Considering we make somewhere around 5000 decisions a week, it’s not surprising sometimes we simply short circuit. In light of some big decisions I’ve had to make in my world, I thought I’d share some valuable techniques I use & teach.
I wish I could tell you that I was born a quick decision maker but I wasn’t. One of my strengths is having the ability to see things from a wide range of angles & on different levels. This is particularly useful given my line of work however, on a personal level, sometimes I can twist in the wind for longer than I really need to.
I’ve done lots of research & tried several techniques. Here are three of the most valuable ones to help you simplify & hone your decision making:
1. Decrease the number of decisions by creating systems, routines & rituals
How many of the same decisions are you making each day? What should we eat for dinner? Should I do the laundry or finish that project? Should I exercise or take a bath? Should I pay my bills today or next week? The list is endless.
Simply look at your repetitive decisions & tasks & re-work them into a system, a routine & ritual.
• Decide your meal plan once & stick to it. Monday is chicken, Tuesday is fish, Wednesday is pasta…etc.
• Decide to do all your business admin the same day day each month & meetings on specific days of the week.
• Decide a theme for each month focusing on one area of your life: January – health (doctor’s appointments etc. ) February – financial (planning, tax accounting etc.) March – spring cleaning.
You will find numerous ways to take mundane decisions right out of the equation.
2. Get out of your head & into your body
Our minds have this amazing ability to rationalize, work all angles, see different outcomes & sometimes spin. There is truth behind the saying “go with your gut”. What feels right? What feels good? I can’t tell you how many times I have made decisions, BIG decisions, going against what seemed to make more “sense” based on what my body told me. And when I haven’t followed my gut, without fail it’s turned out to be the harder route. You have the answer… tune into it, move through the fear & then accept what comes (no small task sometimes).
Three great techniques for getting out of your head:
Ask the following simple question
When I make this choice do I feel like I am expanding or contracting?
Start with the end in mind & body
Embody the decision before you make it. Literally walk yourself through option A & then option B to the outcome & see how you feel. You will know immediately which is the best direction.
Toss a coin
This is a great exercise that my dear friend & savvy owner of Girl Two Doors Down, Elena Verlee shared with me just the other day when she was describing helping her son make an important decision. Simply do “heads or tails.” When something is decided for you, such as in a coin toss, you will get an immediate gut reaction – “hey I didn’t want that or phew that’s it.”
3. Give yourself permission to change your mind
You are absolutely clear & then you are not. It comes as a niggling feeling or a lightning bolt. It might require a 2% shift in direction or a complete 180° that leads you back to your drawing board. Yup, this is life!
Changing your mind, re-charting your course, subtracting goals
is not “flailing in the wind” (even if it feels like it). Things change, you shift, receive new information & insight. It’s about evolving & continuing to re-align along the way.
So, the next time it happens on a big or small scale – re-define limbo & turn it into “information gathering”, embrace it & let things fall apart. It simply means that there’s a new path unfolding & it’s a sign that something greater is waiting in the wings for you.
Here’s to simplifying, fewer decisions, less stress & more creative space.