3 important things to do before making a big decision

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In an average lifetime, you’ll be expected to make several big decisions; what college to go to, what major to take, whether to get married (and who to!), where to live, whether to get a mortgage… The list goes on and on. However, making big decisions means a lot of creeping doubt. Are you making the right choice? Before you make any life changing decisions in your life, ensure that you have done these 3 important things.

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1. Weigh up the pros and cons

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to create a list of pros and cons. This may be something you have done in the past for other decisions in your life, but if not then it is quite simple to do. Grab yourself a big piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. In one column you’re going to write the pros of the choice – the other column is for your cons. This will be an ongoing task, so don’t try to think of everything at once. As you go through the other steps toward making a choice, you’ll be able to refer back to this and add to it when needed. Be brutally honest with your pros and cons list, even if you feel something’s hard to write down. It’s also important during this part, to ask yourself what you really want as an end result. This will enable you to be more truthful when writing up those pros and cons.

2. Ask for advice

It’s difficult to make a big decision anyway, never mind trying to do it on your own. Do you know anyone who has faced a similar choice in their lifetime? Perhaps your parents have some insight into marriage? Maybe your colleague has recently invested in a house? These are the people you should be bringing to the decision-making table. Ask them for their own pros and cons about the choice that they made; perhaps they’ll have something you hadn’t thought of. Asking for advice is definitely not a sign of weakness; in fact, the smartest and most successful people in the world will admit they continually seek out mentors. Asking for other people’s viewpoints will give you a few ideas you may never have thought of before. However, it’s important to remember that this is still ultimately your decision. Let other people provide their thoughts and opinions, but don’t let them influence your choice entirely (and always question if they have another motive for providing that particular reason).

3. Picture your dream life

Your third and final important task is to stop for a moment and imagine your dream life. What would your ideal life look like, if everything went your way? Now, consider whether your preferred choice will fit in with that. For example, let’s say your dream is to travel the world but choosing this new job would stop you from doing so. Does that change your mind about making that big decision? Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and do everything in our power to achieve our dream life. Would there be a better job for you, that would enable you to travel? Such as being a freelancer or working for a travel agency. Always picture your long-term goal and whether your preferred choice would help or hinder your dreams.

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