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How to Make Everyday Decisions

manage everyday life Jun 11, 2020

I stared at the bare walls of my bedroom.

I had moved into a house with some roommates several months earlier, and I still hadn’t hung a single thing on my walls.

It wasn’t for lack of having things to hang – I had plenty – I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to hang and where I wanted to hang it.

I somehow thought that if I avoided hanging anything, I’d have a moment of inspiration and know exactly what I wanted to hang and where.

Problem was, this moment of inspiration never came.

And so my walls stayed white and empty for months.

Can you relate?

Do you constantly struggle to figure out what decision to make and obsess over what the “right” and “wrong” choice is?

If so, keep reading: I’m going to debunk a myth about “right” decisions and then give you a very practical three-step framework that has helped me make decisions and move ahead, rather than get stuck in endless circles trying to figure out what to do.

You ready?

Let’s start by getting rid of this myth: There is always a right decision.

This just isn’t true, friends.

Yes, sometimes there IS a right choice (saying “no” to drugs, refusing to steal, etc.) but we all know what those choices are pretty intuitively.

Where we get stuck are those everyday decisions where there is no right answer: what color to paint the room, when to start potty training your toddler, how many Tupperware containers you actually need.

Here’s the trick for these situations: remind yourself that there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” decision.

Sure, you might decide to pain the room purple and end up hating it and having to paint it again – but you wouldn’t have known that unless you tried the purple, right? In fact, you probably learned something about yourself and your preferences by choosing purple first that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

(And that’s valuable in and of itself!)

Now that we know that we can’t make a wrong choice, let’s walk through that three-step framework for making the decision:

Step 1: Set a deadline to make the decision.

If you want to choose a paint color, give yourself 24 hours to do a little research and then make a decision. If you’re trying to figure out what Tupperware to keep, give yourself 10 minutes. Don’t give yourself too much time here—the idea is to start acting and not to spin your wheels “researching.”

Step 2: Ask a friend.

Sometimes it just helps to text a friend and ask for her opinion so you feel less alone in making the decision. Just don’t text the world—again, you want to get moving and not wait around for everyone else to share their thoughts.

(I often pray, too—I believe God cares about small decisions and so I often just ask that He’d help me avoid anything stupid!)

Step 3: Make the decision and take one action step.

You’ll likely still be unsure about what to do by the time you get to this step—and that’s ok. Toss a coin if you really need help. Just commit to one decision and then do the first thing you need to do to implement it. Buy the paint. Donate all but one set of Tupperware. Hang the photo over the bed.

Here’s why I’m encouraging you to take action: I believe clarity often comes from action (thank you for this truth bomb, Jasmine Star!).

I’ve found that I don’t always know what I want—or I don’t know enough about what might look good or what works/doesn’t work—until I take action and just try.

I’ve heard it say that the most successful people just fail faster than everyone else. They’re willing to try, fail and try again … over and over and over… until they find something that works. And they know they won’t find that thing until they actually take action. So they do—however messy, imperfect, or silly it might be.

So that’s my challenge for you today, friends. Next time you’re faced with one of those everyday decisions, I want you just to take some action. I think you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn when you start moving.

(And as always, I’m here for you and any questions you might have– email me at [email protected] or come on over to Instagram (@katie.haahr) anytime. I’d love to “meet” you and support you however I can!)

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