My Decision Making Process: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself
Need help making decisions? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself in your decision making process when faced with a tough choice.
There are a lot of hard decisions right now. The biggest one looming for most moms I know is “What are we going to do about school this year?”
It’s a big one in 2020 and rightfully so.
And it’s a decision that like so many other decisions good people will come to different conclusions on and that’s okay.
Remember, you have made tough decisions before…
Like should I date that guy? Or should I go to that college? Am I ready for a baby right now? Should I take that job?
Remember, most choices are flexible.
Each decision is important, but there is also a need for flexibility and adaptability after making your choice. Ultimately the circumstances around your decision to homeschool, go to in-person school or do e-learning may change and you will adapt and life will go on.
You are strong and capable of making this decision.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Making a Tough Decision
- What does God say about this decision?
As a Christian this is a very important question to me! There are some things God has firmly spoken on and as a Jesus follower is an automatic yes/no for me.
For example, should I punch this person in the face?
Well, no, for a lot of reasons, but let’s mostly say for the command God gives to “Be kind to one another” in Ephesians 4:32.
But, of course, there are a lot of things God doesn’t cover in the Bible, like where should I go to college and should I send my kid to school in a pandemic. But thank goodness for His peace and grace guiding me through each unique and tough decision!
I know that God will give me wisdom and peace if I ask Him so I can boldly and courageously move through the decision making process.
2. Does this choice align with my values and priorities?
My values and priorities are different from yours and will help me reflect on whether this is the best choice I can make. This question may take some time and soul searching to really assess what your priorities are.
I can’t answer this for you and I refuse to judge anyone whose priorities align differently than my own.
For my own school choice decision the value of rhythm/routine played heavily into my decision. I know I and my children THRIVE in routines and rhythms (my word for loose routines) and within our unique situation I think I am most able to create a stable rhythm at home right now.
(I also have the privilege of working from home which, of course, played a HUGE roll in this particular decision. I know in many situations the value of food on the table is the necessary driving force in your decision.)
3. What would life be like if I did/didn’t do this?
This helps me to think through each option and imagine my family living in that choice. How would school look if we homeschooled? What would we talk about at the end of an in-person school day?
Gather lots of information from trusted sources in this step. Talk with teachers and moms that homeschool. Talk with your kids and get their feedback on the options. Talk with your spouse and get their thoughts.
Don’t stay stuck in info gathering forever though, that can be a form of procrastination and overwhelm you even further. Get as much info as you NEED to make your call.
Then paint a vivid picture of the future in your mind having made your big decision seeing how life would be if you did do it and if you didn’t do it.
4. Which outcome brings more peace and joy to mind?
Sometimes as you begin to picture the future one outcome begins to look better. You feel more joy and peace thinking about it. It’s the vision that “fits” best and you feel most comfortable with; it feels “right” and aligns with your beliefs and values.
This is probably a strong indication that it’s the best decision for you!
5. Have I talked about this with a trusted friend, counselor, and/or my spouse?
Talking out your decision with someone you trust, weighing the pros and cons and sharing that future vision, may help you come to your decision. Sometimes our people can hear us saying things we can’t hear ourselves.
Allow them to be a safe sounding board for you.
Of course, it’s important to choose this person wisely. Someone without biases (that’s why a counselor is a great choice!), but who knows you well.
There are a lot of factors that help in your decision making process. Ultimately sometimes the stress of the decision isn’t in the outcome, but in the weight of just making the decision.
So take your time, ask yourself these questions, and then make your decision with joy.
My dad has always told me:
You make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time.
You can’t time travel. You can’t eliminate mistakes. You can’t know everything before it happens.
But you can be wise, seek good counsel, gather facts, and engage in a thoughtful decision making process. You can be adaptable and flexible to change in the future and making new decisions when you have new information!
Finally, I know you know this, BUT just because you come to a different conclusion than someone else in your decision making process doesn’t mean they are making the wrong choice. They have just answered some of the above questions differently than you and that’s amazing!
It takes courage to make a hard choice, no matter what your decision!
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I hope these questions help you in making hard choices right now and in the future. As the brave and courageous Corrie Ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Keep stepping forward in faith, friend. You are capable of making hard choices and I know God will lead you!
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