Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Decision Making

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Everywhere you turn, there is another decision to be made. In fact decision or choice making is part of everyday life. If you are alive and conscious, then every day, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year there are choices/decisions to be made. 

Think about it: the minute you wake up, you have to make a decision: "Am I going to get up now or later?" Okay so you decide to get up...what now? " Am I going to take a shower right away or should I go and let the dog out first?" So you decide to let the dog out. Now what? "Let's see what there's in the fridge". Depending on what you see in the fridge and how hungry you are, you may or may not decide to have a bite to eat. Your stomach growls and tells you that it wants some FOOD. All right so you eat. Now another decision. 
"Am I going to sit down somewhere by myself or maybe wait for someone else to join me?" Once again depending how sociable you feel or how much you like the other members of your family at that moment, you may decide to eat in the kitchen or somewhere else. So you see, there are constantly choices/decisions to be made; every day starting from the moment you wake up until when you finally fall asleep.

How are decisions and/or choices made?

You make certain decisions or choices because you have a certain need whether you're conscious of it or not. Needs can, for example be physical (you're hungry, thirsty, tired,), emotional (you're feeling afraid, unloved, angry, stressed, unsure ), social (you're feeling lonely, you're missing your friends or you want to have fun), economic (to get spending money you decide to get a part time job), cultural (you're feeling isolated from others who share your background),etc.
The decisions that YOU make are directly related to the need YOU have, how important it is for YOU to satisfy this need and, of course, what YOU want to get out of it. How you go about making the decision and what decision you end up making depends on:
A The type of person you are. Do you think about your decision or do you do things impulsively or, then again, do you just simply follow the crowd?
B Your likes and dislikes
C Your values - what's worthwhile and desirable to you
D Your beliefs
E Your knowledge - the facts and the information the way you know them

Do you sometimes wish you had made a different choice?

Depending on the outcome of the decision or choice that you made, it's normal to feel that you should/could have made a better choice. Try to make the best of the situation even if it's somewhat painful but YOU can resolve to improve the way YOU make decisions.

Here are some steps to successful decision making:

  1. Define and clarify the problem. What decision needs to be made? Try writing a short description of the decision you need to make.
  2. Identify what you want to come out of the decision
  3. Identify the hurdles that you have to overcome in order to make the decision.
  4. Come up with options. What are your choices? List them.
  5. Brainstorm to help you find different ways of dealing with the problem.
  6. Analyze the options. What are the consequences of each option? How will each choice affect you?
  7. Choose an option. Which option feels best? Which does your gut instinct say to choose?
  8. Justify the option. Why does that choice feel best? What is it about that decision that feels so good? If you can see clear-cut reasons why, list them.
  9. Contingency Planning. If you put your decision into action and it doesn't work out, then what? Just because you've made a decision, it doesn't mean you have to live with the results for the rest of your life. Decisions are stepping stones toward more decisions.
Think of your decisions as temporary bridges to the next step in your life. If things don't work out as a result of your decision, think of what you will have learned. Think of how this will help you make better decisions in the future. Think beyond the present. What is the worst that could go wrong and would you be able to live with that scenario? If that did happen, then what would you do next? If you can't live with a potential outcome, then don't choose that option.

Some Quotes:

"Indecision is one of the biggest thieves of time" "Get on with it, decide what you are waiting for, no one gets out of this life alive."
-- Leo Buscaglia


National PTA: Helping Children Make Good Decisions
Teaching Your Teen to Be a Proactive Decision-maker
Decision Making/Problem Solving With Teens
Personality Types 

No comments:

Post a Comment