decisions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7837/all en-US Best Money Tips: How to Make Better Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-better-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-make-better-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smart_woman_happy_000066907765.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to make better decisions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on how to make better decisions, things to remove from your resume, and how to get around Amazon&rsquo;s $49 free shipping minimum without getting Prime.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/02/8-tips-make-better-decisions-life.html">8 Tips To Make Better Decisions in Your Life</a> &mdash; Think about your options and weigh their pros and cons. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Remove-From-Your-Resume-28918668">9 Things to Remove From Your Résumé Right Now</a> &mdash; If you've had a series of short-lived jobs, it's best to leave them out. They can make your resume look disjointed and give off the impression that you don't have focus. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/amazon-free-shipping-increase/">How to Get Around Amazon&rsquo;s New $49 Free Shipping Minimum &mdash; Without Prime</a> &mdash; Amazon offers free shipping on some small items from third-party merchants. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneydigest.sg/5-appliance-shopping-hacks-everyone-know/">5 Appliance Shopping Hacks Everyone Should Know</a> &mdash; Don't head straight for the newest models. Slightly older models often have similar (or identical) features at a much lower price. [Money Digest]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2016/0219/How-eating-local-provides-a-big-boost-in-emergency-situations">How eating local provides a big boost in emergency situations</a> &mdash; When food aid is procured locally, it arrives more quickly and affordably, and is of better quality. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://monevator.com/how-to-enjoy-life-like-a-billionaire/">How to enjoy life like a billionaire</a> &mdash; You don't need to have a lot of money to explore a new city. If you turn enough corners, you'll find something beautiful you've never seen before. [Monevator]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4147/unique-online-stores">12 Sites Putting a Unique Twist on Online Shopping</a> &mdash; Boxed is a bit a like Costco and Sam's Club in that they sell bulk groceries and home goods, but there are no membership dues. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financialsamurai.com/before-requesting-an-uber-things-to-know-and-do-to-keep-safe/">Before Requesting An Uber &ndash; Things To Know And Do To Keep Safe</a> &mdash; Don't treat the car as your private office for conference calls. This can distract the driver as they're trying to focus on the road. [Financial Samurai]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/4173-what-should-i-save-for-after-my-emergency-fund">What to Do After You Save an Emergency Fund</a> &mdash; Once your emergency fund is in place, focus on raising your credit score. Pay off any consumer debt, like an outstanding credit card balance. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-to-teach-your-kids-how-to-have-an-attitude-of-gratitude">5 Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude</a> &mdash; Do more with less, especially when it comes to toys. Show them that it only takes a few items to have fun and be happy. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-better-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions">9 Ways to Build Intuition and Make Smarter Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">Here&#039;s How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development best money tips decisions Wed, 24 Feb 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1661842 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Build Intuition and Make Smarter Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-nature-452419807-small.jpg" alt="woman thinking nature" title="woman thinking nature" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Intuition is essential: Those gut feelings turn out to be very helpful, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305144210.htm">even to the point of saving lives</a></p> <p>Intuition helps us understand why people do what they do, and it can smooth the path of relationships by helping us know what those close to us need or why they are acting in a particular way.</p> <p>Some even say that using <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/trading/09/intuition-trading.asp">intuition enhances our ability to invest money</a> well and to change investments when we need to</p> <p>Others say that choices made using intuition &mdash; even big choices, like which car to buy or even whom to marry &mdash; <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-remission/201405/the-science-behind-intuition">end up better</a> than choices made based on research, pondering and logic</p> <p>All of this is well and good if you feel connected to your intuition and like it is something you can listen to, understand, and use in daily life. But what about the rest of us? How are people who don't feel that connection to their intuition supposed to figure out how to use it and reap these benefits, too? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, you can learn to get in touch with your intuition. Here are some tips to get started.</p> <h2>1. Make Time and Space</h2> <p>The very first thing you can do to get in touch with your intuition is to make a place for it to speak into your life. Often, we don't listen to our intuition because we simply don't hear it speaking. In our busy, noisy lives, the quiet voice of intuition often gets lost.</p> <p>It makes sense, then, that if you want to recover your ability to hear that voice, you need to make space within yourself and your life into which it can speak. Be quiet, and find a quiet place. Let your mind roam, creating space within yourself for that still, small voice to speak</p> <h2>2. Spend Time in Nature</h2> <p>It might sound cliche, but being outside is great for your intuition. Most people find that spending time in nature helps them remain <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/intuition-healthcare/can-i-develop-my-intuition">calm and centered</a>, even after they return to their normal life. It makes sense, then, that it would be easier to hear your intuition when you are outside than at other times.