Improve Your Decision Making With These Tips

Knowing how to make good decisions for yourself can be the gateway into a happy and content life. Being able to decide on how to invest your money or even what attire to wear for a job interview in a lucid manner could lead to long lasting accomplishments. For many people, it might sound like an easy task – but for others, they seem to be constantly second guessing themselves and/or regretting decisions they’ve made in the past.

Being able to make sound decisions in a timely and confident manner can save a lot of time, hassle and potentially regret down the road. You might be wondering how in the world can you improve your decision making skills and is it really something you can build on later in life? Check out these simple daily habits that can help you learn to weigh your odds and boost your decision making skills overall.

Identify Risks

It’s always beneficial when we’re faced with a decision to identify risks upfront. Poor decision making often occurs when we become accustomed to a daily routine. We might not even realize how many of our daily habits are already associated with risk. When actions or tasks become too familiar, it can be difficult to see a potential threat.

A habit as simple as speeding to work each day may not seem like a risk at all. You’ve done it multiple times and have never been in an accident or received a speeding ticket. However, there is still a very real danger both for you and others by this simple action. By taking an assessment of risks you encounter daily and making adjustments, you can better equip yourself to make successful decisions in life.

Reframe The Problem

The way in which you position a problem greatly affects how you will respond and your ultimate chances for success. When you’re faced with a tough decision, try reframing the problem in a more positive manner – or taking the bias out of the situation. Remove your personal feelings toward the problem and break it down in black and white.

For example, simply changing the specific wording or phrasing can help you view the problem in a new perspective. Ask others to weigh in as well when you’re stuck. Multiple viewpoints on the same issue can mold you to be more flexible and help you come up with a list of viable solutions for the best possibility for success.

Strategize Optimal Outcomes

After assessing all risk factors and properly weighing your odds, it’s now time to strategize for optimal courses of action. More often than not, you’ll be faced with many possibilities but in some rare cases you’ll only have two choices.

This is often one of the most difficult steps as it forces you to picture the future based on your precise choice. Remember, dwelling too long on the different outcomes can waste time and actually cloud effective decision making, often referred to as analysis paralysis.

Keep a Journal

Making decisions, especially life-altering decisions, such as, which college to attend or career path to take, can teach you many things about yourself. It’s important as you go through life to learn from your mistakes. When faced with a major decision (or even one that is small scale) it can really be helpful to write everything down. Keep a journal where you can identify and list your risks, possible choices and ultimately the choice you do make.

After your decision is made and some time has passed, take inventory of the outcome and how the process made you feel. Ask these questions:

  • Did it leave you feeling anxious or like you should’ve made a different decision?
  • If so, which decision should you have gone with and why?
  • Did you rush to make a decision or give yourself enough time?
  • Is there anything you wish you could do different?
  • What can you learn for next time?

If you document these types of occurrences, when faced with similar situations, you can look back at how you handled them. This will prompt you to either take a similar course, if it was successful, or maybe go a different direction.

At the end of the day, one person’s “right” decision could be someone else’s “wrong” decision. The key is to be confident, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward in life.