All Women's Talk

7 Good Things to Know about Making Important Life Decisions ...

By Heather

Making important life decisions is one of the hardest things about life you’ll ever do, and I’ve got news for you: it’s a never ending process! Don’t get glum on me just yet though. If you know how to make important life decisions correctly, it can ease the painful process and ease stress from confusing decisions. There are many life decisions I’ve had to make and many I have’t even made yet. While I’m certainly not an expert on life, I have had several mentors and experiences that have taught me a few things about making important life decisions that I’d like to share with you.

1 Weigh Your Options

Anytime you’re making important life decisions, you should weigh the options of the choices you have. You can’t make an educated choice without making an educated analysis. What are all the options you have? Don’t just look at the obvious black and white options, but research all the scenarios before making your decision.

2 Write It down

Now that you have all your scenarios established and your outcomes weighed, write everything down. Write down your options for decisions and make columns, listing the benefits of each and the consequences of each. Seeing it on paper eases stress, makes it realistic, and can help you see a solution you may not have before.

3 Consider All Sacrifices

If there is a sacrifice you’ll have to make, whatever your decision, consider that for a moment. What will it entail? For example, if you choose a college in a different state, will you have to cut back on your spending to pay for the extra costs of living on campus? Or, if you’re taking a job that is out of the city, consider the extra expenses you’ll entail through travel. Knowing the sacrifices doesn’t mean the decision isn’t a good one, but it does help you see the reality of what you’ll need to do when making a decision in that direction.

4 Consider the Outcomes

Look at every possible outcome that will happen from your decision. If it is a move, look at what will most likely happen. For example, you’ll be moving away from family, embracing a new opportunity, creating a new career possibly, and meeting new friends while giving up closer physical relationships to your current friends. You may have to sell your car, change up your budget, or move into an apartment after always living in a house. Consider all the outcomes, which aren’t necessarily negative. This helps make decisions more realistic and can ease the stress of the unknown.

5 Look at the Net Gain

Now it’s time to take a positive spin on decision making after you’ve gotten things sorted out. Look at what you’ll gain from this decision. Is it enough of a net gain to make a decision in this direction? If so, go for it, and feel good about what you’re doing. Scary or not, making decisions can lead to wonderful things, so consider all those things and move into your decision with a positive direction.

6 Think about the Long Run

While you can’t predict the future, you can look at what will most likely happen if you make a certain decision. Think about everything that could happen in the future from a decision you're leaning towards. For example, if you're thinking of changing your major to business, you'll most likely be interviewing for business jobs in a corporate atmosphere, or starting your own business. If this doesn't excite you at all or just doesn't fit your personality, rethink your decision. Of, perhaps you're considering starting a blog. More than likely, in the long run, you'll be spending much of your time writing, sharing your life and taking photographs. Make sure the decision you're making is fit for you. This helps put long term perspective on short-term decision making.

7 Look past Temporary Situations

Some positive decisions require temporary situations that might not be ideal. For example, let’s say you’re having to live in a less- than- ideal apartment in your dream city, or live with a terrible roommate at your dream college. That apartment isn’t going to be where you live forever, and you can request a roommate change if you have to. Dealing with temporary situations is just that: temporary. Don’t forget that important part of decision making, and don’t let temporary, less-than-ideal factors keep you from making a decision you would otherwise feel good about.

Making decisions is not easy, but it can be a little less painful when you make them wisely. Use these tips and if you have any, feel free to share yours with me! What is your best advice on decision making?

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