What decisions are you avoiding?

reflect Jan 09, 2023

We make about 35,000 decisions daily according to some really thorough and patient researchers out there. Thankfully most are reflexive. Experience and habit make flushing the toilet and turning on the turn signal pretty seamless.

While all these tiny decisions are happening, we’re wrestling a few complex ones too. There’s always something rolling around in our heads- sometimes for years.

These are things with some potential and appeal, but they come at a higher cost, risk, or the discomfort of change.

In the extreme, these lingering, unmade decisions can be stressful and overwhelming—but most often, they’re just a drag. From whether to switch careers, where to go on vacation to what couch to buy that you’ll still love 5 years from now… our brains don’t differentiate very well. This makes any and all unmade decisions drain our mental and emotional energy.

Sometimes we’re not even fully aware they’re there, draining our focus. So, today’s journal prompt is simply this:

What decisions are you avoiding making? Where are you stuck in 'I don't know'?

Taking a couple of minutes of quiet to listen will bring them to the surface.
Once they’re in front of you, you can start sorting and prioritizing. You first sort into two buckets- decide now or later (with a time frame.) Making a conscious choice here frees up much-needed headspace. Then, you prioritize the “decide now” bucket. Write down what information you need to evaluate your options- something to Google or read, a conversation to be had, an experiment to try, etc.

Armed with some data, a simple pro and con list works to gain clarity on your best next step.

Decisions are easier when you have goals to bounce them against. If you’re continuing to struggle with one, it might indicate a place where you need to get clear on what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it.