It is my belief that, for many individuals, delaying an important decision about how to move forward can be the thing that prevents them from having the personal or professional lives that they aspire to have.
Have you ever thought and thought of an idea or conversation or challenge in your mind with no resolution? I certainly have. And after coaching over 400 individuals for over 7 years, I feel this is a challenge many people experience. So, I thought it might be helpful to share what has worked for me to help me make decisions regularly and consistently move forward. Let's dig in:
1) Schedule your deadline
This is the most important piece of advice I feel that I can give on this topic. No matter what your process is to come up with if you'll move forward with a project or not, or if you'll have that conversation you're dreading to have or not, or if you'll pursue that thing you want to pursue or not, or whatever the decision is, it can be helpful to set a deadline for you to decide how you'll move forward.
For me, that looks like scheduling it in my Google Calendar. I literally have things that I need to decide on scheduled in 2022 and even years from that point. This ensures I don't forget to make certain decisions in the future (for example, setting a deadline about making a big purchase associated with my business). Your deadline may be at the end of the week or by the close of the next business day, depending on what decision you have to make. But please do have some sort of deadline that is appropriate for you and in alignment with the decision that you need to make.
2) Determine your decision-making process for big decisions
Though each decision is different, it may be helpful to establish what steps you might consider taking when a big decision is on your plate. For some individuals, you might need to do 1 or 2 things before you make a decision. For others, you might need a thorough, multi-step process, depending on the decision. Once you create what steps work for you when it comes to the specific decision that you have to make, you'll know that after a decision has been run through the steps below, that you should then be making the decision by the deadline you've established previously. Check out the list below for ideas on what you might want to consider doing depending on the decision you need to make:
Research online about different perspectives and approaches concerning what others have done in this instance
Pray about the decision
Meditate about the decision
Journal about the decision
Read, listen to, or watch other resources that might help you make the decision (books, magazines, articles, blog posts, audiobooks, videos)
Speak to a trusted family member (establish a specific number of friends that you'd like to speak to about the decision)
Speak to a trusted coach
Speak to a trusted mentor (establish a specific number of mentors that you'd like to speak to about the decision)
Speak to a trusted consultant
Speak to your therapist about the pending decision, sharing what your current thoughts are and specifically what you're grappling with when it comes to the decision
Speak to professional experts associated with the decision (For example: a lawyer, an accountant, a consultant, a subject-matter expert, a mechanic, etc.)
Speak to any individuals who might be directly impacted by the decision if that would be wise (Be very thoughtful about the timing and approach of this conversation)
3) Try to avoid remaining in gray area—make a concrete decision
Anxiety, stress, unforgiveness, and confusion are just a few of the feelings that might happen as a result of when we spend too much time not choosing to move forward in a specific direction or when we dwell on decisions that are causing us anxiety, depending on the circumstance of course. On the contrary, resolution, peace, accomplishment, forward movement, and clarity are just a few of the feelings that might come from making whatever critical decision you need to make. Use wisdom and strategy in your approach, but definitely move forward in a way that is in alignment with your values and allows you to feel that what you did was the right thing to do.
4) Be willing to shift
After making the decision, be willing to shift your energy to be at peace with the direction you chose. Also be flexible enough to assess later if the decision that you made was best or if you should pivot and move in another direction. I sometimes schedule in my calendar in a future week or month or year to reassess something, whether it be technology I'm using for my business, or a consultant I might be using, or something else. It's okay to be at peace in the midst of your situation if that would be wisest to do until you assess if you should pivot or not.
I hope these tips were helpful to you for wherever you are in making decisions that are critical for you to purse now or in the future!
As always, feel free to share this with any friend, colleague, or family member that you think could benefit from it. And you can always feel free to contact me to let me know if this resonated with you as well.
Photo credit: Paola Aguilar