How to make tough decisions - Rethink Central

How to make tough decisions

by | Jun 17, 2014 | Decision Making

“Regardless of your circumstances and the options you’ve got in front of you, this method will keep you calm and settled, so long as you trust the process.”
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Got a beast of a choice that’s staring you in the face?

Or maybe you know that any day now you’ll need to make a tough decision – and you want to be prepared. Whichever side of the decision making fence you’re on doesn’t matter.

What matters is that there’s a proven system designed to get you over that hurdle – and feeling good about your choices too. (Sounds fantastic already doesn’t it?)

Regardless of your circumstances and the options you’ve got in front of you, this method will keep you calm and settled, so long as you trust the process. Here’s how it works.

Gather all the information that you can

You could have two potential job opportunities, or perhaps you need to decide between an expensive elective surgery now – rather than waiting for a procedure insurance covers while you writhe in pain. Either way, there’ll be all kinds of data you can collect – and from many different sources at that. Talk to specialists and read until you’re blue in the face. When you feel you’ve got all the details possible, then it’s time to move to the next step.

Make an emotional pros and cons list

This is the reaction in your gut and how certain factors make you feel about your decision. These lists should include your fears – however irrational or remote they might be.

Sometimes creating these lists will take a few days. It happens that way when you’re allowing yourself to think intensely from an instinctive level. Let it take as long as you need because this list should be complete before moving on to the next step.


This is extremely important!

You need a good night’s rest before moving forward. If you spend a night tossing and turning over this decision, it doesn’t count. Only once you’ve managed to get a truly solid, healthy sleep into your system should you move along.

Make a logical pros and cons list

These lists should only have the facts. That’s it – the black and white about salaries or known side-effects or anything that can or has been proven. This should be a fairly easy list to make as long as you look at the options through the lens of someone else’s eye.

Make a decision

It sounds simple, right? The thing is that you have to listen to both logic – and that nagging sensation in your gut. Working with only one of these, you’ll never feel secure that you have made the right choice for you. But once you have both emotional and logical lists in front of you, the decision is almost always obvious – all you need to do is take it.

Remember that odds are you have all the information you need to make the decision at this point – you’ve looked at all sides… you’ve been emotional, you’ve been logical. It’s clear. Just be brave enough to make the decision.

Take action!

If you’ve got a tough choice, there’s no point in waiting until tomorrow to get moving on this process. The sooner you make a decision, the sooner you can get going on the rest of your life.

  • Start gathering all the information you can – when you can. It may be the most crucial decision you’ll ever make, but it shouldn’t consume the rest of your life.
  • Stay organised and keep everything in one place – both physically and mentally.
  • You’ll sleep better if you’ve been eating the right foods and getting your exercise. Why not try one of our 5 minute yoga routines if you’re too busy to get to the gym.


Want to know more about decision making? We’re full of tips. Why not try these?

The trick is to act like it’s already happened
Meditation: the fastest way to make better decisions
Video: Weighing up options? Use weighted decision making

And don’t forget to pop us a line if you’ve got questions or comments. We’re here to help, and we love doing it.


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