</p> <p>If you want to be more intentional with your time, take a question with you into nature. Ponder your question, then let it go. Do whatever you're going to do outside, asking yourself now and then how you feel about your question and whether you are leaning toward a particular answer. You might even ask whether nature itself has something to teach you about the answers you seek.</p> <h2>3. Get Some Sleep</h2> <p>Intuition often offers answers or insights <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/">just as you are falling to sleep, or just when you're waking up</a>. Thus, getting regular rest can help put you in closer touch to your intuition, because you're giving it more and predictable times to work.</p> <p>It will help to keep a journal next to your bed. That way, you can jot down your insights when you have them, so you don't lose them overnight or as you move into a busy day.</p> <h2>4. Begin Where You're An Expert</h2> <p>People often make better intuitive decisions when they are making them <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220144155.htm">in an area where they have some level of expertise</a>. Because intuition is often an unconscious processing of ideas and facts, the more background knowledge you have, the better your intuitive choices will be.</p> <p>Start paying attention to your intuitions when you're doing something you know a lot about, have a lot of experience with, or have done many times before. Look for any sudden urges to do things differently, or for intuitive confirmation that you are on the right track even when you aren't at all sure. When you know what your intuition sounds like in these areas, you will have a better idea of what it sounds like in other places, too.</p> <h2>5. Pay Attention to Your Body</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/natural-remedies/get-in-touch-with-your-intuition-it-knows-the-truth">Signs that your intuition is positive</a> about something can include having goose bumps, feeling relaxed, or feeling physically or emotionally drawn toward a person, choice, place, etc. Negative signs include increased tension in your back, feeling like you have a lump in your throat, or getting chills.</p> <h2>6. Focus on Your Gut</h2> <p>When you focus on your gut, you're actually paying attention to how your stomach and intestines feel when you are making a decision, pondering choices, or just walking down the street. <a href="http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2012-01/6-techniques-tapping-your-intuition">If you feel tense</a>, ill, or get sudden cramps or heartburn, your intuition may be trying to warn you away from something.</p> <p>The gut is important because it may actually tie into your brain. It contains a network of neurons called <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/">the enteric nervous system</a>, which seems designed, at least in part, to help us better know our feelings, stress levels, and more.</p> <h2>7. Notice Dreams and Coincidences</h2> <p><a href="http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/what-your-intuition-wants-you-know%E2%80%94and-tips-access-it">Intuition often speaks through our dreams or through coincidences</a> &mdash; also called synchronous events, or synchronicity. It can help to keep a journal or a notebook with you at all times, so you can record these things as they happen or, in the case of dreams, as soon as you wake up.</p> <p>Interpreting these sorts of things can feel nebulous and, sometimes, may seem impossible. Start with things that feel obvious to you. Maybe you were considering starting a new business and someone sent you an email encouraging you to follow your dream, without even knowing what you were pondering. Over time, you will feel more and more confident in interpreting dreams and events as signals from your intuition.</p> <h2>8. Visualize Your Options</h2> <p>When you know how your particular brand of intuition works, try visualizing each option or choice that might lie in front of you, paying attention while you do so to the cues that you know to be intuitively based. This can clue you in to how your intuition feels about the choices you could make.</p> <p>Before you do this, make sure you have an extensive list of options, doing your best to have all of the choices in front of you. Then spend some time visualizing each one as reality &mdash; take in sights, smells, tastes, etc. The more detailed your visualization, the better chance you have of getting some intuitive cues.</p> <h2>9. Release Negative Feelings</h2> <p>Negative feelings can cloud our intuition, and positive ones can enhance it. If you are feeling down, discouraged, depressed, or anything else negative, take the time to work through those feelings before you try to listen to your intuition.</p> <p>This also means you shouldn't try to repress or suppress your negative feelings. Instead of either dwelling on them or pushing them down, try accepting them for what they are, without making any judgements about them. Then open your hands to release them, if only so that you can use your intuition to make good choices about how to move on from where you are.</p> <h2>Bonus</h2> <p>If you're serious about developing your intuition, <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/activities/exercises-developing-your-intuition">these exercises</a> from the University of Minnesota are great for people who have begun to do the things listed in this article but want to pursue their intuition even more.</p> <p>Some of them will require a significant investment of time or energy, so be sure you're ready before you dive in.</p> <p><em>Where do you use your intuition? How does it speak to you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-expanding-their-minds-do-these-13-things-do-you">People Who Love Expanding Their Minds Do These 13 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Second Language Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-signs-you-need-to-dump-your-friend">11 Signs You Need to Dump Your Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development brains decision decisions intuition making Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1251559 at http://www.wisebread.com This One Easy Strategy Will Lead to Better Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/decision-food-160576234-small.jpg" alt="decision food" title="decision food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Decisions&hellip; decisions&hellip; decisions. Every day, we are given the opportunity to make choices, from what to eat for breakfast to whether or not to accept a job offer. Yet sometimes making a decision feels more like a burden than a gift. Do you struggle with decision-making?