing between two choices restricts our ability to see the bigger picture.
Let’s say you’re having problems in your marriage. The next thing most people do is think on the lines of should I get a divorce or should I stay?
And then you go down this rabbit hole of why you should or shouldn’t get a divorce.
Now thats not how you’re meant to make decisions.
And I know I will raffle some feathers here but I want you to hear me out on this.
In the case I just gave. The best thing is to look at the problem/ problems in 3D.
Start by asking yourself. What options do I have? In that case, you could either stay, divorce him, do counseling, discuss the issues, take time apart, build on being friends first, see what you could also be doing to him and ask him.
See right there you don’t confine yourself to only two decisions.
Also, if you want to make this technique work for you, remove any emotions attached to any decision you make even if you have negative emotions towards it.
Be it moving, ending a relationship, cutting people off. Don’t let the negative emotion direct your decision.
Instead use logic.
Let’s say you want to move out of your parents house because they’re alcoholics. That’s a good decision but it is more likely that you are coming from a place of hurt and resentment than you are being logical. Being logical is being in tune with what is available, what is not available for you and what you can do to make the unavailable things available to you.
So in this case ask yourself these questions. Are you financially capable of doing it? Is there someone who can support you before you can get on your two feet? Instead of moving out, can you move to a relative’s house as you sort yourself out? Do you have friends who can rent you a room instead of incurring all that extra money? Instead of moving out, can you crash for a month on your friends couch as you get your finances in order? How much will it cost to move? How much rent can you pay? Is it better to move the moving date to a later date when you’ve sorted out your finances?
Not only is doing that going to save you a lot of future headache. It will also ensure that you do not find yourself going back to that same situation that you don’t want to be in.
That applies to any life decision you want to make. Don’t confine yourself to two choices even if you find yourself at a corner. There’s always more than one choice. You just have to find out what those alternatives are/ look like for you.
Take the Decision with the Most Resistance
Now this applies to goal oriented decisions.
What do I mean when I say most resistance?
I mean making decisions that are out of your comfort zone.
For instance if you’re used to complaining all the time about your boyfriend’s infidelity to your friends.
The decision with the most resistance is leaving him and noticing that he will never change.
It’s basically allowing yourself to be uncomfortable with your comfortability so as to change your life with that one decision.
Also, this rule applies to achieving your goals. I normally say creating vision boards is fun. There’s no hard work that goes into it. The real work is making the things you visualize a reality.
For me, I set my goals this month to
- Write 40 blog posts
- Create 800 Pinterest pins
- Get 20k page views a month
That means I’ll have to push myself out of my comfort zone. Meaning I’ll have to write 2-3 blog posts every day.
And that will create a habit of writing which I have been sluggish about for the past 3 months.
I can decide to write a blog post whenever I can but that will still keep me in my comfort zone. I’ll always find excuses not to write. I’m cleaning. I have to talk to my friend. I have to meet up with my friends. I have so much work. I can’t do any writing.
Now, because I’m determined to hit my goals, it means I’ll constantly make decisions out of my comfort zone that give me time to write.
For instance, if I have a fight with my boyfriend, my natural instinct is to sulk and not do shit. But now, when we argue, I push myself to write a blog post.
What that means is that by the 100th time I do that, I’ll have the ability to work on my shit even if my relationship is not okay.
Or if I have to clean the house, I keep it to a maximum of two hours. What that also means is that I will try to maintain a clean house by putting things away as I go which I never do btw.
That way I don’t have to spend a whole lot of time cleaning. And instead use that time to write.
Think Through Your Decisions
Every decision that you make has a downside and an upside. So you must be willing to take the discomfort and the comfort that comes with every decision that you make.
With that being said, it’s important to think through each choice that you come up with in step 1.
In the case where you want to move out. You have all these different decisions that you can choose from. But before you choose, think through each one.
What do I mean by thinking through it. Think of the best parts about it and the worst parts about that decision.
For instance, staying on your friends couch is going to be hard. There are times when your friend will want to watch Netflix but you want to sleep. You’ll never have your own personal space. The couch will be uncomfortable to sleep on. There might be bugs like mosquitoes at night.
Focus on the negatives of all the options you have in your mind. You might want to write them down for you to visually process them.
If you find that you’re okay with living with the negative consequences of your decision then don’t close the opportunity of making that decision.
Choice Elimination Method
What this essentially means is that you eliminate the decisions you know you can’t afford to do until you remain with the best decision.
When i started on this post. I told you that you have multiple decisions to choose from in any given point in time.
Now, from that list of decisions that you have, there are those decisions that are feasible/ long lasting.
Those are the first ones that you’ll cut from your list.
For example, crushing on your friends sofa for a month is not a decision that will fix your problem long term. It’s a short term measure.
So the next step is to figure out if you want a short term measure or a long term measure.
Whatever you choose is going to determine how you’ll eliminate your current options.
For instance, you’ve identified that you want both a short term measure and a long term measure.
The short term measure to get you out of your parents house. And the long term measure to keep you out of their house for good.
So you’ll start by eliminating all the long term measures to find the most suitable short term measure decision.
Then once you remain with the short term measure decisions you’ll determine which one has the highest risk of sending you back to your parents house.
In this case, it will be renting a room because you don’t have enough money to sustain renting a room for 6 months.
So now that decision is eliminated.
Now remember, before you eliminate a potential decision, think it through.
You can go back to the previous point to find out how to think through any decision.
