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5 Ways To Make Smarter Life Decisions

5 Ways To Make Smarter Life Decisions
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One of the most important skills that you can teach yourself in life is how to make smarter decisions. We are all decision makers. Each and every day, we are faced with hundreds of decisions whether we realize it or not. All of your activities and daily actions are a result of a decision that you make. If you want to live a better life then it’s your responsibility to make smart decisions so that you don’t have any regret later on. Your future is created by the things that you do each and every second of the day. The clock is ticking… want to learn how to make smarter choices and live a life free of regrets? Then follow these five tips!

1. Identify Your Goals

The first step to making smarter life choices is to identify what your life goals really are. Write down a list of things that you would like to accomplish in life before death. This could be marriage, getting a college degree, staying fit, or obtaining a good paying job. After, you’ve finished your list, write down a list of things that you can do that will help you accomplish your goals. If you want to land a higher paying job then maybe you should go to college. If you want to get married but you don’t have much experience with relationships then you should work on changing that. Or if you want to stay fit then make sure that you follow daily workout routines. Whatever it is that you want to get out of life, identifying your goals and focus more of your time and energy on them is the first step towards making smarter life choices.

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2. Analyze The Pros and Cons

Now that you know exactly what you want to get out of life and you have a plan to accomplish your goals, you must examine the pros and cons of each of your daily actions. Ask yourself whether what you are doing right now, each and every day, is enough to accomplish your goals? Ask yourself whether you’re doing too much and should cut back or whether you’re doing too little?

When it comes to accomplishing a goal, it’s important that you find the right balance between life duties such as work/education and leisure activities such as goals/hobbies. You don’t want to neglect either one as they are both equally important. Make sure that each of your daily actions are intended to help you accomplish your goals or make you a better person.

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3. Learn From Your Mistakes

In order to make smarter decisions in life, you are going to have to learn from your own mistakes. Everyone has made a mistake in the past, whether big or small. Nobody’s perfect. Instead of putting yourself down for your past mistakes, you should take the time to learn from them. It’s best that you learn from your mistakes now instead of making the same mistake again! You never know when you might be faced with a similar challenge, so don’t overlook learning from a mistake.

4. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes

Not only is it important that you learn from your own mistakes but you should also take a look at other people and learn from things that they’ve done wrong. If you only focus on your own mistakes, you are limiting yourself from learning how to avoid mistakes that other people have made that you could make in the future. You should talk to people who are older than you and learn what they did wrong or regret in their lives so that you will be better prepared and avoid having the same fate.

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5. Follow Your Intuition

Follow your gut feeling or the voice inside of your head. If you feel that what you are doing is right then don’t hesitate, question yourself or let other people question you, just keep on doing it. If you feel that what you are doing is wrong or is negatively affecting your life then stop doing it. Things such as excessive drug usage, playing video games, walking alone at night, or eating unhealthy are things that you should avoid if you want live a life without regrets. Other things such as talking to your crush, going the extra mile at school or work, or wanting to help somebody are good things that you should be doing more often.

And remember, making smarter life decisions isn’t just about knowing whats right or wrong, it’s about actually doing what is right. The more things that you do in life that are right, the less regrets you will have. And not only is life about what you do, it’s also about what you don’t do. In life, not doing anything at all is just as bad as doing the wrong things.

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“A life spent making mistakes it only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernad Shaw

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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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