</p> <p>If so, the &quot;try-on-the-alternatives&quot; strategy might help. At its most basic level, this technique involves pretending you've chosen Option A, and then observing how you feel. Are you calm? Anxious? Proud? Energized? Or maybe sad? Do the same with Option B and even Options C and D if they're in the mix. Your gut reaction may send a strong signal about which option is best for you.</p> <h2>Latitude in Decision-Making Creates Confidence</h2> <p>Feeling good about a decision can come as a result of <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201201/comparison-creates-confidence">comparing your options</a>. A psychological study conducted in 2012 revealed that &quot;when people compare options, they also get more confident in their judgments.&quot;</p> <p>This is especially true for people who make decisions in an area where they may not have a lot of expertise. In these situations, &quot;you need to be careful when making decisions. On the one hand, you are quite likely to rely on comparing the options in order to make a choice. On the other hand, those comparisons will increase your feeling of confidence in the decision.&quot;</p> <p>Should you take the job offer in Madison, Wisconsin, or is it best to stay put in San Diego? Which car should you buy? Do you want to travel to Omaha for the family reunion? Try on the alternatives and put them side-by-side.</p> <h3>Make a List</h3> <p>Comparing your options may take the form of making a list of the pros and cons of each alternative, knowing that each item &mdash; regardless if they fall on the &quot;pro&quot; or &quot;con&quot; side of the ledger &mdash; is not equally weighted. You could have 10 advantages measured against a single disadvantage, but if that single disadvantage carries more punch (emotional or rational) when you &quot;try it on for size,&quot; the 10 items on the &quot;pro&quot; side go out the window.</p> <p>Do you remember when, during Season 4 of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108778/">Friends</a>, Ross was trying to decide between dating Rachel or Emily? His &quot;reasons I should choose Emily&quot; list was a lot longer than his &quot;reasons I should choose Rachel&quot; list, but the one disadvantage on Emily's list was &quot;she's not Rachel.&quot; As you may recall, Ross goes on to marry Emily, but says Rachel's name when reciting the vows. Ooooops! (Btw, this is probably not the smartest method for choosing a lifetime partner.)</p> <h2>Time It Right</h2> <p>You've had a really bad day at work. Four clients had problems with their orders and one of your co-workers called in sick, leaving you to cover his client load as well. Your normal route home was under construction, and you had to choose between two inconvenient detours. Traffic was terrible. You're hungry because you worked through lunch (your choice; it seemed better than working until 9 p.m.).</p> <p>This is probably not the best time to make that decision about whether to move to Madison. Any new job may feel like utopia after an abysmal day at work &mdash; especially one that required you to make a lot of decisions.</p> <p>Because decisions involve mental energy, experts caution against making them when you feel depleted. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html">Decision fatigue</a> is explained as the being low on mental energy as a result of making too many decisions. &quot;No matter how rational and high minded you try to be, you can't make decision after decision without paying a biological price&hellip; The more decisions you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain&hellip;&quot;</p> <p>So let your brain recharge, and devote the proper mental energy to making a decision when the time is right. On a calm Sunday afternoon, think about what it might feel like to be living in Wisconsin. Try it on for size. If you're not a cold-weather fan, then the higher salary, the company car, or the allure of beer and brats just might not be enough.</p> <h2>Keep It in Perspective</h2> <p>You can avoid decision fatigue by making fewer decisions, but also by devoting the appropriate amount of mental energy to each.</p> <p>A recent Harvard Business Review article on strategic decision making explains that there are multiple types of decisions, yet when people study decision-making, they often combine the different types under a single umbrella. &quot;The fact is that people need to make up their minds in a great variety of circumstances, and it's a source of confusion that the same word, 'decision,' is used for all of them. When a grocery store customer encounters an entire aisle of breakfast cereals, we say he has a decision to make. When a high school senior considers which college to attend, we say she is facing a decision. When a poker player weighs whether to raise or fold, that's a decision, too.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Trying-it-on-for-size&quot; is probably not the most prudent approach for a corporate executive forced to decide which employees to lay off in order to keeps the business afloat. But in most consumer and personal decisions, a visceral reaction to one alternative versus the next can send a strong message about which is the better choice.</p> <p><em>Do you &quot;try-it-on-for-size&quot; when making a decision? What's your strategy? Decide to share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions">7 Simple Ways to Make Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">Designing your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting">The Secret to Great Decision Making Is Forgetting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today">109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips better decisions decision-making decisions Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1174405 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Simple Ways to Make Better Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-decision-200464108-001-small.jpg" alt="shopping decision" title="shopping decision" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Decisions, decisions, decisions. Our lives are full of them. And what's more, the sheer volume of options available for any given choice is virtually infinite.