How to Make Decisions
By Sam Berns
Life is so much better when you make good decisions. Try these 5 steps whenever you are faced with an important decision.
Step 1 – Identify the situation or problem
What’s the situation, where does it fit in your life? Going to college for example isn’t about appeasing someone else’s wishes, it’s about the type of life you want for yourself. Take a step back and identify the situation for what it really is.
If your decision is about solving a problem, make sure you identify the real problem, not just the symptoms. I’ll give you an example. Say your head hurts, the problem isn’t that your head is hurting (that’s the symptom), the problem might be the person behind you hitting your head with a stick. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t identify it correctly first.
Step 2 – Ask yourself what you want to happen
Now that you understand the situation, ask yourself what you want to happen. Finish this sentence: “If it were up to me, this is what would happen…”
Step 3 – Consider all your options
People usually have way more options than they realize. Talk to someone you trust if you’re having problems seeing all the options.
Step 4 – Identify the consequences for each option
Each option will have resulting consequences if implemented. Identify both positive and negative consequences for each option. Again it’s good to talk to someone if you’re not sure what those resulting consequences for each option might be.
Step 5 – Pick an option and go with it
You know what you want, you know your options and you know what the possible consequences are for those options. Now you pick the best option and go with it!
One last thing
At a certain point, no decision becomes a decision. Be careful to not put off important decision with inaction for too long.