A Simple Tool for Making Good Decisions

Making good decisions on a daily basis can be really challenging. How do you know what will be a good decision and what won’t? Over the past couple of years I have found a really useful filter to help me see good decisions from poor ones. I simply ask myself, will this decision move me closer to my greatest self, or further away?

On a recent call with a life coaching client we explored this client’s tendency to rationalize decisions that she makes. These rationalizations were basically excuses that that she used so that she could avoid acknowledging that she made a poor choice. When we make decisions that do not move us towards our greatest self, decisions that do not honor who we are, we will feel inner turmoil. This can show up as guilt, anger, frustration or sadness. Often times we then end up beating ourselves up for the decision that we made.

And everyday the type of decisions that move us towards our greatest self change.

Here is how rationalization shows up for me. It’s been a long day and I am sitting at home and want ice cream. Part of me says no, I don’t need it and I have not been eating well that week already. The other part of me, the rationalizing part tells me that because I have had such a long day that I deserve the ice cream. So which decision, ice cream or no ice cream, will honor who I am and what is important to me in that moment?

The answer is simple, it depends.

If that decision will move me closer to my greatest self, it’s a good decision. If it will move be further away it’s a poor decision. So, in my example, I want to eat healthier. Choosing ice cream when I have already been eating poorly that week will move me further from my greatest self, thus a poor decision. Now, let’s say I have been eating healthy all week and I choose the ice cream because it is something that I will really enjoy and savor, that’s a good decision. I want to be a person who can enjoy things in moderation. As you can see, depending on your daily circumstances what is a good decision and what is a poor decision may change.

So next time you are struggling to make a decision ask yourself, will this move me closer to my greatest self, or further away?

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