Four Steps to Better Decision-Making Without the Second Guessing

You might have noticed at the gym this morning there were less people than a week ago.

I’ll be honest.

It’s tough for me to watch.

It’s tough because I did this more years than I’d like to count…

…identify my resolution or goal for the year, just to make that pretty picture or magic number appear in my head…then within days start eating what I didn’t want, have my great ideas fall to the bottom of my to-do list and my chief initiative take a backseat to what I had to get done for others.

Here’s the secret most still don’t know…

Strategy and will power are only 20% of the solution.

Don’t get me wrong. Your willpower is strong, but it doesn’t hold a candle to your psychology.

No amount of strategy, hustle, willpower or intellect will out-perform your psychology.

It’s not a goal-setting, willpower or time management problem when we don’t follow through on our desires.

It’s a mindset problem which affects how we make decisions.

This is why today I’m committed to leading the kind of personal “deep dives” my clients need to make the best decisions for themselves.

Decisions shape our destiny.

But if we’re making decisions from our fear-based mind, we’re destined to lead unfulfilling days…and lives.

So whether you’re choosing…

Salad or sandwich?

Hour at the gym or staying in bed?

This chief initiative or that?

Accept the job offer or not?

Leave this industry or stay?

Let go of my business or stick with it?

Say “yes” to that trip or not?

…you’ll want to run it through this four-step decision-making process.

Here’s how to make better decisions that are right for you.

1. Trust your GPS. You know the truth by the way it feels. Every one of us has an internal system which holds the key to our wisdom, gut and intuition. Trust it. If your body contracts, your breathing shortens or you use a lot of words to make your decision, the decision is not true for you. Conversely, you know your choice is true for you when your body expands, your shoulders relax instead of tighten and your breath is calm. You hold your best answers. Trust yourself.

2. Look back to the future. You remember the Christmas classic, The Christmas Carol, right? This is where Scrooge has a dream which allows him to see his life in the past, present and future. Try it. Go out 20 years into the future you and imagine looking back. Ask yourself, “Will I regret not saying ‘yes’ to this choice? Will I regret not achieving, experiencing or at least having tried?”

3. Place your fear on trial. First declare your fear, worry or concern around the decision. When we speak our fear, it doesn’t have as much power. Once you acknowledge the opposition, you can challenge it fairly. Most often we build cases to confirm our fear. Instead, make a case for why your fear is unfounded. Ask yourself, “What evidence is there that this fear is un-true or not entirely true?” A woman who was making a big decision to return to a former employer, said her fear was she didn’t know anything about the company she had worked at prior for 22 years. She’d shared with me the assessment and comments her old trusted colleague who was still at the organization had given her. When I asked herself if the fear of not knowing enough about the company was true, she knew it wasn’t. She was able to discern that she was using her fear to keep her from making the move she was called to. There will always be a level of uncertainty and ambiguity in every decision. Be fair. Challenge the fear-based stories you may have made up and unwittingly made into facts. Ask yourself, “Is this true?”

4. Assess the Joy Factor. I believe the purpose of life is joy…and to serve. This may run into opposition to how you currently live — functioning, grinding it out, getting it done. The question to ask in order to make better decisions is, “Does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t, allow for the 3 minutes of discomfort to say “no,” instead of the 3 hours, 3 months or 3 years of pain that the “yes” may entail. Assessing and making decisions based on whether your choice brings you joy allows you to raise your standards and expand your boundaries. There’s no time to settle for less.

Finally, in any decision I always consider, “Will this help me grow?” I put a lot of value into my personal growth and showing up to the best version of me. I want to make sure when I get to my last day that I gave it my all…that I made a difference. If something supports my personal development, it positively contributes to my decision.

It’s not about what we’re given but what we choose to generate…love, harmony, joy, confidence, and full engagement.

Make sure your decisions are consistent with your heart’s desires in 2017. When you do, I promise your life will flow!

With love and gratitude,