COMMUNICATE WELL PERSONAL PLANNING

How To Make Choices You Don’t Regret

a person writing a checklist in pen

Have you ever made a choice that affected you so much you wanted to go back in time and make a different one? 

I want to show you a strategy and process that will help you make good choices for your life going forward.

Do you struggle to make good decisions in the middle of high emotion or stress?  

You feel so panicked and overwhelmed that your not sure what’s best and then later on after the fact, said to yourself, ‘I knew it! I just knew I shouldn’t have done that’!

My husband and I have often rocketed ahead full gusto to action a new plan or project that we decided was so brilliant. 

Whether it’s big life-changing things like buying some land to build a home, moving cross country or taking the family on a holiday, or even some of the smaller decisions that we made, like buying a car, a TV, or a new bed. We justify that we are doing the right thing, we sounded logical and reasonable.

But we can’t continue to assume ignorance of things that we may have foreseen if we had looked hard enough.

#1 RELAX

BREATHE.  

Get some air in your lungs and calm your heart rate down.  You might feel panicked, but there is no urgency here.  

Stop now and take 10 DEEP breathes, ones that are fully inhaled and then exhaled enough to empty your lungs.  

You have to calm the urgency you’re be feeling.  We don’t make great choices when fuelled with panic.

SLEEP IF YOU NEED TO. I’m serious!  Sleep produces glucose for your brain to have the energy to make decisions! So sleep if you need to, even if it’s a quiet rest or a walk somewhere so that helps you relax. 

This particular issue, no matter how important it is, will still be there after you rest your mind.

So, now that you are a little calmer …

Most of us (unless you have been living under a rock), have made choices we would reverse if we could. 

I don’t mean the small, irritating errors we get over fairly quickly, or the more serious things in life that we have no choice over, that are out of our control, and not our own doing.

I’m talking about the ones that are directional in life, completely within our control and solely our own responsibility.  Like when we are at a crossroad or planning a big step and the consequences hang around forever. 

#2 CAN YOU AFFORD IT?

Decisions you make cost you! They will cost financially, emotionally, or physically, ALL decisions have a price tag attached and you may or may not have it to give.

What is this particular decision potentially going to cost you?  

  • A relationship that could end badly? 
  • Will you send yourself into debt? 
  • A move away from friends and family? 

Think through the possibilities and worst-case-scenarios for a few minutes.

Make a list of what you know you will pay for the choice you make, make sure you think for both sides of that decision. 

What will it cost you to say Yes, and what will it cost to say NO. Write it down to remember for later.

#3 WHAT WILL YOU GAIN?

What is the value that you will get back from this choice? What will be the payoff or win for you?

  • A better work environment?  
  • An opportunity for more income? 
  • Freedom from a relationship that is hurting you?  
  • Better health or lifestyle? 

Once again list the value gained from both choices of saying Yes or No.

Taking a good look at the realities before you step out and the facts of your situation, the practicalities and the pitfalls will set you up to make a solid, honest decision that you can put your whole heart and mind behind.  

We all want to succeed and win, and good preparation is often the biggest part of the process.

#4 WHAT DO THOSE YOU TRUST THINK?

Yeah, you have to ask other people what they think.  

Not just anybody though, someone that knows and cares about you. Preferably someone that you think is making good choices too, but mostly someone who you can speak to honestly. 

How many people will you tell if things go pear-shaped?  

Better to speak up now and hear what someone else has to say than wait and gripe to them later.

I would suggest 1-2 people that you can sound out your thoughts with and you will open for them to give you feedback, they might give your reminders about past choices you’ve made, or of something you forgot to take into account. 

Write bullet points of your conversations and what they say so you can remember it.

#5 PRAY

Assuming that you have a green light and things look fairly positive is good, but not GREAT.

Your life matters, all of it, and there are things that you were created to do with it.  I believe that God knows all the details of your situation and what the outcomes could be depending on what you choose, I also believe that He will give you wisdom if you ask for it. 

Sit with your thoughts, and ask him for direction.  Read some scripture. 

You might realise something that will help, or you might simply be encouraged that you are making a great choice.

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