When was the last time you made a decision? How did it go? Often we find that when we decide, we’re afraid to take action. We vacillate between options, never really making a final decision. Or if we do it is influenced by others and may not be what we want.
In this post, I explore why making a decision will move you forward in your goal setting and what you want to accomplish in life. Let’s first look at the definition of “decide.” Below you will find the meaning of this word from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Decide: • to make a final choice or judgment about: decide what to do; couldn’t decide whether to take the job or not • to select as a course of action —used with an infinitive; decided to go • to infer on the basis of evidence: conclude; They decided that he was right. • to bring to a definitive end one; blow decided the fight • to induce to come to a choice; her pleas decided him to help
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Now let’s take a look at the etymology of the word “decision.” This word comes from the Latin decidere, which means, “to cut off.” Decidere has two parts: “de,” meaning off; and “caedere,” meaning to cut. So the entire word means to cut off choices that are made available to us. Somehow I don’t think we take this literal definition to heart these days. We make a decision, change our mind, make another choice, sometimes based on nothing and see what happens. If we take the literal definition of the word, it means that we strictly cut off any other option than the one we chose.
For goal setting, it means you are not to engage in activities, feelings, and choices not aligned with your goal. Ideally, goals are created based on your values and your “why,” so we want everything we do to achieve our goal to be in alignment with both these aspects of who we are. If something presents itself that could potentially hinder you from reaching your goal I want you to stop, reevaluated and course correct. If it doesn’t align with your values, drop it like a hot potato. You don’t have to change who you are and what you believe in to achieve your personal goals. This is precisely why it’s important to set “relevant” goals.
Let’s look at a simple framework for decision making. You can make decisions based on intuition, reason or both. Intuition is our “gut feeling.” Some of us have a better connection to our intuition than others. I for one have a keen relationship to my intuition and can readily rely on it to guide me with positive outcomes. When looking at decisions from an intuitive standpoint pay attention to how it makes you feel. Can you figure out why you feel that particular way? If it’s a negative feeling, reconsider your decision until you can get to a positive outcome.
There is one caveat to listening to your intuition. Many times fear and excitement feels the same way in our gut. You get those butterflies, and you may feel a wave of emotion or adrenal. Process these feelings and make sure that you aren’t allowing your fear to take over and stop you from moving toward your goal. You should always consider real fear, but generally, a real life or death situation is not what we face in today’s world.
When considering decisions from the point of reason, we are looking at the facts as they are presented to us right now. Sometimes when we decide from this perspective, we say it is from our head (versus our intuition comes from our heart). Making decisions based on reason or facts is acceptable; however, remember that this process may not consider the emotional aspects of the decision that may trigger something negative now or in the future.
You can also use both intuition and reason to make decisions. The best way to do this is to start with the facts (reason). Lay them out on the table and evaluate them as best you can. Sometimes a pro and con list work great for this. Once you have found a decision that looks viable, check in with your intuition. Do you feel okay with this decision? If you do, it is safe to say you can move forward with success. If you have some hesitation stop and see if you can figure out why you’re having these feelings? Are they based on fear or excitement? Some fine tuning of the goal and decision might be required to align with both your intuition and reason, so you feel comfortable moving forward.
I want to mention one thing about comfort-level. Remember, when goal setting you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can stretch into a new reality. Don’t make decisions that are too comfortable because you’ll never achieve anything you truly want in life. If you continue this process long-term, you will get used to how to approach and respond to your decisions. You can do this!
For goal setting, there are two areas in which you will make decisions. The first is to decide what goals you will work towards. If you have already set goals for the new year, make sure you have aligned your decision-making process with your values and your real “why.” You will also decide, once and for all, that you will realize your goals. You declare to yourself that no matter what, you will do whatever it takes to achieve the goals you’ve created. You know you have the potential to reach them, and you visualize your success every single day. Go out and decide!
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"My Definition of Success"
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Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, philosopher, coach, wellness advocate and cookie creator. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer and is the founder and director of the Clean Body Project, where she inspires individuals to live a holistically purpose-filled life.