Sunday, August 29, 2004

10 ways to make your mind up

Got this from The Star

From what to wear to whether to change jobs, here’s how to stop dithering and start making great decisions.

1. Think in numbers

Write a list of pros and cons for your decisions, and then convert those into percentages. For example, changing your job might be 80% positive and 20% negative.

“Seeing your choice in terms of cold, hard figures gives you a much clearer perspective on it,” says Gary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, UK.

2. Go with your instinct

“Gut instinct guides us through dozens of minor decisions every day but when it comes to the big stuff, it gets muddled by worries and obligations,” says UK life coach Lynda Field.

“Start noticing how much you rely on your gut feelings every day and it’ll be easier to tap into them over bigger dilemmas,” she adds.

3. Pay a professional

Whatever your quandary, there’s a specialist out there who can help you. A session with a relationship counsellor or career consultant will focus your feelings and give you strategy to help you decide.

4. Toss a coin

If your shopping trip has stalled because you can’t decide between white and red flip-flops, toss a coin. If the coin falls in favour of the white flip-flops and your heart sinks, you’ll know to take those red ones straight to the till.

5. Recall bad decisions

It’s painful but if you go over a bad decision, you’ll see where you went wrong. Did you listen to your head, not your heart? Or did you do what other people expected, not what you wanted?

Pinpoint that mistake and you won’t make it again.

6. Say what you don’t want

When you can’t even begin to find your way through a maze of choices, start by mapping out what you don’t want, then see what’s left. With fewer options, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and the right path will be easier to spot.

7. Feel the fear

Fear of making the wrong choice makes us stall on big decisions. But imagine how frustrated you’ll be if you don’t make the decision and are still in your current situation in a year’s time – it’ll spur you on.

8. Start small

“Making good decisions is about having confidence in your judgment,” according to psychologist Sue Firth. “Start by setting yourself small decisions, such as what outfit to wear. When you can do this well, you’ll learn to trust yourself over the bigger things, too.”

9. Buy yourself some time

The worst decisions are usually the ones we make in a hurry because they’ re based on our emotions at that moment. If you can reflect on something – even if it’s only for 20 minutes – your judgment will be much sounder.

10. Start imagining

“lmagine that you’ve already made the decision, then examine how you feel,” says Liz Tucker, author of When You Want To Say Yes But Your Body Says No.

“It’s normal to be nervous but if you’re also excited, go for it. If you’ve got a sense of dread, however, it’s not the best option right now.”

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