How often have you decided to embark on a new plan? A change of direction? Or even to break an existing habit, but have been unsure as to how to work towards your intended goals?
Despite our ability to make decisions from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, it can be challenging to focus our attention towards the precise decisions we need to make in order to achieve our goals.
Decision making, as with any cognitive process, consists of various stages, each of which needs to be identified and mastered in a sequential manner to help us succeed, irrespective of nature of the task at hand:
By working through each stage in turn, we can begin to develop the appropriate mindset, knowledge and skills that will help to ensure our decisions are inextricably linked to the achievement of our goals.
Once we've identified the problems, or indeed opportunities, pertaining to the decision at hand, we can begin to seek clarity as to the various options ahead of us. Having identified and analysed these options, we can then select the most viable option and embark upon implementing that decision based on our options.
One of the most important aspects of decision making that we often don't afford ourselves is evaluating and learning from that decision: Did I achieve what I set out to do? Am I truly happy with the outcome? Could I have done anything differently? What have I learned from my decision? Beyond these questions, we can even ask ourselves the 5 W's (Who, When, What, Where and Why), to thoroughly understand the decisions we have made in the past and the decisions we will make in the future.