Making Good Decisions

Decisions are tough to make, and making them is harder for some folks than for others. But they still have to be made. How?

First, remember that few decisions are irreversible. You moved away—you can move back. You got rid of a bedroom set—you can buy another. You took a new path that was difficult— it may be easier than the one you were on. Reversing a decision may be difficult, but it usually isn't impossible. And it probably doesn't signify the end of the world.

Of course, you don't want to reverse decisions—you want to benefit from them. And the key, of course, is making the best decision you can based on the information you have. It will probably be the right one.

Baseball fans know that nobody bats 100% (1,000). In fact, anything over 30% (.300) will get you a multi-million dollar contract. Don't expect all your decisions to be home runs. Sometimes, just getting to first base is quite an accomplishment. Here are some useful tips on making good decisions.

One way to develop a number of good moving options is to play "what if..."

  • "What if we leave most of the large household goods in a storage unit here and rent furniture until we are sure we will stay?"

  • "What if I offer to repay the moving expenses if I leave the job in the first year?"

  • "What if I take an apartment near my new job and plan to move the family out in six months?"

  • "What if we keep a summer retirement home here and a winter home there?"

  • "What if we just call a freelance arsonist!"

Coming up with a variety of moving options is a good first step in making a good decision.

Most free advice is worth what you pay for it—but some is invaluable. The best advice to consider is that from people who have experience rather than just opinions. If you're considering a move to Nebraska, for example, ask around your family and friends for people who have made the move. The same goes for empty-nesters who have become snow birds, executives who have made international moves, and young couples who are moving away from family and friends.

  • Would they do it again? Why?

  • What would they change about the move?

  • Which mover would they use?

  • How have they handled some of the challenges of the move?

  • Are they divorced yet?

You certainly don't have to take all the free advice you get from experienced smart movers, but you can use the most valuable tips in your own decisions.

One of the greatest tools in the decision to move is an eraser.

"Nope, scratch that idea!"

"A house is too expensive to rent, so let's consider leasing a condo."

"Come to find out the job only lasted two months! Time to move again."

If you believe that

1. Most decisions are reversible

2. Free advice can sometimes be invaluable, and

3. The more ideas you have, the better the ultimate decision will be,

you must also believe in flexibility. If you only have one option, losing it means that your bag of options is now empty. But if you're resourceful, you will have considered the many factors, found good advice, and come up with lots of good options. One less option doesn't mean the move is canceled—especially if you stay flexible:

"I'm glad the lease fell through because we may now be able to buy a home."

Having second thoughts about moving away from family, friends, and your favorite yogurt bar? Those thoughts are natural. Most people have second thoughts about significant decisions. And moving certainly qualifies as significant.

So what can you do about second thoughts? First, don't ignore them. They are usually legitimate points that you may or may not have considered in the decision process. If not, do so now. If you have already considered them, ignore them—now and in the future.

Most second thoughts are borne of our own insecurities. We've made good decisions in the past. Why do we only remember the ones that weren't so good? Do I look like a $300-an-hour shrink?

Just remember that second thoughts can serve a purpose of reminding you why you made your decisions in the first place. Once they've served that function, send them packing!

 
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