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How to Make a Good Decision

Making a good decision is as simple as learning to take your time and weigh your options.


  • Step 1: Define the problem Define the problem and consider the criteria. Determine concrete goals and objectives.
  • Step 2: Jot pros and cons Jot down the pros and cons on a piece of paper and evaluate them. Don’t be as influenced by the number of pros or cons on either side of the list as you are by their merits.
  • Step 3: Question assumptions Question common sense assumptions. Once you’ve analyzed these, go with your decision and don’t second guess yourself.
  • TIP: Sometimes the best course is to just decide. The only way to be wrong is to make no decision.
  • Step 4: Keep a decision journal Maintain a decision journal, keeping track of how you make decisions, their outcomes, and how fast you made the decisions. Review and refine your process.
  • Step 5: Consider a third option Consider a third option if the perceived two are unacceptable. Encourage input, take your time, and reflect on another option no one has contemplated.
  • Step 6: Separate emotions Separate fact from fiction and emotion from rationality. Consider everything but be practical.
  • TIP: Don’t make a decision on a whim, because the impact on others could be grave.
  • Step 7: Rely on gut Rely on your gut when sorting out information is difficult. Your intuition is often accurate and over-thinking can muddle the process if apply logic exclusively.
  • Step 8: Reflect on what they will recall Envision how you will be thought of after you’ve gone, based on the decisions you’ve made. Most of us want to be known as fair, so see yourself and your responsibilities to others as they might.
  • FACT: Formed in 1981 to deal with underage drinking and drug problems, Students Against Destructive Decisions has grown to more than 350,000 members in all 50 states.

You Will Need

  • Goals and objectives
  • Pen and paper
  • Analytical skills
  • Journal
  • Rationality
  • Intuition

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