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If You Want To Be More Decisive To Get What You Want, Remember These 4 Rules

If You Want To Be More Decisive To Get What You Want, Remember These 4 Rules
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Have you ever met someone who could not make up their mind? Maybe it is a simple choice of cuisine:  Chinese or Indian. Or maybe the decision is a bit more serious like which school should we send our children to: public or private. Regardless of the decision, decisiveness is key to moving forward with daily responsibilities and getting what we want out of life.

Decisive people send a message to the world that they know who they are and what path they have decided to pursue in life. It is the difference between knowing who is goal-oriented or just wasting their time being wishy washy in life and about life. People who don’t make up their mind about simple decisions struggle with choosing a solution for larger dilemmas. Make sure you are decisive in life to fulfill your future dreams and get what you want out of life. In fact, consider these four rules as you move forward:

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1. Fight the Fear

Fear shows its ugly head in a variety of ways. Indecisiveness is one of those ways. If you or a friend struggle making decisions, what are you afraid of? Taking a moment to name your fears and question the authenticity of the concerns. This step can go a long way in helping you understand yourself. It can also help you determine what is a real fear and what is an irrational concern. When we know what we are afraid of, we can then question the reality of the concern and, hopefully, move forward.

Questioning the fears is also a way to discern the best course of action. When we know what we want, we normally strive to get it. Fighting fear to get what we want is imperative to live a happy life.

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2. Decide to Delay

Set a time limit for the decision that needs to be made. If you don’t want to decide right away, don’t. But create a deadline as to when you will state your choice about the dilemma at hand. This is one way to take the time necessary for research or to examine your fears, if there are any.

3. Take a Risk

It takes courage to move forward into the unknown. It is risky business to decide a course of action without any hardcore proof that the results will produce the desired output. However, if we lived our lives on the safe side, not wanting to make any decision unless we knew the outcome, we may wait forever.

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Courageously decide to state your choice of the options available. Use the gifts of reasoning and insight to delete the undesired, expected outcomes of certain choices. Then, with the remaining options left, pick one. You can positively project into the future what might happen based on the decision you choose. But with a positive attitude and pure motives, it is highly likely the results will be desirable.

4. Consult an Advisor

Sharing is caring. Taking the time to share your concerns with a trusted friend, mentor or advisor is one way to demonstrate you care about the impact this decision could make.  It is also a way to step into a role of leadership that highlights the magnitude of responsibility the decision entails.

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There is nothing wrong with not knowing what to do. But there is something wrong with being reckless and not making a decision at all. If you find yourself over analyzing the options or too afraid to think about the situation, maybe this is a great time to talk to someone who is not as emotionally connected to the problem. Their level-headed assessment could make the difference between a good decision and a bad one. Their opinion could help you determine what outcomes could likely occur.

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Michelle Owens

Freelance Writer/Editor

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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