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5 Key Steps To Effective Decision Making

5 Key steps to effective decision making.

That’s fine, many people have differing perspectives of how to solve a problem or launch out toward a goal. Still, will sifting through the maze of good ideas and plans assist you in getting to where you want to go? Sometimes yes, but more often than not you’ll come away even more confused than ever for this reason:

  • If you’re having problems with decision making, what makes a person think they’ll make the correct decision about which plan to implement?

That question is what this post is written to eliminate.

There are far too many of us who are stuck on “high center” because of our inability to make a proactive decision. We bombard ourselves with questions like:

  • What if I make the wrong decision and everyone sees?
  • What if I choose the wrong list?
  • What if my decision turns out terribly wrong?
  • What if I simply can’t complete the goal once I start? What then?
  • What’s wrong with me now? I mean, it’s not all that bad where I am now if I really think about it.

These are some of the self defeating thoughts we all have when we sense the desire, a stirring to move toward another level in our lives. All are questions that we all deal with however, the last is the worse. Once that one is not just thought of but actively embraced, unknowingly we have relegated ourselves to become eternal “fence sitters,” never quite doing what’s necessary to get over, but always looking like we are to others. Believe it or not this one is a conscious decision that the vast majority of us make, although we won’t consciously admit it.

So, what do we do when we’re faced with a major life decision? How do we know what position to take?honest deicisions

Like I wrote earlier, there are many very good (among a few not so good) plans and ideas for going forward to the next phase of our lives, however there are 5 Steps To Effective Decision Making that are key and should always be included in every plan to move ahead. They are…

1 – Start Right Now.

Starting the process immediately and not even for a moment entertaining a thought that when things get just right, or this project is over, or when the kids leave, and on and on, THEN I’ll really get going on this. That’s a death knell for a dream. True, you may not actually be able to afford the cost, whatever form the cost may take, right now, but you absolutely must start right now to plan. When you’re mentally prepared you’ll be amazed how many opportunities you’ll start seeing that were there all the time.

This includes getting yourself a notebook to write in that is specifically set aside for your dream goal. This gives you something to go back and forth to, to make new notes, cross out others and to outline your progress. When you look at that notebook you can say to yourself, “I’m not going to start someday, I’ve already started,” that lends an air of self control to the situation.

2 – Start What Right Now?

You must put in writing what it is you intend to make your goal. It doesn’t have to be worded perfectly, but it does have to be worded. You must see yourself as the CEO of your future, and all CEO’s write down their goals. They may adjust them as time and the consideration process begins taking place, but they still always have something in front of them that clearly explains to what their energies and efforts will attain.

Let this notebook always be with you, make it an extension of yourself. It goes where you go and it’s always available for you at any time to write down a thought or a note. There are far too many, now tired, older and too removed from their original hopes and goals, that for them it truly is too late. Don’t become one of them. The highways, paths and roads of life are littered with good if not great ideas and plans, still on paper with no implementation. So that takes us to the next key step…

3 – Honest Introspection.

Honest introspection is the process of clearly and genuinely dealing with where you are in life right now. It may require some painful truths to come to the surface, but nevertheless, it’s a requirement for you as a whole person to move forward. decision makingThere will be questions like:

  • What habits got me to where I am now?
  • Which of those should I keep and which should I consciously and immediately discard?
  • What are my heart felt interests in life as a whole?
  • What are my skill sets and how can I improve them?
  • How can I change habits that have been less than helpful?
  • If I start this new journey, who will be my personal hindrances, why and how?
  • Am I truly prepared to deal with these hindrances?
  • Am I afraid of succeeding and why?
  • Am I more afraid of staying how I am?
  • And on and on the questions may come and it’s important, no it’s vital to honestly ask each one of yourself and then deal with the true answer.

4 – Eliminate the truly impossible, consider the improbable and write down the possible.

There are some things that I, for example, will never be able to do. Without a doubt I know my own limitations, how much of my spare time I am willing to give to a specific cause (some are more fulfilling than others so we actually and unconsciously make time for them), and can I live without accomplishing them without a sense of overwhelming loss enter my life?

What goals are very interesting, though the road may be extremely and I mean really extremely difficult? After we consider the improbability of a potential goal, does it still have a place in our hearts? If it does, move it to the next category, that of the possible.

This type of honesty and pragmatism is missed by many who don’t think a process through.  There’s one anomaly to this process, and that’s the goal, interest or cause that no matter what, just won’t leave you alone. After all the decisions and plans and procedures are in place, if that most heartfelt goal isn’t included, start over. Trust me on this, if you leave it out you will eventually, regardless of the degree of success you find in other endeavors, you will be a very sorrowful person.

Some things in life we are simply mean to do and if it means removing those projects and time-consuming obstacles from our path so that which tugs at our minds, hearts and souls most can be accomplished, then the cost of doing so may very well be worth it.

decision making5 – Step back and look at what you’ve written down and consider it fully along with all it’s implications.

This is where more rigorous honesty has to come in. Analyze everything you’ve written and then question why you’ve written it down. This will help eliminate ego-needs, those things that we jot down because it would make us look good to others.

Talk aloud to yourself about every, absolutely everything you’ve written down. Cross things out, adjust some things, make corrections and add some things, but no matter what you must truly and completely consider all the known implications of going forward towards your goal as best you can. If you do not take this time, you will eventually be back to the fourth item in our list. And if you do, that’s ok, because what you’re learning is extreme self-honesty without which you will never, on a very personal and internal level, be the success you desire to be.

Sounds reasonable, huh? But what do you do when you finish Step 5?

You start back over with Step 1, but with a much smaller and more highly focused list, and you keep going through the process until you’ve got the one or two things that you not only can do, but which you know inside of you that you must absolutely without a doubt do.

Don’t think that your first try will bring about a plan that you can succeed with. It may, but it may very well not. But in any case what it has done is rationally and sensibly focused not only your mind but your heart to move in a more specific direction. The end of that movement may be a career, a cause or a lifestyle, but once this process is done, then done again and maybe even done again, you’ll know for certain that your goal is the correct one.

It should be broad enough to take into consideration life changes that we all will go through, but narrow enough to keep your heart happy. And that’s truly the best goal of all.

However, I do have a question that I would love some answers to: What are the one or two things that seem to continually cripple your finishing a plan? Please leave a comment below at the bottom of the page.


Author: Tony Hensley

#decisionmaking #goals


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