</p> <p>As Barry Swartz mentions in his TED Talk, your local <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM">grocery has around 285 varieties</a> of cookies, 175 different salad dressing options, and 230 unique soups. A few decades ago, buying a pair of jeans involved zero choice, but today, you could spend hours trying on different fits and styles at your local department store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a>)</p> <p>All this choice leave many of us with <a href="http://www.inc.com/boris-wertz/how-to-overcome-decision-paralysis.html">decision paralysis</a>. There are too many options to consider. It overwhelms us, and we find ourselves either avoiding the decision or simply &quot;going with our gut,&quot; abandoning any sort of systematic selection process whatsoever.</p> <p>If the question is, &quot;What chips are you eating tonight?&quot; you're probably not overly concerned. For bigger or more meaningful decisions, however, decision paralysis can really hurt your life's trajectory. Here's how to start making better decisions, faster.</p> <h2>1. Know What You Value Before It's Time to Choose</h2> <p>The best decision makers don't wait until the moment of decision to choose. Their choices come from a set of a predetermined core values that make the momentary decisions easy and consistent. When you have a set list of non-negotiables and a firm priority list, you'll find most decisions aren't even really decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values?ref=seealso">Trade Goals for Values</a>)</p> <h2>2. Determine Your Goals</h2> <p>Never make a decision without context. What are you hoping to accomplish? Where are you going? What do you want? The answers to these questions will provide the context you need for effective decision-making.</p> <h2>3. Immediately Eliminate Inferior Options</h2> <p>The more choices you have, the harder it is to decide. Immediately eliminate inferior options (or options that don't facilitate point fit your values. As you consolidate your selection, the right choice will become more clear.</p> <h2>4. Review Third Party Recommendations</h2> <p>There's no reason to make the same mistakes as others. Learn from the choices of others. If you haven't walked this road, there may be variables you can't see yet. Taking third party advice into consideration allows you to benefit from a broader range of perspectives and experience.</p> <h2>5. Write Down the Pros and Cons</h2> <p>On a practical level, jot down the upsides and downsides of each option. How does each stack up? Is the level of risk worth the potential benefit? Does option A just sound nice, or is it what you actually want? Cost/benefit ratios are an important part of every decision and can help neutralize emotional influence by forcing you to write down a rational collection of thoughts.</p> <h2>6. Evaluate Opportunity Costs</h2> <p>Many people fail to consider their opportunity cost in making every day decisions. Sometimes, the benefits of Option A aren't so great when you factor in what you will have to forego. A $20k raise sounds amazing, but what will you be sacrificing with 10% more working hours and the costs of relocation? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opportunity-costs-and-conscious-spending-how-spending-1-today-can-cost-you-10-tomorrow?ref=seealso">Opportunity Costs and Conscious Spending</a>)</p> <h2>7. Look Back From the Future</h2> <p>Most of us are hard-wired for convenience. We entertain imaginings of grandeur, but when the moments of decision arrive, both small and big, our natural inclination is to choose convenience and the status quo over risk. We have to learn to look at this moment from the future. Forget what feels comfortable. In 10 years, what will we wish we would have chosen today?</p> <p><em>How do you make big decisions? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions">This One Easy Strategy Will Lead to Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">Designing your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting">The Secret to Great Decision Making Is Forgetting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today">109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips choice decision-making decisions Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1146510 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Great Decision Making Is Forgetting http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/arrows-187927625.jpg" alt="arrows" title="arrows" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I make a myriad of decisions every day. Most of them are small, like whether to hit the snooze button again or get out of bed and, once I'm out of bed, which breakfast option will work best for the day ahead.</p> <p>It's pretty easy to make these small decisions, because they don't have much riding on them. It doesn't matter much whether I ate toast or eggs this morning. However, when it comes to bigger decisions, it's easy to become paralyzed, especially when there doesn't seem to be a good option or when there is a lot riding on whatever is being decided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills?ref=seealso">How to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a>)</p> <p>It's especially hard to make any decision &mdash; let alone a great one &mdash; when you don't have a very good history of choices. If you feel like you're almost certain to make another bad decision, it will be even harder to choose anything at all.</p> <p>As it turns out, making peace with these past decisions is a powerful factor in helping you make great decisions now and in the future. Since almost everyone has chosen poorly at one time or another, we can all improve our ability to make great decisions by learning to deal with our past mistakes.</p> <h2>Good Decisions Require Confident Decision-Makers</h2> <p>Lydia Ko played in her first professional golf tournament at age 12. She has had a lot of success in the sport, despite her young age. In fact, she's had so much success that she hasn't suffered from much of the self-doubt that often plagues athletes, even very talented ones.