We make nearly 35,000 decisions a day, according to some studies. Heck, according to Cornell, we can make 200 decisions just based on what we are going to eat. Decision fatigue is very real – and can be very troubling. We can become so exhausted with thousands of micro-decisions (pumpkin spice latte or simple americano? chicken or shrimp on my salad) that it can begin to exhaust our brains, ultimately impacting our ability to process the large, important decisions (ask my boss for that raise now or after the quarterly review?)
I don’t know about you, but I am not about to let the decisions I make in line at Starbucks impact the next major decision I make in business. So, I use decision journaling when it comes to major decisions. Extensive research shows how journaling helps us process decisions, emotions, and possibilities.
Here are some of my favorite decision prompts:
- What is my gut reaction when I think of this decision? Physically how does my gut and body feel?
- What is the worst that can happen if I do X? What is the best case scenario if I do X?
- What would future me / the me I want to be / the best version of me do in this situation?
- If I made this decision, what would 5 years from now look like?
- What is driving this decision? Is it coming from my true self? Or is it being influenced by society / parents / peers / others expectations?
Make sure you journal on the decision often. Start fresh with these questions each time. What does that do? Well, sometimes our in-the-moment emotions (which could be coming from something outside of the decision) can impact our answers. [Like that one time my mood was soured because my husband put a red sock in the laundry with the whites. That day, my journaling on my decision to go into a business project with him was very uncharacteristically negative. I grieved over that cute white top, but my grief would have been greater if I missed out on that project opportunity!] When journaling, we are looking for how we process these answers over time and looking for patterns – not just seeking Ah-Ha moments.
You’ve got this! Give yourself the space, time, and trust – and you’ll make the right decision.