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599616 494363540585168 1870003173 nIf you’re anything like me, and I know you are because you’re reading my blog, you sometimes resist making decisions, or doubt or fail to follow perfectly good ones you have already made.

Doing something about this can change your life, reduce the size of your bum, improve your relationships and get your home clean.  Yes, it’s that important.

I’ve talked about it before in this article here a while ago, and I have some more to say about it now.

Our lives are a series of decisions, and success is based on making good decisions, making plenty of them, trusting ourselves and following through on them.

 

So why do we seem to go off course sometimes and meander around wondering what to do now or pretending to ourselves that we don’t know?  And more importantly, what can we do about it?

Well, it’s all kinds of complicated self sabotaging and avoidance strategies we’ve learned, all based on fear, and those things can be overcome.  (Yes, they can, and the first step is taking responsibility for yourself).

It’s also to do with losing sight of our values, our identity, what matters to us, what we want, how we really want to live our lives.  The more we get really clear on these things and focus on them, the easier it becomes to make decisions.

If you want your housework done more efficiently, easily, and, er, regularly, you need to have an idea what your housework is – what your standards are, what you want done, how often etc. You also need to ask yourself why you want it this way – because it’s more comfortable, because it reduces stress, because it’s healthier etc.

If you want to get your paperwork under control, get healthier, shed some weight, learn a new skill, or whatever it is that you desire, yearn for or think would be a good idea – ask yourself why – what will it give you.

Getting familiar and intimate with our reasons, our purpose, our whys, is where our motivation comes from.  It allows us to get excited about the outcome, the possibilities, what it would mean to us.

As well as focusing on our why, to improve our ability to make good decisions, make more of them and carry them out, it helps to develop the habit of asking ourselves questions to identify what things we can choose to make decisions about.

You see we go through life in a trance a lot of the time, just running on auto and following our dumb but seemingly safe and familiar habits.  Asking ourselves constructive questions helps break us out of this.

What’s something that you see as a problem, an issue or an annoyance at the moment? When it comes up next, and you get that feeling, you can decide in that moment to ask yourself some questions and explore the possibilities.

And these are some of the questions you could ask yourself:

-          What is it about this that bothers me? (e.g. It makes me worry, about being judged, about it getting worse, I feel guilty, it distracts me, it’s not good for me…..)

-          Why do those things bother me?  How are they a problem for me? (e.g. because it feels bad when I worry, it holds me back, it effects my self esteem…)

-          How would I like it to be?  (Be specific, spend some time on this!)

-          How would I feel if it was how I would like it to be?  (I’d feel relaxed, pleased with myself, better about myself, I’d be inspired to do more, I’d achieve more…)

-          What options can I think of that would lead to it being how I want it?  (You already know what they are – just brainstorm, list, and bring it all to conscious awareness ….)

-          Are there steps involved?  What are they? 

-          How much time am I prepared to spend on this?  (Where does this figure in your priorities?  Consider how much it is bothering you...)  

-          What would be the best way to deal with it right now?  (Don’t obsess about the best way – make this decision QUICKLY based on the best info you have right now.  Your how can evolve as you go along)

-          What would happen if I didn’t do this?  (I’ll continue to feel yuk, it could get worse, monsters could eat me…)   What would happen if I did? (I could feel really great about it, smug even, and be inspired to tackle some other area where I desire increased efficiency, monsters could still eat me…)

-          And finally, what is my decision?  What am I going to commit to right now?  (Have you got the guts?  How bad could it be?  What terrible monster might eat you if you did, in case you missed that one just above? Kill that monster now or decide to just live with it, fear or not, until you become friends…. )

-          How am I going to do it?  (It won’t be perfect, just decide based on the best information you have right now.  Better done imperfectly and worked out along the way than not even attempted).

-          What obstacles could I come across and how can I deal with them?  (yes, you already thought of them…)

-          Imagine doing it, imagine it done, imagine the ongoing process etc, imagine how it feels the way you want it.  (I have found this hard to do in the past, but going through the last step above helps a lot). 

You could write this stuff down, or use one of those cool mind map app thingies if you’re into that.  The thing is getting yourself to think about your stuff in a way that leads you towards making a decision which will ultimately lead to you feeling better.  The purpose may start off as something like wanting to get more done or stop feeling yuk, and if you keep asking yourself “why do I want that” you’ll end up somewhere like “peace, love, happiness, fulfillment” etc.

Your criteria for making decisions are your values and your desired outcomes.  Asking yourself questions about how you want things to be and why, breaks your trance and forces you to look at what is really going on and what is within your power to do right now.

At the very least, be mindful of decision making as a huge factor in your life.  It really does shape your world

Comments   

#1 Teresa 2013-04-09 10:09
All my adult life I've had a hard time making decisions. It could be because of the "people-pleaser" tendency in me. I was always afraid of hurting someone's feelings, or choosing the wrong vacation spot, or picking out a gift for someone that they would hate. And it goes on and on... As I was reading Yvette's article "The Importance of Decision Making", a light bulb went on in my head! The reason I couldn't make deicsions was based on FEAR!! From now on I will use the list of questions Yvette suggests when making a decision. Instead of basing my decisions on someone else's values or pre-conceived intentions of how it should turn out, I should be considering my own values and how I will feel in the end. Thanks to this article, I will start doing that now!! That's one decision that was easy to make. ;-)

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