</p> <p>Sports psychologist Jason Yuill Proctor ties her <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/sport/9662877/Lydia-Kos-confidence-key-to-success">self-confidence to her ability to make the right decisions</a> when she plays. &quot;With golf, [the mental side of the game] is huge.. When people aren't confident, it can have a huge impact in their decision-making.&quot;</p> <p>Athletes like Ko develop not only the skills specific to their sports, but the confidence to choose which skills are appropriate at what time. However, confidence isn't just a factor of good decisions in the world of sport. In all walks of life, the more confident a person feels, the <a href="http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JPESM/article-abstract/AA7413A1111">better decisions she is going to make</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want/ref=seealso">How to Be Fearless</a>)</p> <h2>Confidence and Past Decisions</h2> <p>There are a lucky few of us who haven't made a bad decision or who have seen seemingly bad decisions turn out better in the end. These people often choose easily, without hesitation, because they don't have reason to second-guess themselves.</p> <p>For the rest of us, though, confidence about our decision-making process will be much harder. Improving the process will mean having confidence in ourselves and our decision-making capacity even though we haven't chosen well in the past. Fortunately, we can build that specific type of confidence by learning to accept our past decisions, good or bad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident?ref=seealso">Habits You Must Break to Become More Confident</a>)</p> <h2>Making Peace With Past Decisions</h2> <p>While it's easy to say that we ought to live with no regrets, it's a lot harder to actually live that way. Even when we think we've made peace with something, it can come back to haunt us later, proving that our peace either wasn't real or was really short-lived.</p> <p>Coming to peace with past decisions means <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/no-more-regrets/201103/make-peace-yourself-how-we-let-go-regret">releasing ourselves from their grip</a>. This is a process that is different for everyone. If your past decisions caused great pain to your and/or others, you may need to pursue counseling.</p> <p>No matter your past decisions, though, the following steps can help you get out from under their burden.</p> <h3>1. Accept What You Have Done</h3> <p>Don't live in denial just because the choices you've made cause you pain. <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Stop-Regretting-Decisions-Martha-Becks-Plan-to-Let-Go/2">Acknowledge to yourself</a> and to anyone else affected by your poor choice the fact that it was a bad decision. Hold this for a while, without trying to fix it. This doesn't mean stewing in regret, but allows you the time to understand the decision you made, why you made it, and what the alternatives really were. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-lying-to-yourself-about-your-money?ref=seealso">Ways You're Lying to Yourself About Your Money</a>)</p> <h3>2. Grieve What You've Lost</h3> <p>When you make a bad decision, you usually call it &quot;bad&quot; because you lost something or missed out on something good. When you have suffered loss because of your own choices, it can be difficult to let yourself grieve. However, entering into those difficult feelings and <a href="http://tinybuddha.com/blog/we-have-a-right-to-grieve-losses-big-and-small/">walking through the entire process of grief</a> is the only path toward future healing.</p> <h3>3. Find Something Good in the Situation</h3> <p>Even the worst choices have something good in them. If nothing else, those choices you made and now regret have made you into the person you are today. That's a person who wants to move on, who wants to make better decisions in the future, and who is committed to doing the hard internal work that can make those things happen.</p> <h3>4. Focus on the Decision at Hand</h3> <p>When you have told yourself the truth, felt all there is to feel, and looked at how your bad decisions in the past allow you to be who you are today, it's time to move on. Think about the important decision at hand, and think only about that. This can require some time and effort, but it pays off. When you focus on one thing at a time, you harness all the power of your self to accomplish that thing. If you want to make a good decision and have worked through any past decisions that are sapping your confidence, then it's time to focus on what's in front of you right now, so that you can make the best decision possible there.</p> <p>In the end, accepting those times in the past when you have decided poorly is a great way to build the confidence necessary to make good choices now and in the future. As you work through these things, keep in mind that this is a process. You won't accept all of your bad decisions overnight. However, the more you work through them, the more you will build your confidence and be free to make good decisions today.</p> <p><em>How do you let go of bad decisions? How do you maintain confidence in your decision-making ability?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-little-ways-to-feel-more-confident">17 Little Ways to Feel More Confident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions">7 Simple Ways to Make Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions">This One Easy Strategy Will Lead to Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips confidence decisions leadership Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:48:13 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1128215 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Make Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-make-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thinking-5335167-small.jpg" alt="thinking" title="thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on making decisions, money-saving strategies that cost you more, and how paying off debt is like running a marathon.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://kylieofiu.com/2013/11/how-to-make-decisions/">How to make decisions</a> &mdash; When trying to make a decision, talk it out with others or test your options. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/11/12/7-money-saving-strategies-that-can-cost-you-more/">7 Money-saving strategies that can cost you more</a> &mdash; Did you know that buying more to get a discount can sometimes cost you more? [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/11/how-paying-off-debt-is-like-running-a-marathon/">How Paying off Debt is Like Running a Marathon</a> &mdash; Just like a marathon, paying off debt is a long, tedious journey. