When you’re tossing around a big decision like I have been for the last week, having a step-by-step process can be really valuable. Here’s the process I use:
How to Make a Big Decision
- Gather all the facts. Review numbers, dates, testimonials, references, commitments, guarantees, fine print, etc. Make sure you have all the information to make an informed decision. Ignore any desire to excuse facts based on feelings in this step and be sure you’re reading or hearing what’s actually being said, not just what you want to hear.
- Calculate the Return on Your Investment
Does the decision make sense financially? Can you afford to say yes? What’s the real cost saying no, or not yet? How can you make it work?
- Write out the Pros and Cons for each option.
Thinking isn’t good enough. You must write it out.
- Determine which option is most aligned with your long-term values and goals.
- Pray for wisdom. After you’ve done your due diligence using logic, you need wisdom. Listen for that still small voice that’s only available when you get quiet.
- The answer to prayer may be to seek wise counsel. If that’s the case, seek objective advice. If it’s a business decision, always lean on someone who’s successfully made similar decisions and knows your strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t be moved by fear. Most courageous decisions will cost more than you want to spend and require more time than you want to give it. Fear is intensely limiting. Ignore it.
Tip: Pay attention to the physical place within you where your decision appears to be coming from. In my experience logic comes from my head, wisdom comes from my heart/inner chest, and fear is more of a surface level urgency. Once you learn to discern the feelings of logic, fear, and wisdom, it’s easier to do a quick gut check when you need to make rapid decisions.
Still not sure?
“Adopt” each option for 24 hours and see how it feels.
For example, on Wednesday decide that you WILL. All day Wednesday, enjoy the feeling of saying “Yes.” Does it feel right, or is there a nagging sense of regret? On Thursday, switch sides and decide that you WON’T. How does it feel with that decision? Is it tougher today but better for you in the long run?
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