When we’re faced with an important choice, it’s common for us to think “Am I making the right decision?” Here are three simple steps to making choices that you’ll feel good about later on.
It’s painful, isn’t it? That moment when you’re kicking yourself yet again wondering why oh why oh WHY did I say yes to this?
And yet as downright crappy as that feeling is (and we all know it well, myself included), I have good news: with just a few minor adjustments in how we approach our decision-making, we can drastically reduce the amount of regret we feel in our lives.
I hope that the following three tweaks to your current habits and ways of thinking will help you to make more decisions in your life that you feel AWESOME about and fewer that you feel “eh…” about.
1) Take some time.
Why is it that so often we feel we need to give people an answer or make a decision right away? When we take a little time – whether that means an hour, a day, or a week – it gives us the space we need to arrive at a decision that’s aligned with our priorities, values, and goals. And alignment = no regrets.
The next time someone asks you to do something for them (or you’re faced with any decision that really matters) – tell them you need (or just give yourself) a few days to think it over. Generally, it’s when we make knee-jerk decisions that we end up having regrets later on.
2) “Try on” your options.
A friend of mine told me about this method a few years ago, and it hasn’t failed me since. If you’re making a difficult decision between two options, close your eyes and “try on” each one. Visualize how it will look and feel to live having said yes to that thing. Notice how your body feels. Is it relaxed? Or is it tense? Notice your mood as you visualize this potential future reality. Are you excited? Or filled with dread? More often than not your answer will become illuminated and crystal clear. Simply choose the option that feels better.
3) Listen to your gut.
Call it a feeling, call it intuition, call it the pit of your stomach, call it your inner voice, or call it whatever you like. As most of us have learned from experience when that intangible part of ourselves is telling us something isn’t a good idea – it’s usually right. So do yourself a favor – and really do your future self a favor. Listen. (For more on this, check out Your Gut is Talking to You).
Yet Another Approach for the Question “Am I Making the Right Decision?”…
Ruth Chang, a philosopher at Rutgers University in New Brunswick has a ground-breaking method for making difficult decisions as outlined in her widely known TED talk. For more on her 5-step process, check out 5 Steps to Making Difficult Choices Without Regret.
Here’s to a life chock-full of intentional and “unregrettable” decisions!