Become a decision master! 6 steps to make better decisions.

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How to make better decisions especially financial ones? Everyone makes poor decisions at some point in his life. Sometimes it’s ok to let it go but for important decisions, it’s better to follow a rational approach. Analyze the situation, look for information, compare multiple options, make a decision, have a back-up plan and review regularly.

1. Analyze the situation

Make sure to know what your objectives are. Be aware of your emotions and don’t let them cloud your judgment. For example, if you are considering buying a  motorbike to your husband, is it because he really needs it or because you don’t dare to say no?

In this situation, your objectives are to keep a good relationship with your husband AND investing your money wisely. If your objectives are clear, it will help you be more creative and consider more options. For example, you could discuss your financial situation with your husband and decide than instead of a motorbike, you will buy a tuk-tuk/taxi so he can start making some money himself as well.

2. Look for information

Give yourself time to search for neutral information and don’t rely on only one source of information. It’s not because someone is your friend that he knows best.

Look on the internet to search for information. If you plan to buy something, go to different sellers to compare prices and conditions.

If you plan to open a business, look around first and see if there are already of similar businesses. If there are already a lot of similar businesses, the competition may be too harsh but if there is no one it may also indicate that there is no potential market and buyers.

3. Weigh your options

Compare carefully your options. Weigh costs against benefits and risks against rewards. Some investments, for example, seem very good because they can bring a lot of money but maybe the risks are also very high or it actually requires too much time compared with the benefits.

4. Make a decision

You must be willing to make a decision. Don’t let life or others decide for you.  If you hesitate a lot, look for additional information if you need it but give you a deadline. For example, give you one month and then make your decision.

5. Have a backup plan

When you make a decision, always take time to think about what you will do if things don’t go as you planned.

For example, if you decide to launch a business, what is your back-up plan if it fails? What will you do if things don’t work out?

6. Review

Review your decisions regularly, when you succeed and when you fail! Have a notebook and for each decision you make, note

  • Your objectives and feelings
  • The options you considered, their costs and benefits, their risks and rewards
  • The one option you chose and why
  • Your back up plan
  • And later the results and how to improve in the future

Conclusion: ask questions!

To make better decisions, the key is to ask a lot of questions!

  • Questions about yourself: what are my objectives, what are my feelings?
  • Questions about the options: what are the options available? Costs/benefits? Risks/rewards?
  • Questions about the decision: what is my back up plan? What do I do if things don’t work out? What can I do to avoid problems?
  • Questions about the results: what worked/did not work in order to improve your future decisions

Now help Gala and Anna make better decisions for their futures and then review your own decisions!

  1. Gala loves cooking. She wants to open an eatery in her hometown. Which questions should she ask?
  2. Anna wants to build a house to avoid paying rent. Which questions should she ask?

And then, take your notebook and for your top 2 dreams, write down

  • Your objectives and feelings
  • The options you considered, their costs and benefits, their risks and rewards
  • The one option you chose and why
  • Your back up plan

Then share with us! Is the exercise helping you to feel better about your decisions?

Read the correction of the exercise below:

Make better decisions – Gala and Anna – Correction

Let’s be smart! Set your objectives and achieve them!

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Why people fail so often to achieve their objectives and end up doing nothing?

It’s often because they don’t know what SMART objectives are. SMART objectives are motivating because you can actually achieve them. And step after step you can make your dreams come true!

SMART is an acronym for

  • Small and specific objectives. It means that you need to break your objective in small actions. For example, if you want to start a business, your objective for next month can be to enrol in a business management class.
  • Measurable objectives – for example, your objective cannot be to just “save more” – it could be “save 1-month salary in 6 months”. Saving more is not measurable, you need to say how much. Otherwise, this is not motivating and you can never know if you achieved your objective or not.
  • Achievable – it has to be possible to do it. Actually make it even easier than you think you can do it! Often we fail because we get discouraged.
  • Resourced – list what you need to achieve your objective. Maybe you need to discuss with your family about money managing, maybe you need to make some research.
  • Time-Bound – your objective needs to have a deadline – choose if you want to do daily, weekly, by the end of the month, 6 months, 2 years, 5 years.

Here is an example of a SMART plan. The dream of this person is to open a business and she sets SMART objectives for that to achieve in one month, 6 months, 2 years and 5 years.

Review your plan and your objectives now and make sure they are SMART!

10 best practices to make your dreams come true

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10 best practices to make your dreams come true

Who are the people who make their dreams come true? Are they more determined or intelligent? Do they have more luck? Or do they just have better techniques? Cognitive & behavioural psychologists found the best practices to help people achieve their objectives.

  1. Instead of thinking of your fears and all that may go wrong, think of all you will miss and regret if you don’t try.
  2. Have a plan and set SMART objectives.
  3. Start small and if it’s still too hard, try even smaller but don’t give up. Starting small is also the way we learn naturally, look at babies: crawling then walking then running then jumping! If you start too big, you may put yourself in great difficulty and danger.  For example, before putting all your savings in a business, make sure to learn about business management first and start with a small venture.
  4. Start NOW, don’t wait for tomorrow. If you start, it will make it easier for you to keep going.
  5. Do something every day for your dream. Make it a habit so you don’t have to make an effort to think about it.
  6. If you fail one day, don’t take it as an excuse to give up. Start again.
  7. Cut your objective in small ones and give you rewards for each one that you achieve like a small inexpensive symbolic gift or food that you enjoy.
  8. Book regular appointments with yourself (every week and every month) to check your progress and adjust your objectives if they are too easy or too hard.
  9. Ask for your friends’ support. Tell them about your objectives and ask them to ask you questions about your progress regularly. Their nice pressure will help you.
  10. Have special tricks for difficult days like a playlist of your Power Songs that give you energy.

And read this short story about Mona and her dream!

How to climb the mountains of our lives and achieve our objectives

Dream big, start small, act now

Why so many people want to change their lives but fail?  They don’t have a plan! You will find out here how to set your goals and make a plan to reach them.

 Step 1 – Prioritize. Choose your top 2 dreams.

Circle your top 2 dreams the ones who would change it all!

Why only two first? If you try to pursue too many dreams at the same time, you will lose your energy. That’s why so many people can’t make their dreams come true. They have too many things to achieve at the same time!

Step 2 – Plan

This is a very important step. Many people fail to plan and that explains why nothing changes in their lives!

For the 2 dreams that you selected, plan what you need to do to NOW, in 6 months and in 5 years to make them come true.  It means thinking SMALL. What are the little baby steps that will bring you closer to your dream? Make the first actions to do now very easy. It will give you the courage to tackle the next ones.

Step 3. Act now!

This is the most important advice to remember. You can make a beautiful plan but if don’t act, nothing will happen. So don’t wait for tomorrow, follow your plan and act now!