No matter how much we tell ourselves that this year we’re going to make better, more rational decisions, we often end up kicking ourselves in the foot with yet another bad decision. A bad decision is usually made out of impulse. In other words, we make it with our hearts instead of our heads. We get a bit giddy for a moment, lose our sound sense of reason and judgement, and go for the irrational option. Then, we quickly regret it.

“I knew I shouldn’t have gone out drinking last night.” “Why oh why did I tell my boss I’d work overtime today when I knew I had to be home early.”

Emotion-based decisions are what can cost us big time. They can cost us money, time, and even relationships. Worse still, they often take us off the path we were happily sticking to that would bring us close to our goals. While we can usually recover from a bad decision, the things we lose in the meantime are still enough to leave us filled with regret. Moreover, while it’s perfectly fine to make one error of judgement and learn from it once, to keep doing it over and over again is just annoying. Let’s take a look, then, at 10 super helpful tips on how to make good decisions in life.

Think About The Future

A lot of the time, we make impulse decisions based on how a certain action will affect us in the here and now. Rarely do we think about how it’s going to affect us in five or even ten years’ time. And how about how a decision will affect us in 24 or 48 hours? Often, we get a bit giddy and throw caution to the wind, purely because we know we’ll enjoy something right here, right now. However, our future self surely won’t thank us for our impulsiveness! So a good tip on how to make good decisions in life is simple: each time you make a decision, consider how it will affect your future self. Will it make you happier, or will it make you worse off? For example, if you decide to spend and not save this year, is that something that will bite you in the butt in years to come?

Try To Think About All Possible Options

Always keep making the same decision but it doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere? For once, take an alternative position from the accepted norm, for the sake of exploring the thought further. Take a fresh perspective and consider what life would be like if you tried the other option, it’s another one of great tips on how to make good decisions in life.

Take Responsibility

Sometimes, we shy away from making a big call even though it’s the right call because we fear the consequences. For example, let’s say you know that you should say No to a close friend who wants your help. You can’t bring yourself to do it, because you’re aware that they would get offended and kick up a fuss.

Take responsibility for all your decisions, and be prepared to accept the consequences. It’s empowering, and the more you do it, the easier it will get, and the easier you life will get, too!

Think Of Each Decision Like A Chess Move

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck’s long-term goal is to own the New York Jets. He says that every decision he makes is made with that long-term goal in mind. If a move will take him closer to achieving that goal, he’ll make that move. In this way, he treats each decision like a chess move.

You should try adapting this strategical mindset, it’s such a great advice on how to make good decisions in life. Each time you’re presented with a decision to make, consider how the move will affect your overall game. Will it take you closer to a long-term goal? Or will it set you back, and maybe even put your whole game in peril?

Fight Social Pressure

You don’t need to follow the herd. Just because your friends are all doing something and say you should too, so what? You need to make a decision that you know deep down will improve your own life.

Fight the pressure. Go your own way if you know it’s the right way. Caving into social pressure will only lead to regret and resentment.

Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify your emotions as well as those of others, and manage them. This isn’t always so easy to do, but it’s crucial if you want to make the right decisions. So often, we let our emotions get on top of us to the point where we make bad decisions. Our judgement has been thwarted by our inability to control our emotions.

Take 5 Minutes

A good tip on how to make good decisions in life is to take some time and think. If someone is pressuring you into making a snap decision, tell them you need a few minutes to think about it. Taking some time out will benefit you both. When we’re asked to make a quick decision, we don’t always make the right call. Don’t feel pressured to make a snap judgement. Leave the room, go for a walk, clear your head until you feel sure that you’re ready to make the right decision.

Limit Your Choices

When faced with an abundance of choice, we often make no firm decision at all. Narrow down your choices so that you have less to work with.

Understand Your Values.

This is one of the crucial tips on how to make good decisions in life. Your values are meant to guide your every decision. Each time you need to make a decision, you should look at your values and ask whether the decision lines up with them.

For example, if your number one value is to be healthy and you’re invited to a cocktail night, would accepting really be the right decision? It might be at the time, but you might find that you’re full of regret the next day.

The problem is that lots of us are unaware of what our values are. As such, we make bad decisions that we later regret because we realise they don’t align with our values.

Write down your values. Reiterate them, remember them. Make sure you know them inside out, so that each time you’re faced with a decision you can make it with your values in mind.

Ask For Help

Lastly, why make all the decisions yourself? A friend could bring an entirely new perspective on board that you hadn’t considered before.

Do you have other tips on how to make good decisions in life?

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