10 Highly Effective Habits To Help Navigate Life’s Big Decisions

Katherine Smith
10 Highly Effective Habits To Help Navigate Life’s Big Decisions

Did you know that according to the laws quantum physics, the observation of an event influences the outcome? I often wish I had a crystal ball so I could see events before they occur and know with absolute confidence what I should do when I feel somewhat stuck.


Confronting Choices As They Are

I was pondering this one day when I was sitting propped up beneath a tree on the river bank. As water swirled past me, I turned my attention to the matter pre-occupying on my mind. It’s been a confusing time of late. There have been decisions and choices to contemplate. Sometimes I can’t help feeling I haven't been making things easy for myself. Instead of going with the flow, I take simple conundrums and make them complicated.

My trouble is that I grew up on Disney where puzzles and problems were solved with the arrival of a handsome prince. I have been ruined by tales of big turning points that divide life into before and happily ever after. But real life isn’t like that.

You see, when it comes to making tough life decisions, we feel like it’s the big choices we make that define our destiny but perhaps these choice points and game changers only serve to determine who we want to be. They show us what is most important, deliver us to the depth of our character, and enrich our personality.

Following and Trusting Your Path

I’m beginning to realize that the real choices in life give you no choice at all. That sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, because your subconscious has already leapt before you had time to look.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams - live the life you’ve imagined. ~Henry David Thoreau

I believe the key to living life confidently is committing to your decisions and cultivating qualities that will give you strength in your own conviction.

When we feel cognitively challenged because we can’t see the way forward clearly, it is important to remember that we make decisions that impact how life looks daily; we just don’t know it. It’s just there are no movies about the effects of your breakfast choice on your love life unless you count Sliding Doors.

I am determined to live my dreams and fulfill my destiny, but my desire to understand and rationalize is strong. While I’ve learned to tune into the beating of my heart, I've conditioned myself to discount the dominating nature of my head. Yoga has made me sensitive to serendipity, so it often leaves me searching for a sign. As a result of my own constant contemplation, I can become confused because I don’t always recognize what is heaven-sent.

The thing is, if everything was pre-determined--if we could see for certain how things would turn out before signing up--there would be little room for the very thing that makes life worth living; the excitement and surprise of the unknown. After all, the very essence of life is creation.

"If you can see yourself as an artist, and you can see that your life is your own creation, then why not create the most beautiful story for yourself?" ~Miguel Ruiz

So next time you’re faced with a big decision, embrace your ambivalence. Instead of focusing on the decision, cultivate positive decision-making habits instead that tap into your strength of character and personality.

Here’s How

  1. Appreciate that decisions don’t have to make sense. Sometimes you know what you need to do, and on a rational level, it doesn’t necessarily make sense. Consider this; perhaps you just don’t have all the information yet. Don’t let this hold you make from choosing what feels right for you.
  2. Stop putting things on a pedestal. Don’t dramatize your decisions. If you’re feeling stuck, dial things back to the most basic facts, discounting the what-ifs and wonderings. You can’t base your choices on things that haven’t and may never happen.
  3. Be here now. You can’t ever know how you’ll feel in the future. Base your decision on your needs here and now.
  4. Trust yourself. You’re the product of millions of years of evolution. Trust that you know what you’re doing.
  5. Practice committing to decisions. Procrastination never brings perspective. Practice making decisions confidently by eliminating hesitation and doubt. Commit to your decisions but remain flexible in your approach.
  6. Micro-manage. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Decide what you need to do next to take you in the direction you want to go. It’s all about baby steps.
  7. Come back to the facts. Write down everything about your situation that is real, removing all the projections and infinite possibility.
  8. Exercise your endorphins. Decision making when you’re feeling down is rarely a good idea. Don’t stagnate. Get the energy moving around your body with yoga or exercise. It will help you think more clearly and give your mood a boost.
  9. Schedule worry time. If you're overwhelmed with worry, allocate a specific time each day or week when you can unleash all your concerns and let them surface without judgment. In between, try not to give them too much gravitas and pick positive thoughts, focusing on possibility instead.
  10. Think for yourself. While it’s nice to consult friends and family, you have your own unique experience and perspective, so be careful about taking the opinions and advice of others onboard.

Finally, if you’re still stuck, try asking yourself these 5 questions for decisions. Sometimes asking ourselves certain questions can help us to unlock the answers we already hold. The whole process of questioning, trust, and love can become highly effective habits with just a little patient practice.

Our fate is determined by how far we are prepared to push ourselves to stay alive--the decisions we make to survive. We must do whatever it takes to ensure and make it through alive. ~Bear Grylls