Now, there are two sides of the coin when it comes to this.
- Every decision must have a goal.
- You must have a goal before making a decision.
It sounds like I’m saying the same thing but it really isn’t.
Lets look at each.
Every decision must have a goal
Even the decisions you consider fun.
For example. You want to go to the club to turn up. What’s the goal? To socialize, to get drunk, to have fun, to run away from your misery.
Every decision must have a goal otherwise you run the risk of moving without direction or purpose.
And that’s more dangerous than making a bad decision.
Because then you’ll find yourself following the wave, the gang, your group of friends, your spouse, ie anyone around you.
Whatever they want goes with you. In short, you find that youre never making a decision. You’re just going with the flow.
And just like a muscle needs exercise to grow, the same applies to decision making skills.
The more you make decisions, the better you get at it.
So the more you’re allowing yourself not to make decisions the more difficult it will be when you’re faced with a situation where you have to make a personal decision.
You must have a goal before you make a decision
This is usually the case when you’re making tough decisions. Every-day decisions like eating, cleaning etc aren’t governed by this statement.
What it essentially means is that in order to make the right decision you must know what your goal is.
For example you can’t want to end a relationship just for the sake of ending it.
Nope. There must be a goal. The goal could be something like “to feel better. To be happier. To focus on myself.”
Also, having a goal will direct you on how to execute your decision.
If the goal is to cut ties completely with someone, you’ll go out of your way to block them on social media, calls, texts and messages
Verses if you want to a break from the relationship, it will be communicated to the person that you want some space but won’t involve blocking.
You Dont Have to Learn From Your Own Mistakes
There’s a huge misconception about how humans learn to make decisions.
Alot of.the times youll hear people saying I learnt from my mistakes
And so a lot of people don’t necessarily think to learn from other people’s mistakes.
Lets say your friend gets a baby. And she starts complaining to you (A person who has no baby) about how her child cries whenever he is put down.
Immediately ill empathize with her. I won’t bother asking why that is. Or how she can solve that problem. Instead I’ll help her carry the baby so that she can do what she needs to do.
When I get my child, the same thing will happen to me.
In that case, I did not learn from my friends experience.
Instead what you should do is first offer immediate support. Then begin to enquire on what she has already done to try and solve the problem, who she has asked and what advice she has been given.
That way, moving forward, I’ll be better equipped to raise my baby without making the same mistakes my friend made.
This law applies to everything that you do.
Everyone around you is in a constant battle-struggle-problem solving- accomplishment cycle. So they have a multitude of knowledge that will help you avoid making bad decisions in the future.
Deal with Distractions
There is a 4 step method that shows you how to deal with distractions once you have made a decision.
- Detect distractions as they are happening.
- Create a reward system that allows you to accomplish your goals and explore your guilty pleasures.
Let’s talk about each.
How to Detect Distractions as they are Happening
Often, long term goals need you to consistently make the right decision and take action based on that right decision.
Take for example my goal of writing 40 blog posts. I have to consistently make the decision that will allow me to write. And also actually sit down and write all those blog posts to make that goal a reality.
And to be honest with you. It’s not easy to be consistent.
It’s easier to get distracted because the goal is long term. Meaning you won’t achieve it in a weeks time so it’s easier to put away or on hold.
Thats why you need to recognize Distractions as they are happening.
The way to do that is to notice how you move away from your daily goals and the excuses you give yourself as to why they’re more important than your goal.
For me, I have come to realize that my distractions are playing with my son, TikTok, watching Raven Elyse and daydreaming about a better life – yeah yeah yeah… I’m a daydreamer…
Normally I’ll tell myself I’ll just watch Raven and then I’ll write one blog post. But that will hardly happen.
So what I do instead is that I reward myself for not getting distracted by the things that do distract me. Haahhahaa 😂😂 sounds cheesy.
But hear me out.
So I’ll write a blog post and if I write it in 2-3 hours, I get to watch Raven.
And recently I have also set measures to keep my other distractions in check.
So If I write 2 blog posts, I get to go on Instagram and daydream how me living in one of those luxe apartments will feel like.
On the other hand, if I accomplish my goals for the day, I get to play with my son.
And since my son means the world to me, I’ll make sure all my goals are accomplished for the day so that I can play with him.
Furthermore, I have set time limits to how long I can enjoy my guilty pleasures. Daydreaming is one hour a day, playing with my son is 2-3 hours a day. And watching Raven is 30-45 minutes.
In short, I have a reward system for my brain. And it works wonders.
What to do When You Realize You Have Made a Wrong Decision
Now this one is better said than done. It’s quite hard to deal with the consequences of a bad decision especially when you thought it was a good decision.
But once you realize that it is a bad decision, you stand a better position to change it than when you hadn’t realized it’s a bad decision.
So how do you realize you have made a bad decision
- The negative consequences quickly outweigh the positive consequences.
- You start to lose yourself because of that decision.
- The decision you have made begins to hurt you physically, emotionally or mentally.
Now recognizing you’ve made a bad decision will either leave you balling out or feeling stupid.
But avoid that.
Remember you made the best decision with the information you had or were given. And that you’re not bad at making decisions.
So what should you do:
1 Dont beat yourself up about it
2 Learn from it.
3 If you can, try to undo it. If you can’t, prepare for the consequences. Think of all the negative things that you’ll have to face and prepare for them accordingly.
Do you have any tips to making better decisions in your life? I would love to hear them in the comment section. And please be kind.