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Hunger-Game-Career-Tips-22009168">6 Hunger Games-Inspired Strategies for Surviving the Office</a> &mdash; To survive the office, remember to build solid alliances. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2013/11/08/psychology-of-black-friday-motivation-behind-the-pursuit-of-deals/">Psychology of Black Friday: Motivation behind the pursuit of deals</a> &mdash; Sometimes competition and an ego boost can drive people&#39;s pursuit of deals. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/10-reasons-a-storage-unit-makes-a-good-investment/">10 Reasons a Storage Unit Makes a Good Investment</a> &mdash; A storage unit may make a good investment because it allows you to make more space and gives you good security. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <p><a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/smart-spending/ask-jean-deals-by-the-month/">Ask Jean: Deals By The Month</a> &mdash; Did you know November is the best time to buy Apple products? [Jean Chatzky Making Money Make Sense]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/making-day-fulfilling-filled-fun/">Making your Day More Fulfilling and Filled with Fun</a> &mdash; To make your day more fulfilling, take some time to pray and meditate. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://ipickuppennies.net/2013/11/5-ways-to-save-money-on-cat-litter/">5 ways to save on cat litter</a> &mdash; If you have a cat, save money on litter by making it on your own. [I Pick Up Pennies]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/retro-baby-a-back-to-basics-book-for-parents-of-infants">Retro Baby: A Back-to-Basics Book for Parents of Infants</a> &mdash; Looking for a new parenting book to read? Don&#39;t miss this new one by one of Parenting Squad&#39;s prosquad experts, Dr. Zachry! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-easy-strategy-will-lead-to-better-decisions">This One Easy Strategy Will Lead to Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-make-better-decisions">7 Simple Ways to Make Better Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">Designing your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-great-decision-making-is-forgetting">The Secret to Great Decision Making Is Forgetting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best money tips deciding decisions Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1096695 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Reasons Why a "Good Enough" Decision May Be Best http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-reasons-why-a-good-enough-decision-may-be-best <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/4-reasons-to-settle-for-good-enough-tom-harnish" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/4-reasons-to-settle-f...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/4-reasons-why-a-good-enough-decision-may-be-best" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003127306Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Successful businesses are based on results, not promises; action, not plans; decisions, not procrastination.</p> <p>Yet, in spite of the abundance of information &mdash; or more to the point, because or it &mdash; business decisions are increasingly hard to make. We sift through tons of irrelevant&nbsp;information on Google, Bing, and Yahoo in hopes of making an optimal choice.</p> <p>The solution, as odd as it may sound, may be to stop trying to find the <em>best</em> solution and be happy with <em>good enough</em>. Here's why:</p> <p><strong>1. It's Hard to Know What You Want</strong></p> <p>&quot;Look, we need to make a decision here and take some action. We need results, and we need them now.&quot; Sound familiar? Anyone who's ever run a business has said those words, or similar, many times. But making a decision requires that you know what alternatives are available, and more importantly, which one is the best.</p> <p>Generally we make decisions based on prior experience. The problem is we're not very good at remembering experiences. Princeton Psychologist <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html">Daniel Kahneman</a> has done some fascinating research that shows we only remember the best of what we experience, and how the experience felt at the end. He calls this the &quot;peak-end&quot; rule, which suggests people remember the average of an experience, not the sum.</p> <p>For example, one group of people in an experiment were subjected to loud noise, while a second group was exposed to the same noise plus more, but less painful, noises at the end of the session. The second group, surprisingly, said the the experience was less unpleasant than the first group, even though they actually had to listen to more noise.</p> <p>How does this play out in a business? Years ago you made a decision. The results were a disaster, but all the angst and chaos tapered off as you got things back under control. <em>You remember the decision as a reasonably good one</em> because on average things weren't so bad, especially at the end.</p> <p><strong>2. We Can&rsquo;t Trust Ourselves</strong></p> <p>In some deep way, many of us know we really shouldn't trust our experiences. So we talk about, and read about, other people&rsquo;s experiences and opinions in hopes of making better decisions. You're doing that right now.</p> <p>The problem is we're wired to depend on what's most available, or what we're familiar with. You see lots of ads that offer discounts, so you assume discounting must be a good idea. <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/why-you-should-raise-your-prices-kate-lister">In fact, it often isn't.</a></p> <p>College students selecting classes are influenced more by a single review from someone they know than an extensive evaluation survey collected from several hundred students. Advertisers learned long ago that branding works because people will chose what's familiar, a brand name they recognize. Mass media features dramatic causes of death such as tornados, accidents, floods, fires, and homicides. So we overestimate how often those occur while, at the same time, we underestimate diabetes, asthma, stroke and tuberculosis &mdash;&nbsp;more common causes of death.