Want To Make Good Decisions Quickly?
Have you ever made a hasty, immature, reactive or just plain stupid decision? Or have you wished you knew how to make decisions quickly?
Of course you have! Learning how to make good decisions quickly takes effort and commitment.
As a trained Marriage and Family therapist, I have helped many of my clients develop skills for making quick good decisions.
Remember, no one has the ability to make the right decision every time. It just isn’t possible! In this post, I will suggest tools to help you improve your decision making skills.
Help For Making Decisions Faster Without Regret
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the modern world. With so many options for every aspect of life—from career decisions to home decorating—it can be difficult to make a decision quickly. But if you cultivate the skill of making quick, informed decisions, you will find yourself much better equipped to navigate the complexities of life. Here are some tips to help you make decisions more quickly and confidently.
Making Small Decisions Quickly
Midlife women generally have solid decision making skills. We care for kids, support a spouse, show up for our career and make our homes function smoothly. There is research that shows we make 35,000 decision in a day!
Put work aside for a minute and just focus on your home life. There are a million small decisions in creating a safe, supportive environment for a family. Eat in or take out? Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, dairy milk? Who cleans up the dog poop? Sports or music? Carpool or bus? Best retirement investment vehicle?
Does any of this sound familiar?
Sometimes Our Decision Making Needs A Tune Up
With all the pressure to make good decisions quickly, it can be really common to feel overwhelmed and a bit cranky. Pressure from work, pressure from family and daily to-do lists can stretch our patience to the point of breaking. And then…. before we can stop it from happening, we have made a decision that could be hurtful to those we love.
Sometimes Making Decisions Stresses Me Out
Have your ever made a decision that hurt your spouse? Or your children? Or yourself? Every now and then we make a bad decision, and the consequences are bitter. Maybe you screamed at your teen for swearing and it went too far, resulting in the silent treatment from your kid.
Or how about the time you decided to give your spouse the cold shoulder in hopes they would figure out what pissed you off? That probably didn’t help them learn to read your mind.
Or you told your mom, who really is too nosy, to mind her own business, and then she started to cry about what a disrespectful daughter you are….blah blah blah.
Yup, those things have happened to me too.
How To Make A Decision Without Regret
We all have done something that we deeply regret. Intentional acts of anger, greed or jealousy usually come to mind. Words and actions made in haste or as a rush of emotion are usually not helpful.
When I coach my clients, we spend time looking at how they make their decisions. Our next step is to analyze the circumstances of the bad decision. Once we understand the reason, we can create an action plan for better results. Trust me, you can improve your decision making skills, resulting in greater happiness!
Dumb Decisions Happen To All Of Us
Everyone can remember a choice they made using lazy, fuzzy thinking. Each one of us has made a bad decision influenced by stupid fashion or ridiculous trends. Two words: Parachute pants. I mean did anyone really choose to wear parachute pants? Or did the parachute pants choose you?
Bad Decisions Can Lead To Big Regrets
I recently made a dumb decision and it has cost me lots of time, energy, and worry. I bought Frontline flea treatment for my dog from Amazon. After I received it, Amazon sent me a warning email saying the flea treatment was fake.
They recommended I buy some new Frontline due to the evidence of the product being counterfeit. Amazon refunded my money. They did all they could to warn me of the consequences of using a potentially fake product.
And what did I do?
I examined the box carefully, looking at every sticker and graphic. I couldn’t see any evidence that the treatment was fake. So, I went ahead and used it.
Can you guess what has happened? We had a disgusting flea infestation in our home! Yup, it cost me way more money on powders to kill fleas, along with the endless hours of vacuuming Every.Damn.Carpet. Every day. For two weeks. And all the furniture of course!
What were you thinking?
All our choices come from our thinking. Our thoughts create our actions. When our thinking is immature, cloudy, or overly emotional we can make decisions that leave us with regret.
All babies are born with the potential to develop and mature into independent thinkers. Sometimes we get stuck in a developmental stage due to trauma or missing the stimulus that we need to continue to grow.
We might look like adults, but inside we are operating at a much younger level of decision making. If you have an incomplete level of development, there is a good chance that your decisions might look like an older child or a teenager.
Here are three possible mindsets that influence your decision making.
Are You Ego Driven When Making Decisions?
We all know someone who is “ego driven”. This typically means a person who takes offense at the slightest things and then blows up in an angry shaming tirade. We all have an ego. We all will have ego reactions, but some folks let their ego rule their life. This is the person who quits a job upset for some slight reason. It could also be a person who loves to gossip, making their ego feel better about their own sketchy decisions.
