How to make important decisions

remarkablemark
3 min readDec 19, 2022
Left and right arrows drawn with chalk in front of black dress shoes
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6 strategies on how to make important decisions:

  1. Write it down
  2. Address your feelings
  3. Compare alternatives
  4. Sweeten the deal
  5. Talk to others
  6. Flip a coin

Write it down

Put your thoughts down in writing. This takes the intangible out of your mind and makes it tangible. This is inspired by CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. By outlining your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, you can objectively assess how you truly feel and if that aligns with your core beliefs and values. Also, you can get a better night’s rest since this can stop the overthinking.

Fountain pen writing cursive on black lined paper
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Address your feelings

Come to terms with your emotions. Do you feel anxious? Do you feel guilty? Do you worry of regret? When it comes to big decisions, everyone goes through the same types of feelings. Embrace them since there are stakes, but don’t get held back and paralyzed. Ultimately, make the best decision you can at that particular time. Don’t get hung up on the what-ifs since there are a million of them. Focus on what’s in front of you and don’t try to predict the future. Understand whether your hesitations and doubts are genuine or illusions. Be realistic on what’s plausible based on the action.

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Compare alternatives

List out 2 alternatives and compare them with 3 to 5 things that are important to you. Give them a weight and calculate the total score. Doing this can help you objectively rank the best decision via quantitative means.

Writing a checklist in a book
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Sweeten the deal

Ask what it takes for you to accept the deal. Are there any additional benefits that can be added? Are there any other costs that can be eliminated? You never know if you don’t ask. Everything is negotiable and you can always look to sweeten the deal.

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Talk to others

Talk to friends and family. Ask other people for advice. They can bring an outsider perspective to your issue. Sometimes, all it takes is a third-party perspective to get you out of your tunnel vision.

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Flip a coin

It might seem strange to flip a coin for a big decision, but the intent of the coin flip is to get a reaction. If the coin lands on an outcome you want, then you should be fine accepting it. But if the coin lands on an outcome you don’t agree with, then something will feel off. This unsettling feeling brings out what your heart truly desires.

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Commit

Once you’ve made up your mind, commit to the decision. Whether it’s a yes or a no, spending too much time on it will only bring diminishing returns. Once a decision has been made, it will free you mentally and emotionally.

What strategy did you use to make your decision?

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