A friend who is going through a tough time deciding on whether to retire inspired this month’s article. And as my husband is also about to retire, I thought this information will be helpful to others who may be faced with life-changing decisions.
We are all faced with decisions on a daily and even a moment-by-moment basis. Mostly we are able to breeze through the simple ones without too much thought. Choices like what to eat or wear are based on inner signals like hunger or cold/warmth, and external ones like the availability of food and the weather.
However, momentous decisions like whether to retire, change careers, or get married are harder to make because of the unknowns and the long term impact.
If you are working through a problem or struggling to make a decision then you are most likely feeling pressure, anxiety, confusion, exhaustion, and overwhelm. Indecision can be wearying physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Being able to make good decisions in challenging situations is a life skill.
We can’t always predict the end result, but we can at least carefully think through the options and make the best decision with the information at hand.
Consider the following to make clear decisions:
Time and Options
If you have the luxury of time before a decision is due, then use that time wisely. When your mind is free from pressure, you’ll be able to clearly process the available options. It is important to look at all the options on the table and not just the obvious ones. Consider, too, the consequences of each choice. Whenever new information presents itself, revisit this decision process so you can be as clear as possible. Then when it comes time to actually make a decision you will do so with confidence and a calm mind.
Pros and Cons
Life changing decisions can cause us to become myopic. To broaden your perspective and give you some objectivity, make a list of the pros and cons of each course of action and then compare them. This process will enable you to rationally and clearly see the reasons for and against a choice.
Values and Wishes
Choices aren’t simply based on monetary or practical reasons. Your values, goals, and lifestyle wishes all need to factor into your final decision. These are important considerations in helping you celebrate your choice.
Diary and Chats
Write about your feelings to become clear on what matters to you, to connect with deeper emotions, and to also separate from them when needed. Speak with friends who’ve had a similar experience to help you see different strategies and perspectives. If others will be impacted by your decision, figure out how you will tell them and how to prepare yourself to deal with the situation. .
During this time, remember to take care of yourself, exercise or get out to relieve stress, and do something you enjoy.
May your decision fill you with peace and joy.