“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins
Do you struggle to make decisions?
You may feel so concerned about making the wrong choice that you don’t make any choice at all. I firmly believe that but by doing this, you actually do make a decision: you decide not to choose any path or destination! No decision is a decision.
The typical way of coming to a decision involves attempting to compare the future consequences of each of the possible actions. But really how do you know the future, how can you realistically make a decision based on “possible” outcomes?Advertising
The first challenge lies in attempting to predict the future; it’s tough to have any real accuracy. The second challenge is that the more important and serious we believe the issue to be, the more likely we are to become paralyzed. Yet, these big issues are the ones that really require a decision and a direction. Ultimately, making decisions this way can be difficult. Indecision can feel paralyzing.
Can there be a Better Way?
Try this on for size, see how it feels differently from the last method. Instead of looking at a long-term point in the future, try considering just the impact on your life and your well-being now – right here, right now, in the present moment.
Two simple questions to ask yourself:
- If I selected this option, how would it impact my life right now?
- What changes would I experience immediately?
Suppose you had a job that you didn’t really care for, but the money was good and you didn’t have to work very hard to get it. But you really wanted to be a teacher. The thought of teaching middle school English always appealed to you, and you’d love having the summers available to do something other than work your usual job.
Let’s think about this a little:
If I selected this option, what impact would it have on my life right now? What changes would I experience immediately?Advertising
- Stay at old job: I would feel trapped. I would feel very little hope that in the future I could have an enjoyable career.
- Become a teacher: I would feel hopeful about the future and excited at the prospect of spending my days in a more enjoyable way.
Now it is so much easier to see what option will feel better, will enhance your life and lead you to greater personal satisfaction.
Present Moment Impact
When you look only at the impact your decision making have in the present moment, you get to the heart of the matter very quickly. The very fact that you’re stuck to begin with and can’t make up your mind means that you’re having a difficult time choosing one over the other. So if there’s no obvious winner, choose the option that’s the most fulfilling to you.
By taking the future out of the equation and simply making a decision, you can move forward and spend your energy taking action to make your decision work out the very best it can. This is a much more effective and enjoyable way to live.
Additional Strategies to make decisions less stressful
- Let go a little. You don’t have to be the best or be perfect all of the time.
- Look at the big picture. So many times we get caught up in all the small details that we really loose sight of the big picture.
- Take a break. Take a yoga class, go on a run or meditate. Let your mind relax and allow your subconsciousness do the work for you.
- Intuition. Simply go with your gut. Sometimes your first instinct is the one that will lead you in the right direction.
- Non-Permanent. Remember that many of our decisions are not permanent, they are just phases in our lives and things will change.
- Choose to live from your heart. Allowing your heart to guide you will ensure that you know you are moving forward for your greater good.
Additional Action Steps to make decisions more manageable
Checklists to free your Mind
Creating checklists for routine and everyday tasks can free your mind and lower your stress levels. I use checklists often, it allows me to breathe easy, I’m never stressing that I am forgetting something. Once your checklist is ready you don’t need to spend time deciding to do A or B, you will know that you will do B after you have completed A.Advertising
Block your Time
Set aside a specific block of time for making your decision. Pick a location where you will not be disturbed. Set a timer. Give yourself enough time, but be careful about using too much as you will turn the session into an unproductive procrastination session.
Limit your choices
Quickly rule out choices not suitable. Pick 2-3 choices that interesting and part of your life plan or vision. This allows to you eliminate unnecessary information overload and will help you analyze choices quicker.
Right-size, right decision
Putting the right amount of effort into your decision making will help you make faster decisions and with less stress. Making the decision about “what’s for dinner?” and making the decision about “where to go to college?” both deserve the appropriate amount of time and effort. Understand that smaller decisions don’t need to be made into large ones because you are feeling “stuck”.
Create a Support System
Put together a group of friends and family that can assist with the big decisions. You could also opt to join a Mastermind group, a group of peers that can offer you an objective view and a new prospective on your decisions.Advertising
Delegate the Small Stuff
Whether it is around the house or at the office, there are some things that you can definitely pass on to other people. Think about the things that can easily be shifted to other family members or assistants. Allow these people to learn the art of decision making for themselves, help prepare them for bigger decisions.
Put some or all of these strategies into practice for fighting stress while making decisions, and you will see real changes in every area of your life. You will see the levels of stress decrease, you will see that decisions become easier to make each time.
Published on July 15, 2019
10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today
Habits are an important part of the direction you take your life, and — as I’ll share with you shortly — there are certain daily habits you can adopt right away that are guaranteed to improve your life.
Think back to when you were just six or seven years old…
At that age you probably didn’t have many habits. But, as the years went by, you picked up more and more good and bad habits.
You may not have thought about it before, but habit forming never really stops.
That’s why it’s never too late to change your habits and transform your life.
So, if you feel burdened by your bad habits, start kicking them into shape by replacing them with these 10 positive, life-changing strategies:
1. Go to Bed a Little Earlier and Wake up Earlier
Starting tonight, get yourself to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. And, then make sure you get up tomorrow morning 30 minutes earlier, too. This small change can have a BIG impact on your day.