</p> <p>Worse, because we often have to rely on secondhand sources, we find ourselves relying on the <em>same</em> secondhand sources, such as CNN or Fox News or Huffington Post. What that means is that we're less likely to get unbiased advice from someone else's experience. We also tend to associate with people of like mind, so we limit the advice we receive to people who think like we do. Soon we&rsquo;re believing in something that has no basis in fact &mdash; something that may even be based on fraud, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/index.html">such as the anti-vaccination baloney</a> that&rsquo;s actually killing kids.</p> <p><strong>3. We Don't Know How to Make Good Decisions</strong></p> <p>If discounts are a bad idea, why do department stores seem to have everything on sale all the time? Because we're bad at decision making. They give us the manufacturer&rsquo;s suggested retail price as an anchor, and then lead us to believe we're getting a great deal by offering what seems to be a bargain. One mail-order catalog offered a $279 bread maker with mediocre results. When they offered a super-deluxe version for $429, sales of the cheaper model almost doubled.</p> <p>Even the way information is framed affects our decision-making. Two stores sell a particular brand of paint. One store has a big sign that says, &quot;Discount for Cash!&quot; and offers the paint at $11.50 a gallon, or $10.50 if you pay cash. A nearby store offers the same paint for $10.50 a gallon, but imposes a $1 surcharge per gallon if you charge it. Research shows that&nbsp;we'll go for the discount every time, even though the cost is exactly the same. We'll also pick a small-but-sure gain (do you want $100 now?) over a large but uncertain&nbsp;one (or $200 based on the flip of a coin?). And we prefer yogurt that&rsquo;s 95% fat-free over yogurt with 5% fat content.</p> <p>We're also psychologically challenged when it comes to making decisions about gains and losses. Losses are &quot;more bad&quot; than gains are good. That's why money-back guarantees work &mdash; people think something they possess is worth more then its cash value, so if they return it they feel as if they've lost something.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. We Strive for the Optimum Choice at Our Peril</strong></p> <p>Seeking the best is impossible when you have many alternatives. The only way to know if you&rsquo;re picking the best alternative is to know what they all are. In today&rsquo;s world that can drive you nuts. An &quot;if only I had...&quot;&nbsp;mentality can lead to regret, and that steals from the satisfaction of even a good, if not optimum, decision.</p> <p>In fact, when economists theorize about how we make decisions they assume we try to maximize our preferences, our satisfaction. What they&rsquo;ve learned is that satisfaction and preferences are subjective, not objective. And that&rsquo;s where the idea that <em>good enough</em> &mdash; not necessarily the <em>best</em> &mdash; decisions, actions, and results may make the most sense.</p> <p>Daily decisions overwhelm us to the point that we want to avoid making them. But if we understand that any decision is usually better than no decision, that there never will be a perfect choice, and that we are going to make mistakes, we&rsquo;re on the path to satisfaction and sanity.</p> <p>We can limit our choices, decide which ones are important and invest our time in those. The entrepreneurial predisposition for a &quot;ready, fire, aim&quot; approach is based on that premise. Does the color of your logo really matter when you don&rsquo;t have any customers?</p> <p>Choose an alternative; don&rsquo;t just pick one. Once you&rsquo;ve narrowed the list of choices, you&rsquo;ll have the time and attention to be thoughtful, even creative, about what to do.</p> <p>Every advertiser tries to convince you to accept only the best, but if you can embrace the idea that <em>good enough</em> can be satisfactory, you can stop trying to make the perfect choice and get on about your business.</p> <p>Think carefully about what you want, where you&rsquo;re going, and what&rsquo;s important. Once you do, make a decision and take action and you&rsquo;ll find the result much more satisfying.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-reasons-why-a-good-enough-decision-may-be-best">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Personal Development Small Business Resource Center choices decisions psychology small business Sun, 20 Feb 2011 17:57:36 +0000 Tom Harnish 489583 at http://www.wisebread.com Designing your life http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/designing-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spiderweb_stop.down.jpg" alt="Spiderweb" title="Spiderweb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="350" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Key decisions that you make&mdash;especially when you're young, but also later&mdash;have implications that ripple through the whole rest of your life. People treat these early decisions&mdash;decisions like whether to go to college and what degree to get&mdash;as if they were unchangeable. They put them in the back of their mind and look to the future. It's true that what's past is past, but there are good reasons to keep these decisions clearly in mind when you make future decisions. It's never too late to design your life.</p> <p>Most people don't feel like they designed their own life. That's where mid-life crises come from&mdash;people hit 40 and wonder how they got where they are.</p> <p>There's no way around this:</p> <ul> <li>If you're young, all the most critical decisions about your life were made by your parents.</li> <li>If you're older, all the most critical decisions about your life were made by some kid (i.e. you, when you were younger--less wise, less experienced, and less aware of what's really important than you are now).</li> </ul> <p>How can you pull a design out of that?</p> <h2>Be aware</h2> <p>First, be conscious of the implications of your decisions. They all have ripple effects, and it's worth tracing those ripples back to their source.</p> <p>Take, for example, deciding to live so far from your job that you need a car. There are first-order effects from that decision&mdash;it locks in thousands of dollars a year in expenses (the capital investment, fuel, insurance, taxes, etc.), it exposes you to risks from traffic accidents, it makes it harder to get enough exercise. It also enables all sorts of other options&mdash;you can take classes in the evening, your spouse can join a club, your kids can participate in sports, you can all go on a vacation road trip.