5 steps to good decision making

Every day we are faced with situations in life that require us to make choices. Some of these choices are easy, and sometimes some of them can be difficult. Easy decisions consist of things like what clothes to wear; most people choose what to wear based on the season of the year, the weather, and where they are going. Other easy decisions are things like what to eat, what movie to see, and what TV shows to watch.  


The decisions that seem to be the most difficult are those that require a deeper level of thinking. Examples of hard decisions consist of things like where to go to college, what career path would be best, and/or whether or not to get married and start a family. These types of decisions are difficult because they are life-changing decisions; they shape who we are, and they shape our future.
Making good decisions is a method that must be learned. It is not something we are innate with, but simply a step-by-step process that is usually established from life experience. Most adults know that experience can be an expensive and ineffective teacher that teaches more bad habits than good ones; and because decisions can vary so obviously from one situation to another, the experience gained in making one important decision is often of little or no use when another decision-making problem arises.
When making decisions, there are many steps that can be taken; but when making good decisions, there are really only five steps to consider. These steps are as follows: 

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Step 1: Identify your goal

One of the most effective decision-making strategies is to keep your eye on the goal. This simply means identifying the purpose of your decision by asking yourself what exactly is the problem that needs to be solved? And why does this problem need to be solved? 
Determining what is most important to you will help you make good decisions. When you know why you made a particular decision; it will serve you better to stick with it and defend it. see this article
 

Step 2: Gather information to weigh your options

When making good decisions, it is best to gather the necessary information that is directly related to the problem. Doing this will help you better understand what needs to be done to solve the problem, and will also help you generate ideas for a possible solution.


When gathering information, it is best to make a list of all possible alternatives; even those that may initially seem silly or unrealistic. Always seek advice from people you trust or talk to experts and professionals, as this will help you come up with a variety of solutions when weighing all your options for a final decision. You will want to gather as many resources as possible to make the best decision.
 

Step 3: Consider the consequences

This step can be just as important as the first because it will help you determine how your final decision will impact you and/or others involved. In this step, you will ask yourself what the likely outcomes of your decision will be. How will it affect you now? And how will it affect your future?


This step is essential because it allows you to consider the pros and cons of the different options you listed in the previous step. It is also important because you want to feel comfortable with all your options and the possible outcome of the one you choose.
 

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Step 4: Make your decision

Now that you have identified your goal, gathered all the necessary information and weighed the consequences, it is time to make a choice and actually execute your final decision. Understanding that this step can cause a lot of anxiety for some people is important because this is where you have to trust your instincts.


While you may still be slightly undecided about your final decision, you need to consider how it makes you feel. Ask yourself, does this feel right to you? And is this decision the best one for you now, and in the future? When you answer these questions, you should feel good about the outcome.
 

Step 5: Evaluate your decision

Once you have made your final decision and implemented it, it is necessary to evaluate the decision and the steps you took to ensure that it works. This last step is probably as important as the first, if not more so, as it will help you further develop your decision-making skills for future problems. This step is also fundamental because it may require you to seek new information and make some changes along the way.


Remember that this step requires a little patience and can also encourage perseverance. Why? Because it may take some time to see the end result. Recognize that if the first decision doesn't work, you may need to go back to step two and choose another option.

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