We are all decision GURUS, whether we like it or not. How many decisions do you think you make in a day? Some would say you make thousands of decisions each day. A quick Google search will confirm.
Psychology Today published a much lower number. On average, they say, you make approximately 70 conscious decisions each day.
Another source suggests you’ll make about 773,618 decisions over a lifetime and come to regret 143,262 of them.
Decision-making is a normal part of life, but decision processing may be overlooked.
The Heath Brothers, authors of best-selling book, Decisive, spent some time thinking through decision-process. They came to the conclusion that “process” is rarely used when people are confronted with important decision-making. By the way they have some excellent free resources.
Defining or “processing” your decisions doesn’t have to be rare.
No one wants to regret a decision, let alone 143,262 decisions over their lifetime. We grow and mature as a result of both the winning decisions and the regretful ones.
Some regret can make us stronger but some regret can linger and even weigh us down.
Minimizing the potential for regret can be done through intentionally processing decisions.
1. Make time and space for decision processing
It won’t happen on its own. Choose to make it a priority. Without taking time to process a decision, you might end up with an outcome as opposed to a decision. An outcome may lead to regret.
2. Make room for your emotions
Situations requiring decisions are often accompanied by emotions. Recognize emotions are a normal and expected.
You might be tempted to suppress your emotions. Don’t. Give yourself permission to feel so that you can manage your emotions.
3. Make yourself a priority
It’s not just OK to permit yourself time and space for processing your decision; it’s essential.
You are the most influential person in your life. Be your own greatest advocate.
Make processing a priority simply because you owe it to yourself. Don’t hit the default button and end up with a less than desirable result. Give yourself the gift of a decision.
4. Make use of available decision aid resources
You might be surprised by the inventory of decision-making resources that already exists. Ultimately the decision will always be up to you but you can take advantage of helpful tools along the way.
Experts in all kinds of fields have created decision aids to support the process of decision-making. You can find a decision aid for almost any medical condition.
My Decision Aid is a unique and specialized resource (the only one of its kind in the world) supporting women in their decision-making process.
5. Make use of supportive people
People can offer us invaluable support. Sometimes it’s a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a neighbour. Other times it’s a medical or community professional.
Seeking support from someone who is trusted and has your best interest in mind can be very helpful.