Advertising
Advertising

Published on December 16, 2020

5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals

5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals

Choice is one of our greatest gifts, as it goes hand in hand with freedom, and we will do almost anything to protect it. The right to choose what we believe, what we say, and how we live is integral to our very being. Therefore, learning to make good choices is key to learning how to live a good life.

Being the “intelligent” species that we are, our learned experiences should continually enhance our ability to make good choices as time passes, so why isn’t it a given?

Does a three year old think about good or bad choices? Every choice is the right one when life is just one big adventure of discovery and excitement. It’s only as we begin to discern, judge, and regret that the importance of making good choices that align with our goals becomes apparent.

There are times when we might make a choice that seems perfectly logical, but a curve ball gets in the way. That’s life, things happen, but what about those times when we choose the same thing time and again expecting the result to be different? Surely it would be crazy to knowingly make bad choices—wouldn’t it?

Here are five ways that will help you to make good choices that align with your life’s goals.

1. Remain Faithful to Your Core Values

Your core values form the glue that binds your choices and your life’s goals together.

Advertising

To achieve fulfilment it is essential to remain faithful to your values. This will ensure that you make good choices that align with your life’s goals. If you compromise in this area, you will reap what you sow—maybe not immediately, perhaps not even in the short term—but eventually the conflict of values will catch up with you and bite you where it hurts.

You may think that you can compromise and still stay true to yourself, but there will always be a little piece of you that is out of sync. That irritant will have a tendency to grow like a pearl in an oyster shell, but the final outcome won’t be so pretty.

You may justify what you are doing or allowing to happen—be that at work or in your home life—but you will not be fulfilled. However much you convince yourself that the end justifies the means, nagging doubts will affect your peace of mind. This is a reaction to sacrificing your values for the sake of expediency.

For example, you may be on a career path that is progressing nicely, but your line manager has significantly different values in a critical area of the business. Do you go along with them indefinitely in spite of the conflict? Do you make a stand and risk your career? Or do you consciously decide to play ball in the short term as part of your overall life’s goals?

The latter may work as a temporary fix, but only if you are aware of the compromise you are making for the sake of the big picture. If not, it will lead to a hidden grievance since your mind is very adept at burying inconvenient truths for the sake of goals to which you have committed, making it difficult to make good choices.

2. Make Conscious Choices

Spontaneity has its place, but there is a fine line between impulsion and compulsion. Being in the moment is one thing, but it’s only too easy to mistake an intuitive response for a habitual reaction based on years of mental reflexes or even addictions.

Advertising

Have you ever woken up thinking “Why on earth did I do that?” So let’s go there: Why? Felt like a good idea at the time? Couldn’t help myself? I deserved a reward for all my sacrifices, my hard work, doing stuff I don’t like doing?

There’s “knowing” what’s best for ourselves, and then there’s “doing” it—or not doing it.

Consciousness is a gift permanently available to you should you choose to use it. You might perceive it as restrictive or boring, but in reality it is liberating, as well as working in your own best interests. Consciousness allows another perspective in your thinking as an alternative to the hard-wired version that has developed over the years[1].

Self-reflection will open the door to questions such as:

  • What is the emotional driver for this potential choice?
  • Is it the “right thing” to do? For whose benefit?
  • Am I giving or taking? Am I giving to take?
  • Will it bring me joy? If so, for how long?
  • What are the longer term implications?
  • Does it align with my life’s goals and my core values?
  • Is it a means to an end or an end in itself?

Intuition and inspiration are the life-blood of human creativity. Consciousness, unlike limiting and negative beliefs, lets your ideas flow whilst encouraging awareness. That awareness will help you make good choices and better manage the outcomes.

3. Listen to Your Gut

Since the Age of Enlightenment, mankind has worshipped at the altar of intellectual philosophy. However, we are still animals and, as such, inextricably connected with our organs, which are linked to our emotions and, therefore, to our choices.

Advertising

Some people resonate more closely with their gut, others with their heart. Make the most of these as opposed to just relying on the mind.

Have you ever, with hindsight, looked back on an event or a decision and thought, “I knew that was the wrong choice,” but you did it anyway, “against my better judgement”? If you want to make good choices, you need to improve your judgement, but rather than just logically weighing pros and cons; facts and figures; precedents and mathematical odds; listen to your body.

Logic is really effective for reasoning. The trouble is, human beings aren’t logical. You have no control over how another human being will react, but you do have within your DNA the capacity to draw on your primeval senses[2]. So even if all of the facts point clearly to one choice, remember to pay heed to your sixth sense, as well.

The key to decision making is balance. Experience will help you learn how best to make use of the feelings in your body. Don’t waste this natural resource.

4. See Choice as an Experiment

Procrastination can be a debilitating experience to the extent that some people describe it as paralyzing. “Too many choices” is a typical complaint or an excuse for delaying a decision, whereas in reality, to have the freedom to make choices is something we ought to be grateful for[3].