Are You A People Pleaser When You Make Decisions?
Sometimes, we make bad decisions based on pleasing other people. This could be a parent, a child, or our partner. We all grew up in a family, and each family has its rules to follow. The big secret is that you might still be making decisions to please a family member! Sometimes we use the decision making skills from our childhood, never questioning if they still serve us.
When we make poor decisions to please others it feels like we can blame them for the results. But the reality is, we still must live with the consequences of our choice. You can blame your mom for using scary clown wallpaper in your bedroom, causing you to wet the bed until you were a freshman in college! But now that you are a grown adult, you must own your choices.
Don’t Call Your Psychic, She Doesn’t Know Either!
So, does your personal life ever feel like the Titanic? Peering through fog, hoping to spot (and avoid!) the deadly iceberg, and when you do, it’s too late to turn! It makes you want to grab your life jacket and hope for the best!
Taking action without all important information is sucky, but we all have to do it at some point. I can’t predict the future, can you? It can feel crappy when we decide without all the important details. For some of us that can cause anxiety, racing thoughts and an endless loop of worry.
Not every murky decision brings us loss or trouble. But it can be unnerving when you are pressured to decide and you feel uncertain. If a decision is needed and you don’t feel confident, remind yourself that you have made good but uninformed decision before. You are able to do it again!
Decision Making Based On Emotions
The best way to begin to forgive yourself for bad decisions is to understand what made you choose that action.
- Where you Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?
- Did you feel pressure from family?
- Did you feel like a spotlight was on you, forcing you to respond?
- Were you lacking information? Did you do your best to get more information?
- Was your ego triggered? Were you offended?
- Did you feel like having a revenge moment?
- Or maybe you were looking for a “mic drop” moment?
So, How Do I Begin To Make Quick Decisions?
Remember, our actions come from our thoughts. If our thinking is immature, hasty or uninformed we get stuck in unhelpful behavior patterns and cycles. Training our mind to slow down and analyze before we act is more effective.
Be Prepared To Make Better Decisions
The best way to make good decisions quickly is by being prepared. Know your options before you have to make a choice and have an idea of what outcome you would like. This way, when it comes time to decide, all that’s left is narrowing down your choices rather than having to start from scratch!
Journal out the answer to these questions to help you identify your thinking patterns.
- Do I feel like an empowered adult when making decisions? Or do I still hear a parental voice in my mind?
- Am I feeling vengeful? Do I want someone else to pay a price for my circumstances?
- What offended me today? Did I take a hasty action as a result of being offended?
Listen To Your Gut Instinct When Making Quick Decisions
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t! We all have our own internal guidance system that helps us sort out which paths we should take in life and which ones should be avoided. Don’t discount your intuition; listen closely and trust yourself.
Do Your Research
Sometimes we don’t know what our gut instinct is telling us because we don’t have enough information about the situation at hand. That’s why it’s important to do research before making any kind of decision; research gives us insight into what might happen if we choose one option over another and helps us assess risks versus rewards for each potential path forward.
When faced with an uninformed decision answer these questions:
- Have I done all that I can do to get the missing information? Is there a phone call, a google search that I can do?
- Am I making assumptions because I am too lazy to take the extra step? ( This is what I was guilty of with the flea treatment)
- Am I willing to live the with outcome due to the lack of information?
Learning How To Make Decisions Quickly Is Important
Decision making is one of the most important parts of life.
Because where we are today is a result of our decisions.
Training our minds to analyze our thoughts is the first step to clearer actions. Take the time to really explore your thoughts. Don’t hold anything back, be honest with yourself about your motivation for your decision making.
We must be willing to really look at our thinking before can we change the results in our life.
Making decisions quickly can be intimidating but with practice, it becomes easier and less stressful. By preparing ahead of time, trusting your gut instinct, and doing research on the options available, middle age women can become comfortable with making quick decisions confidently knowing that they are well-informed and ready for anything that comes their way!
If you have tried to understand some of your decision patterns but feel confused it might be time to bring in a coach. Working with a life coach or therapist can help you uncover some of the hidden patterns that can hold you back from confident decision making.
Consider Asking For Help
As a coach I help women identify fears, worries or anxious patterns that are affecting their life. Together we get life changing results that bring more energy and emotional freedom. Click here to get more detailed information about working with me.
Send me an email midlifeismagical@gmail dot com or leave a comment if this information has been helpful to you! My goal is to create content that helps women change their thinking. When we change our thinking, we change our lives!
Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.