Your life is built around the choices you make, such as taking or leaving a job, getting married, divorced, having children and where you will live. The more options you have, the more difficult these choices are to make. Since some decisions have long-lasting effects, make these choices carefully, with all the information you need to do what's best for you.
Gather Important Information
Do your homework when working through a big life decision. For instance, know and understand all the available options and the impact each may have when making a decision, like choosing a career or a medical treatment. Talk to people who can offer you objective advice. Seek information from professionals and learn from other people’s experience. Be sure to check the credentials of any sources you use, particularly online.
Explore Your Priorities and Values
Know what you value most in your life, the kind of lifestyle you want to have in the future, and what you want your life to be filled with. A single decision can impact many areas of your life such as culture, health, children, marriage and travel. People who don’t consider their own priorities end up doing what everyone is doing, says psychology professor, Jim Taylor, in his Psychology Today article, “How Do You Make a Major Life Decision?" Beyond objective information, Taylor advises, pay attention to how you feel about the available options and trust your intuition.
List All Possible Outcomes
Record all the costs and benefits of each option according to your personal perception and research findings. This will help you recall important aspects because decisions that seem to be simple might have multiple unseen possibilities. Put the list away for a time and turn the issue over your mind. This will enable you to spot any other benefit or cost that was forgotten and add it to your list. Use this list to clarify the best choice for you.
When to Make the Decision
Avoid making choices when you are tired, stressed, hungry, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in a hurry. Make decisions with a calm mind. You can achieve this through ongoing healthy nutrition, physical exercise, sufficient rest, rhythmic breathing and regular sitting and walking intervals, according to education consultant, Wally Lazaruk, in his LinkedIn article, "Making Good Decisions." Ensure your choice upholds your positive emotions, supports your long-term goals and is compatible with your situation.