I remember at the beginning of the year telling my husband Nick that this year was going to be big! I wasn’t sure exactly what we would have in store though. I was coming up on two years at my first job after college and a six month newlywed. We started to discuss where we wanted to be: long term goals and then short term goals to get to those goals. We discussed everything from promotions, home additions to starting a family. My husband was finishing up his bachelor’s degree and I was embarking on the one year mark in my MBA program. As you can see, we had a lot going on! However, during this time, we became parents to a one year old puppy, researched additional education to seek after graduation and I had the vision to start this blog. Whew!

Every decision I’ve made has not always been easy for my mind, heart and gut to reach a general consensus. Do you have that problem too? I know, it’s hard. Some of us are great with making decisions intellectually (with our mind) because maybe we are calculated or read a lot. Maybe you are an emotional or hopeless romantic and make most decisions with your heart. Not you? Okay you’re probably a free spirit who’s in tune with your spiritual self and decide based on intuition (your gut). Most commonly, we all use a little bit of all three, just in different proportions.

There are so many different paths I can see my life exploring, but that doesn’t mean they are all the right paths. So at times, my gut would talk my heart out of things. Yet, sometimes I find myself falling into a complacent routine that can get stale and I may wonder, “Is this it? Is this all I’m supposed to be doing?” So at times, my heart strings will tug and change my mind on some predictability in life. There are other times where my head takes over and asks myself, “What happens if I do?” or “What happens if I don’t”.

So what do you do? How do you know what your next steps are and make a decision that your future self will be proud of?

HAVE A PLAN

Sometimes, you just have to put pen to pad. Draw out your plan! What is your starting point? What does the finish line look like? Now fill in what can happen from start to finish in order to make that dream a reality, but don’t be naïve! Unexpected obstacles will arise and you need to be prepared for those too. So go ahead and add those in the mix. What’s the worst that can happen? That doesn’t mean that your dream ends there, it means that your route may change just a bit.

MAKE SURE THE RESOURCES ARE THERE   

Okay, so that plan we just talked about, it may not come for free. Do you have the resources to sustain this plan? When I say free, I’m not necessarily speaking of monetary resources, but time and energy as well. Your schedule may not allow it, can you adjust that? Your motivation will be really important to get through some of those obstacles and having a good state of mind and healthy energy level can make all the difference. These resources may not come easily though. You may need the help of others. Be open to that help. Again, let’s not be naïve. People often say, “I’m jumping out on faith”, but we are designed to plan and think ahead.

WEIGH THE ODDS

This kind of goes back to the thought of, “What if I do?” “What if I don’t?” Weigh your odds! Sometimes this can reveal to you a little bit more about what you’re getting into. You can’t expect what will happen, but you shouldn’t go into anything completely blind. What will you lose or sacrifice versus what will you gain? So, you know what that means? Be honest. Truthfully note the pros and cons to help lead your decision maker (mind, gut or heart) accurately.

IGNORE NEGATIVITY 

Okay, let’s be real, not everyone is your friend or the captain of your cheer squad. So there may not always be people in your ear that have your best interest or at least best wishes at heart. Their intention may be to deter you from the major moves that you are planning. Why? Jealousy, envy or maliciousness can be a few culprits. So steer clear away from negativity and really try to weed out those good and bad voices in your ear. Does that mean shut out everyone who disagrees with you? Ha, no! It means just be conscious of the advice you are listening to and accept.

PRAY

No matter your religious beliefs, they all revolve around prayer, meditation and reflection. This is really important to help your spiritual-self align and relax. You never know how much better you will feel about the decision, but also how much more confident you will be in the actual process of making it. So pray often. 

Here are two tools I’ve developed to help you along!
PLAN and WEIGH YOUR ODDS