No matter if you’re 21 or 81, we’ve all done things that we’ve later come to regret. This, unfortunately, is just a fact of life. Sometimes bad decisions are relatively small and are mostly inconsequential. Other times, though, they can have an adverse effect on a person’s quality of life, or even their standing with friends or family members. To that end, today we’re going to share some useful tips for individuals struggling with a difficult problem or a confusing situation. Here’s how to make better decisions and avoid regrets:
Give Yourself Time
Just about everyone wishes they had more time. Sadly, time is an ever-diminishing resource, and it can be particularly difficult for busy individuals to carve out a few hours (let alone a few days) to fully study an issue in order to make an informed decision. Yet, when it comes to big, potentially life-altering choices, it’s crucial to study them from all angles. So whether you’re looking for an alternative to back surgery or a new career path, don’t rush to judgement.
Consider the Long-Term
Sometimes, an idea might sound great in the moment, but lose its luster after a few days, weeks, or months. (As we’ve established, time to think is key.) While hindsight is 20/20, it’s important to review your decisions in terms of the immediate consequences as well as the long-term ramifications.
Run a Trial
When possible, implementing a trial-run for a new product, service, workout routine, or professional arrangement can give you valuable insight into its pros and cons. Trying something new for the first time can be scary or unfamiliar. Sampling it without commitment, though, will let you know if you should continue in that vein or opt for an alternative.
While you definitely shouldn’t rush decisions, you also should avoid procrastinating and putting them off completely. It can be very easy to assume that you’ll always have the opportunity to travel or that you can start a new diet in a week or two. Yet, in reality, waiting too long can ruin your plans and cause you to miss out on some truly special, though limited, engagements. When opportunity knocks, be ready to answer.
Listen to Your Gut
If you feel strongly about something on a deep, visceral level, then –– odds are –– you should listen to your gut. Just because something makes sense “on paper” doesn’t mean it will work out in real life. And you should never do anything that has a negative effect on your happiness and well-being, or the happiness and well-being of others. It’s not always easy to take such a stand, but it’s worth it in the end.