Quality of life is having the freedom to make choices that are not based on fear of getting things wrong. It is really important that you don’t fear the consequences when making your choices, but instead you go with your gut instinct. Most of the decisions we make in life in some way predict the future.
We spend time thinking about how we would feel depending on which choice we make and usually veer towards the decision that we believe will make us feel happy and fulfilled. Of course we do – that’s common sense. But it’s also important to recognise that we tend to overestimate the impact of the choices we make, in both positive and negative ways.
Tips to make the best choices in life:
- Look at your life and make a list of what is bothering you, including any habits and behaviours you regularly practice. No more than 8 issues on your list.
- Tackle the biggest ones first – imagine 2 circles, one labelled Energy & Positivity, one labelled Issue or Negativity (these should be more or less the same size).
- Reduce or increase the circles until they are more in balance by identifying the positives in your life and rejecting any negative thoughts, or even associating with negative or critical people.
- Notice what gives you energy and then make sure you do more of it. Write a list of the people that you see and the things you do regularly. Consider which ones fill you up and which ones drain you.
- Identify the risks – these may may include habits that have become common place for you, such as making bad food choices and eating unhealthily due to lack of time, working too many hours and not having enough rest. Some of these choices on your list may have been made because it is has become habitual to you, something you don’t even realise you are doing automatically.
- Reframe your issues/problems – when you are faced with a choice to make, think about framing the issue differently. A change in your perspective could make all the difference.
- Stop thinking constantly about your issues/problems – sometimes we overthink what decision we have to take, we mull things over and over in our minds until it becomes blurred and we feel stressed. There is a good saying that if we “sleep on it, whatever it is that is bothering us will become clearer in the morning.” Surely it’s worth a try? Let your brain work for you whilst you are resting or sleeping, and push your concerns to the back of your mind
- Take time to reflect and get into the habit of regularly reviewing your decisions, what has worked well and what hasn’t. Look for any lessons you can learn when things don’t always work out the way you intended them to. But don’t dwell on it for too long, you don’t want to overthink it and subsequently berate yourself unnecessarily, no longer than 10 mins at a time should work well.
- Try to take a step back and look at the issues from another point of view. Be an outside observer of the situation. It helps if you can take the emotion out of the decision and refocus your attention, look at the facts as they stand.
- Stay true to your values. If you base your choice/decision, by taking into account your core goals and aims in life, you can’t go far wrong. And by staying true to your values and your principles will help you to have confidence in your decision, even if it doesn’t work out in the way you had originally planned.
Less options may work better
Finally, you may want to consider limiting the options in your decision as having less options may work better for you. Sometimes the more options we have, the harder it is to make a decision. It is the paradox of choice. Perhaps it is best to avoid trying to find the perfect choice. You may find that making a “good enough” choice works best for you as you don’t want to spend so much time weighing up the alternatives that you end up not making a choice and doing nothing.
I hope you enjoy my tips on how to make good choices in your life. Read more Monday Motivation blogs HERE.