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Tips for Decision Making
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, February 2013

It's time to make an important decision. Should you change your career or retire early? Purchase a new home? End a relationship or friendship?

Can you trust yourself to go about it in the healthiest way?

Whatever it is you are dealing with, while considering the options, you need to keep your wits about you, as well as the ability to focus on keeping your sanity. Give yourself time. Consider the potential consequences of your decision on yourself as well as on others.

Decision making can allow you to explore alternatives you may not have known were available if you harness the anxiety you feel so it does not become an obstacle. Following are some tips to guide you:

Be in "Calm." - You'll need to relax as you decide what to do. Clear your mind. Quiet your "critical" mind. Tame the worries. Silence the "should" and "shouldn't" and listen to your supportive "inner voice" so you can consider all of the options. Begin with your "gut" instincts. Visualize different alternative scenarios or pathways. Do your research and homework. Gather reliable information from trustworthy sources. Consult people whose input will be empathetic and who understand your situation and goals.

Write Down Pros and Cons. - Keep notes and go back to them often, at different times of the day. Your "morning mind" and your "evening mind" may offer different insights. Record the pluses and minuses in separate columns on the same page. Play out certain scenes in your mind. What would your life be like if you did not work at this company? What would likely happen if you "downsized" and changed neighborhoods? How might you flourish if you and your partner were no longer together? What would you be missing? What would you need? Be honest with yourself.

Let Intuition Be Your Guide. - Relax and "see" yourself doing what your sixth sense leads you toward. Listen to your inner voice and let it guide you. Without being critical or overly emotional, trust in your ability to select what will be a healthy choice for you.

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