No matter what choices are laid in front of us, we want to make the smartest decision possible. These decisions could range anywhere from our careers, to large purchases to our personal lives. No matter what, making smart decisions is key to advancing in life, being happier and feeling more accomplished.
Before we get to those questions you should ask yourself, I would like to talk about some tips on making smart decisions.
Never make a big decision while you’re hungry, tired or angry
It’s not surprising that we just aren’t thinking clearly while experiencing negative emotions. A good example that I like to use: Whenever I go into the grocery store hungry, I always buy unnecessary things and spend way more than I intended. The same can be true of making big decisions. As a solid rule, don’t make any important decision while you’re experiencing ANY negative emotion. You want a clear head.
Use the always useful Pros & Cons list
It doesn’t even have to be a physical list but honestly, that helps me the most. When making any large decision, run through the pros and cons of your choices. This gives you a clearer picture of each potential decision and will likely point you in the right direction.
Don’t make too many major decisions at once, you’ll overwhelm yourself
I understand that sometimes, a lot of important decisions get thrown at us in a matter of days, (sometimes even hours). However, if you’re able to hold off, do it. You don’t want to go making a bunch of major decisions back to back.
It’s okay to seek the right advisors
Don’t be afraid to seek counsel when it comes to making big decisions, especially if it’s a decision you’ve never faced before. But beware – seeking the wrong advisors is a poor idea. For example, if you’re considering buying a new home, (or your first home), don’t seek advice from a person who doesn’t own their own home or have never gone through the process.
Reflect on past big decisions
How have big decisions you’ve made in the past turned out? Would you change them? Would you change how you went about it? Self-reflection is powerful and should always play a role when it comes to making big decisions.
Ultimately, it has to feel right
Intuition is important. We get these feelings for a reason. Never ignore these feelings, especially the intense ones.
Some Quick Examples of Major Decisions you may face:
- Job Change
- New Home
- Large Purchases
- Investing in Education
- Choosing a College Major
- Changing a College Major
- Adopting a New Pet
- Having Children
- Pursuing a Dream
There are lots of major decisions we will all make throughout our lives. Being able to handle how we make these decisions and which decisions are the smarter choices is going to greatly impact our lives. They aren’t to be taken lightly and should be given ample consideration before coming to an ultimate decision.
I’ve always found that asking myself relevant questions before making major decisions allows me to reflect and better analyze the smarter choice.
Now, to the Questions you Should Always ask yourself Before Making a Big Decision:
1. What are my fears?
We all have fears associated with big decisions. Identify yours. Are the fears practical? Can they really happen? Do the potential benefits outweigh those fears?
2. What is my “Why”?
It’s always important to recognize our “why.” Why am I contemplating this decision?
3. What is my gut telling me?
Intuition should always play a role when it comes to making big decisions. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If it does feel right and your heart, mind, and spirit are all on the same page – it’s likely a decision worth some serious consideration.
4. Does this decision push me closer to my goals?
If the decision is getting you closer to short or long-term goals, it’s worth considering. Any step, large or small is a step and that’s always a positive thing.
5. Can I live with it and myself?/ Does this align with my values?
As a rule, if a decision you’re making is going to negatively impact somebody, it’s likely not the right call. You always want to stay true to your values when it comes to any decision. Make sure you’re not making a decision that will make it difficult to look at yourself in the mirror.
6. If it goes south, will I be okay?
With most major decisions, there’s a chance it could go south. If it would, would you be able to bounce back?
7. Will this benefit future me?
Will future-you thank you for making this decision?
8. What outcome am I hoping for?
Picture the ideal outcome of the decision and ask yourself if it’s favorable.
9. Free of any negative outcome, would I do it?
If all the cards would fall perfectly, would you do it? Is it worth it?
10. If I don’t do it now, will I regret it later?
Living with regret is not good for anybody. Will you kick yourself later if you don’t make the decision? It’s easier to regret something you did do rather than something you didn’t and that’s always something to keep in mind.
Analyze, Trust yourself and Go for it
When it comes down to it, you know yourself better than anybody else. Making big decisions is simply part of life. Handling those big decisions in the smartest way possible is going to put you on a better track and lead you towards your dreams and goals.
As with nearly everything, the more decisions we make, the better we are going to get at analyzing whether or not they are the smartest of choices. It can be scary and that’s perfectly okay. Analyze, reflect, trust yourself, and make these major decisions using the questions. When it’s right – it’s right.
I wish you the best of luck for all your future decisions! Let me know in the comments what considerations you take into account when making major decisions? Was this article helpful? Let me know!
I love these questions so much and wish I had them handy from some recent decisions I made. If you ever make a printable of these I’d love to download and print so I can refer to often 🙂
Brilliant, very helpful, thank u!
Thanks for writing this much needed article. Big decisions requires thought and careful reflection. But I most definitely look at my ‘Big Why’. Thanks for sharing.
Great assessments questions to make a decision. Thank you for sharing!