Choices fall into several categories, from relatively trivial to life-changing. However, even what may look like a really important choice with significant repercussions is often reversible. If you are inspired to make a change in your life, then rather than perceiving the process as stressful or the cause of anxiety, see it as an experiment.

Advertising

“Everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing.” —A Course in Miracles

Try it out; what’s the worst thing that could happen? If it doesn’t work out, you will at least now know that it’s not for you. As Thomas Edison allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

5. Love Yourself

Committing to make better choices is a fundamental step towards a happier, more joyful, and fulfilled life. Accepting the fact that you create your own reality, taking responsibility for where you are, and owning your role in how you got here is a part of growing up[4].

The next step is easy—provided that you have the clarity of thought and the open-mindedness to embrace it. You get to choose. No one else, just you. And guess what? You are the one who knows best what you need.

Never mind what your family, your peers, your partner, therapist, or coach think; you are the expert when it comes to running your life. There’s just one extra ingredient required: to love yourself enough to do the right thing for you.

Final Thoughts

Connecting with your truth, staying conscious, trusting your instincts, relishing the wealth of possibilities before you, and valuing yourself makes decision making fun rather than a chore. Follow these tips and watch your confidence grow as you reap the results of making good choices based on sound principles.

Advertising

More on How to Make Good Choices

Featured photo credit: Jose Escobar via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)
[2] Psychology Today: Are Humans Rational?
[3] Association for Psychological Science: Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination
[4] Huff Post: The Truth Behind ‘You Create Your Own Reality

More by this author

Gray Hughes

Life coach (using the motivational 3 c's Model) and writer.

7 Tips On Putting Knowledge Into Action Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is a Sign To Improve Yourself How to Cure Boredom: 20 Things to Reignite Your Life 5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals How To Find Your Passion in Life and Fulfill Purpose

Trending in Life Potential

1 What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion 2 16 Simple Rules to Live by for a Successful And Fulfilling Life 3 How to Live a Full Life With No Regrets 4 How to Stop Feeling Guilty And Start Making Things Happen 5 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion

I like to use the word passion interchangeably with words like determination, conviction, and love. Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things.

Passion is an emotion to be acted upon. Without action, passion yields no worthwhile results. Passion is the fuel in the fire of action. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it.

So what is passion? How do you recognize your passion, and how do you put it to good use?

Advertising

What Is Passion?

A desire fueled by passion will bring about the greatest results in life.

I like to skateboard, but I don’t have the determination to push myself through broken bones and hospital visits. That’s why I’m not as good as I could be. I don’t have a passion for it.

Passion can push you through difficult times because you don’t care what it takes to become better. We all have the ability to create whatever kind of life we want. The secret to living the dream is hidden in our passions and what we do because of them.

Advertising

How to Know What You’re Passionate About?

Finding what you are passionate about is a journey in itself. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t feel like you know yet. Keep trying new things. It will come even if you have to build it. If you find your passion, or find yourself hot on its trail, don’t give it up.

What if you know what you have a passion for but you don’t do anything about it? This is the main problem with passion. You can have all the passion in the world for something but if you never do anything about it, that passion is useless.

Maybe you work a good job that pays all the bills but it doesn’t allow you to truly follow your passion. You’re afraid of what will happen if you change things up. Yes, change is scary, but it’s not until we leave our comfort zone that we find what we’ve been missing out on.

Advertising

You’re the author of your life. Don’t settle for the bare minimum just because it’s working out right now.

You will never know what you’re truly capable of unless you push yourself.

But even when you pursue your passion, you will find yourself tripped up by failures and other obstacles. You can’t let that get to you. It happens to everyone on the path of following their passion. Abe Lincoln had a strong passion for building a great country. You think he let a few failures stop him from that? Don’t let obstacles get you down.

Advertising

What About Passion for People?

The idea of passion also applies to people. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking you love someone and not doing anything about it. Ask yourself, is giving up my pride worth it to maintain a relationship? What about being unselfish and sacrificing your time or comfort? If you can’t do that, it’s probably not real love, or you need to start making changes.

Often, I think we need to remind ourselves who we love and act accordingly. It’s easy to let family relationships weaken because of pride. Of course, you say you love your family, but when your brother is in the school play, and you hate plays, do you go?

The same applies to intimate relationships. Do you only love them when it’s easy? Real love takes sacrifice and work. You push through the difficult times because you love them and you understand that every passion pursued will have bumps in the road. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what it means to have passion for someone. This is why divorce rates are so high and families are often torn apart by hurt feelings and unnecessary drama.

Advertising

Following any passion takes vulnerability and work. But I promise in the end, the outcome of such efforts will be the most fulfilling to your life.

More About Living Your Passion

Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

Read Next