Advertising
Advertising

If You Have These 8 Habits, You’re More Likely to Make Terrible Decisions Than Others

If You Have These 8 Habits, You’re More Likely to Make Terrible Decisions Than Others

Let’s get real: we’ve all made bad decisions from time to time.[1] That’s just part of life. Some people make terrible decisions more often than others, however (let’s be honest: we all have that one friend).

If you suspect you might BE the friend who can’t get it together, then it might be time to reevaluate your own decision making. Here are 8 habits that could be fueling a string of bad decisions. Do they sound familiar? Don’t worry—you CAN work on fixing these habits, but you need to understand why they’re sabotaging you in the first place before you can start making better decisions. We’ll show you why they’re standing in your way—and how to fix them.[2]

You don’t prioritize sleep

60 years ago, Americans slept an average of 7.1 hours a night.[3] These days, that number is only 6.1 hours. We’ve all heard how important sleep is to our health and well-being. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t think clearly. You’ll be more prone to injury (1.6x more likely to be injured on the job), and you won’t be able to make good decisions.

The fix for this is simple, but it does take some discipline and boundaries. Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it! Limit caffeine late in the day, and turn off your electronics before bed.

Advertising

You struggle a lot when making decisions

It may seem strange that indecisiveness can lead to terrible decisions,[4] but it’s absolutely true. If you don’t want to make a decision, you may go back and forth on what you want, which won’t allow you to objectively make a good decision based on your gut and the facts.

There’s no point in going over the facts over and over to avoid making a decision. Consider all the angles once, and then make a decision that seems best. Then move on!

You follow the herd

It’s so tempting to just agree with what everyone else is doing, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this can lead to some pretty terrible decisions. Following the herd doesn’t allow you to form your own opinions and make a well-reasoned decision—it’s based on emotion and perceived safety.[5]

If you’re thinking about following suit and making the same decision as everyone else, really stop and think about it first. Are you following because it’s easier, or because you actually agree with the decision?

Advertising

You’re used to giving up on goals

If you have a pattern of repeatedly giving up on goals, it could be influencing some bad decision making. If you give up at every road block, then you might start making decisions only based on fear. Setting and sticking to goals is essential for personal growth and making consistently good decisions.

If you’ve had trouble meeting goals in the past, start small. Make some easy goals you can achieve quickly to help build up your confidence. Decide to meet any obstacles head on, and don’t give up!

You focus too much on the past

It’s essential to draw on past experience in life—that’s how we learn and protect ourselves. If you’re only focusing on the past, however, you may be repeating mistakes when you make decisions. Or, you may be making decisions based on faulty or outdated assumptions.

It’s important to continually update your processes and look for new solutions. This will help you move forward instead of staying stuck in the past—and getting left behind.

Advertising

You seldom do self-reflection

None of us want to blame ourselves for our own problems—we’d much rather point the finger elsewhere. Unfortunately, this self-victimization can sabotage good decision making. You won’t be engaged at work because you’ll be too busy blaming others, and you can easily become one of the 38% of Americans who feel overwhelmed at work.[6]

It’s important to accept that you are responsible for your own feelings and actions. Take ownership of your decisions, and own up to them when you make a mistake. You’ll make better decisions because you’re willing to stand behind them.

You think too much in face of uncertainties

Similar to indecisiveness, overthinking your decisions can lead to uncertainty and reading into the situation too much. You won’t trust your gut and you’ll probably end up too confused to make a good decision.

Yes, you should obviously put thought into a big decision. But don’t let it consume you. Look at all the angles, check your instincts, and make a decision confidently. Then, move on!

Advertising

You mistake opinions for facts sometimes

In theory, we all know the difference between opinions and facts, but many people blur those lines and take everything other people (or themselves) think as fact. Falling into this trap can lead to some truly terrible decisions!

If you’re making a decision, do some research on the “facts.” Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you proceed!

Reference

[1] The New York Times: Why We Make Bad Decisions
[2] Lifehack: 5 Techniques To Make Better Decisions
[3] EKU Online: Sleep Deficiency and Fatigue Causing More Workplace Injuries
[4] Harvard Business Review: 9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions
[5] Fast Company: 5 Common Unconscious Biases That Lead To Bad Decisions
[6] USC Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology: Lack of engagement in the workplace

More by this author

Pregnancy Craving: Why Do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles and Other Kinds of Food? The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work, the First Thing Is to Overcome Jealousy If You Have These 8 Habits, You’re More Likely to Make Terrible Decisions Than Others How to Form an Unstoppable Team with Your Colleagues for Massive Success

Trending in Productivity

1 How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life 2 How to Develop Mental Toughness to Help You Stay Strong 3 How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious 4 How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future 5 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

Advertising

What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

Advertising

If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

Advertising

In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

Advertising

When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next