Instead of furiously rushing in the morning to get ready for work, the extra time will give you a golden opportunity to start your day off on the right note. You can drink a smoothie while sitting on your porch, spend 10 minutes exercising and stretching, and still have time to read a few pages of an inspiring book.
2. Be Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life
Setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in life. But, with a positive mindset, you’ll be able to overcome most of these. And, when you do, you’ll boost your self-confidence.
This is something you can definitely be grateful for.
However, if worst-case scenarios are playing out in your life, then sometimes, to stay strong, you’ll need to keep your mind on the good things that are happening to you. For example, your relationship with your partner might be crumbling, but your career is continuously getting stronger. It’d be easy to feel downtrodden and miserable about your relationship problems — but, it would be much healthier to keep your mind and gratitude on these things that are going well, such as your career.
3. Drink Water All Day Every Day
I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but are you following that advice? If not, you’re robbing your body and mind of essential hydration.
With the right amount of water intake a day, you’ll be amazed how good you feel — and how good you look!
4. Take 15 Minutes to Set Goals for the Day, and Then Tackle Them One by One
This strategy will put your life into a new stratosphere! And, it’s very simple to do.
Simply spend 15 minutes in the morning (either at home or at work) planning what you need and want to achieve during the rest of the day. Once you’ve listed your tasks, the next step is to put them into order of priority.
For instance, you have three things to do: catch up with your emails, write a project update, and prepare a briefing for your CEO. It’s best if you put these in order of importance. In this example, your emails can probably wait until you’ve created your CEO brief and updated your project documentation.
5. Turn Off Your Cell Phone (or Put it on Airplane Mode) When You’re Focusing
A 2012 study found that even looking at a cell phone or feeling it vibrate in your pocket can significantly distract focus and reduce your ability to complete complex tasks.
It’s no surprise really, as our thoughts are subconsciously drawn towards checking our phones when they’re switched on. It’s a bad habit — but one that most of us have. However, when you need 100% focus (like I do when writing my articles), then switching your phone off, or at least putting it into airplane mode, will free your mind and supercharge your focus. Try it and see!
6. Walk as Much as You Can
Have you noticed that most people’s lives are sedentary? They drive to work, sit in front of a screen all day, then drive home and binge on the latest Netflix series. It’s no wonder there’s a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health issues.
Our bodies are made to move — so we should move them! This can be as simple as walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and going out for a walk around the block at lunchtime. In the evening, instead of arriving home and crashing on the sofa; spend 20 to 30 minutes walking around your block.
When you make these things a habit, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel. You’ll have less stress — and more energy.
7. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
How often do you stop, think and appreciate the “here and now”? I’m guessing not very often. But, I understand why. Modern life is demanding and fast-paced. There’s precious little time to appreciate the small things.
But, if you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must break out of this trap. You can do this by allocating 15 to 30 minutes each day for mindful meditation. This could be in a park, in your garden, or even in your lounge. The trick is to focus 100% on your surroundings.
For example, if you’re outside, watch how the leaves on the trees blow around in the wind. By keeping your focus on this movement, you’ll clear your mind from your usual stresses and strains. This will give you brain a much-needed break. And, as well as improving your mental health; you’ll find your creativity gets a boost, too.
8. Ask for Help When You Need It
No one can know or do everything. Which is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to delegate tasks to others when needed, ask questions when you don’t have the answers, and work with partners and colleagues to clarify intentions.
When I first set up Lifehack, I tried to do everything myself: blog writing, website creation, marketing, financial planning, etc. However, I quickly learned that it was much better to hire some help. Not only did this inject some fresh ideas and inspiration into Lifehack — it also made the whole operation way more enjoyable!
9. Practice Self Care
Are you looking after yourself as well as you should? If not, then take steps to improve your diet, exercise more, and to speak to yourself with encouraging words and thoughts.
The latter suggestion is often overlooked. But how you speak to yourself determines how you feel, what you believe, and what you achieve.
10. Embrace Learning
You cannot transform your life without learning something new. That’s because the process of change forces you to adapt. But, many people stop learning as they get older, as they find the learning process boring and bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It can be fun and rewarding.
Whether you decide to learn to play guitar or study the basics of accounting — embrace learning, and begin changing your world for the better.
I’m sure you’ll agree that these 10 strategies are simple enough for you to start putting them into action in your life. (I suggest you begin today!)
Nevertheless, you’ll probably need to use some extra willpower for the first 30 days or so, as this is the typical length of time it takes to create a new habit. After that, these strategies will be part of your day-to-day life, and you won’t need to think about having to do them. In other words, they’ll have become habitual actions.
If you need any further encouragement to get started with the 10 strategies, then consider this:
Even just adopting one of the strategies can turn the tide in your favor. But, when you implement all 10, you’ll create an unstoppable trend towards success, health and happiness.
So start making your life better — today!
Featured photo credit: Javier Garcia via unsplash.com
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