How to Make Better Decisions About Your Life - A Self-coaching Tool
Think about this quote from Edwin Markham: “Choices are the hinges of destiny.” If at this time last year, today was once your destiny, what crucial choices did you make that have led you to here?
What different choices would you have made, or different decisions would you have taken, that could have given an improved outcome?
If where you are now is a direct reflection of the quality of your decision-making skills, where 1 is not quite and 10 is absolutely, how satisfied are you with your ability to make those crucial decisions that lead to your life moving in the best possible direction?
Many factors influence the decision-making process, sometimes making it hard to determine the exact right thing to do. When deciding what action to take, do you focus on what others think or do you move forward with conviction through listening to your inner guide?
No-one is perfect and if I knew then what I know now, there are some things I myself would have done differently if given a second chance. But life is not like that. There is a rarely a second chance to relive a moment and all we can do is reflect upon 'if only's'.
At times, there is no allowance of time to ruminate and ponder. We may be forced to make a decision on something that impacts on an entire life - yours or someone else's - and trust that we have concluded the right thing.
Moving into intentional thinking is to apply 'conscious thought' when deciding what to do.
This Self-coaching encourages metacognition - that is 'thinking about thinking'. In this way, 'conscious thought' is exercised in the process of reaching an outcome that will ripple out into the rest of your life.
A Guide to Effective Decision- Making
1. What is the decision that needs to be made?
There is power in writing so ensure to draft details about that thing you are ruminating on. Reading back your notes may shed some light on possible options that you did not see before.
2. What is an ideal outcome?
Think about what you would like to happen. Envision the outcome in your mind’s eye and walk yourself through the desired scenario. When you and sense yourself in a strong position in this ideal outcome, what exactly did you decide to do that has taken you there?
3. What else is in the equation?
It is said that we make 35,000 small-scale decisions every day. This could range from what to eat, what to wear or which route to take to a particular place. There are consequences in every decision we make and profoundly so for large-scale decisions. Ultimately, whatever you decide is your choice. What are some other considerations to make and what might be the consequences? How can you manage these?
4. What values are relevant?
When you know your core values, you can use this as a guide in the decision-making process. For example, when deciding on what type of job to apply for - if BALANCE is important to you, you may decide to focus on seeking a role wherein you do not have to take work home, allowing adequate time to pursue personal activities. Ask yourself – If I decide to do X, what does this mean in terms of how I live the values that are important to me? If you don't know your core values, work with a who can help you raise awareness of the values that are important to you. Importantly, you will learn how to use this information to enhance your wellbeing.
5. Reflecting on all of this, what feels right?
Remember – everything is an option and your subconscious accepts all of these options as truth. By answering insightful questions, you feed your subconscious mind with an array of creative and useful information. A life coach can help you filter out unhelpful thoughts and weigh up those considerations that align with your values. The idea is to scope out enabling actions from the array of possible choices. In doing so, you will feel confident and empowered to make decisions that lead to positive outcomes.
6. What is the strategy to manage risks?
Everything in life is a risk. Even a decision that is made that will result in the best possible outcome will involve a measure of risk. What can you do to mitigate the risk involved? Sometimes, just knowing there is a risk and exploring an array of options to soften a rough landing is all that is needed.
7. What are the next steps if you decide to do Y instead of X?
The difference between confidence and doubt is awareness. Charting a process map of likely outcomes gives a sense of projecting into the future. This can lead to a sense that 'different avenues' are covered and scenarios can be thought of to preempt 'just in case' situations.
Think about the thing to do that serves your highest good. You are responsible for your life.
Whenever you have an important decision to make, give yourself time to consciously work through the cognitive process that is will help to deepen your thinking. Once you reflect on the questions, book your FREE discovery coaching session and work with a life coach to explore your options and make yourself accountable to follow through on those great decisions!
(c) January 2018 Rebecca Gordon