Do you like conflicting advice?

There are so many conflicting opinions that we see about a number of topics ranging from exercise to personal finance to investment. How are you supposed to make decisions when there are so many options about what could seem like the right thing to do?

When I am thinking about things in the right mindset I find that a systematic approach to evaluate my options and reduce the uncertainty of my decision making is the only way that I can come to a decision that I can feel confident in the long term.

The first thing to do though is prioritize the decision and determine if you can eliminate the decision altogether. It can be pretty easy to be overwhelmed with all the options and decisions that one has to make. There are so many ways that daily decisions can be eliminated from the clothes to dress to the food you eat to your daily routine. While you don’t want to completely limit yourself necessarily there can be freedom in eliminating a decision altogether.

When making a decision I start first with developing evaluation criteria and defining what my ideal state is. Once I have my ideal state I test the reality of my current options against that ideal state. By listing the pros and cons of each relative to that ideal I am better able to evaluate a decision. Further it can help to guide my negotiation process should other people be involved because I can ask questions to see if there is flexibility to get me closer to what I ultimately want.

Sometimes experience is the only way to weight believability. The more approaches that you have tried the better you will be able to sift through what works and what doesn’t. However, if you don’t have experience in a decision that you are making then find people who have had success or people that you would want to trade places with.

At the end of the day if you truly can’t make a decision you have to make just go with your gut and pick one. While you may not feel certain about the decision just making it and fully commit to it to make it work to the best of your possibility will provide you with the certainty whether it was the right one. The good news is that by doing this you can eliminate a decision if you find out it is not the right one.

After deciding don’t look back and think about the other results that could have happened with a different decision, but rather determine what the next decision to be made will be – either to continue on the current path or make another separate decision.

At the end of the day we all have choice. Narrow those down to ones that you really want and don’t hesitate to make it. Most choices are not the end of the world (generally) so you will always be able to choose something new again.

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