GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

April 5, 2013

Personal Matters: Six steps to life decisions

After three months on a new job you don’t seem to enjoy the work.

Your co-workers are not very friendly; you did not get a promised raise. You think you should probably find another job, but you’re afraid you will be judged a ‘job-hopper’ or that they will think you couldn’t handle the pressure.

Your car is in the shop a lot. You have concerns about its everyday performance. But, you don’t know if you can afford car payments. Should you buy another car or keep the old one?

You have been going out with someone new, but you don’t feel really comfortable. Sometimes you feel that you want more from the relationship than she does. Should you continue dating?

Every day we make hundreds of decisions. Some are fairly routine of course, but others can have a much larger impact on our comfort, safety and happiness. These types of decisions are often the hardest to make, and the most difficult to change.

Sometimes, because making decisions about important issues can seem overwhelming, you may be tempted not to make them at all. Or, you may feel locked into a decision even when it is not working well for you, or even working to your detriment if you fall victim to the old saw (“when I make a decision I stand by it at all costs.”

Either tendency may cause you to miss an excellent opportunity or become stuck in an unsatisfying situation. You also may be tempted to make decisions when you don’t really need to. Clearly, deciding not to decide is sometimes the best option either temporarily or permanently.

If you have a decision to make, you may find it helpful to divide your decision-making process into six basic steps:

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