</p> <p>These things all interlock in a way that makes changing the big decisions seem impossible. It isn't, though. Changing the big decision&mdash;living closer to where you work or working closer to where you live&mdash;opens up at least as many options as it closes down.</p> <p>I just ran into the term &quot;design snowball&quot; to refer to the way any design change snowballs into dozens of changes that affect everything. I tend to think of it as a web&mdash;you can't pull out just one thread. That doesn't mean you can't change the web, though. Yes, one big change will snowball in a way that requires dozens of other changes&mdash;but making those decisions is what designing is all about.</p> <p>If you don't like where you are, you can make fresh decisions that will take you someplace else. It just takes an open mind&mdash;a willingness to consider the whole range of possibilities. If you want to end up in a particular place, it also takes a keen understanding of how your decisions so far add up to the circumstance you've got now. That's why it's wrong to take these past decisions as over and done.</p> <h2>Not unchangeable</h2> <p>With the exception of the decision to have children, none of your decisions are really fixed and immutable. It's possible to go back to school (although it may entail living like a student for a few years). It's possible to live elsewhere or work elsewhere. It's possible to spend your time doing things that are important. It's possible to take charge of your life.</p> <p>Some of these changes may require a long lead time. Some may be expensive. Some may require the help of other people. None of that means that it's too late to design your life.</p> <p>Your life up to now may have been designed by some young kid. It doesn't have to stay that way.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">How to Clean Your House in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle decisions lifestyle lifestyle changes Wed, 27 Feb 2008 18:57:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1856 at http://www.wisebread.com Being Poor Without Being Pitiful http://www.wisebread.com/being-poor-without-being-pitiful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/being-poor-without-being-pitiful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/poor.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I have spent a good portion of my young life being poor. (I define poor, not as living below the poverty line, but as not having even enough liquid assets to maintain a healthy or productive lifestyle.)<span> </span>Growing up on a small family farm during the agriculture crises in the 80’s gave me perspective on what poverty really means.<span> </span>Eating cabbage soup for most meals, riding in cars with holes in the floorboards and doors welded shut, and picking out clothing from among the abandoned items in the school’s lost and found will always give me something to compare my financial situation to when times get a little tough.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">While a living situation like that wouldn’t be allowed for very long today without some kind of government intervention, it is still important to know what leads to poverty.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Circumstances</strong> – These are the quickest way to becoming poor.<span> </span>Losing a job, facing a death in the family, sickness or disability, a natural disaster, or a major change in the economy can all turn financial stability into a situation of poverty.<span> </span>Circumstance can most often not be prevented.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Choices</strong> – This is how most people I know end up in poverty.<span> </span>Overextending their credit lines for “wanted” and not “needed” purchases, <a href="/how-the-subprime-lending-boom-hurt-everybody">taking on too big of a mortgage</a> too early in their lifetime, giving in to drugs/ alcohol/ gambling, and refusing to find work are all controllable actions that can lead to poverty.<span> </span>Choices are often small and successive.<span> </span>It can take months or years to fall into a state of being bankrupt by making poor decisions.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Because I was once poor, I chose long ago never to be pitiful.<span> </span>Feeling sorry for one’s self never improves a situation.<span> </span>I learned to accept that as long as my poverty came from circumstance and not choices, I am not financially dysfunctional as a person.<span> </span>When my husband <a href="/live-like-theres-no-tomorrow">lost his job last year</a>, we went without many of the comforts I had grown accustomed to.<span> </span>But we didn’t stay in pity-mode for very long.<span> </span>Action needed to be taken to improve our situation, and we made the best of our savings and time.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I remember growing tired of a relative who continually couldn’t make their mortgage payment.<span> </span>They made three times the money my family did, but they were always overdrawn in their accounts, and complaining at how unfair life was.<span> </span>Their circumstances were ideal; their choices were not.<span> </span>There I stood with no income or job prospects on the horizon.<span> </span>I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills two months from then.<span> </span>But I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself!<span> </span>I had much more than my relative making all the money.<span> </span>I had common sense and discipline.<span> </span>I could persevere in any circumstance, and I had pity on them! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Finding yourself in a financial pickle doesn’t have to end your life.<span> </span>Regardless of how you got there, you can get out.<span> </span>Feeling sorry for yourself is never a good use of your time or energy, and taking small steps in the right direction will never be regrettable.<span> </span>Today is the best day to take control of your finances and start living victoriously.<span> </span>You can do it!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-poor-without-being-pitiful">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-work-for-food-the-primal-connection-between-food-and-personal-finance">Will Work For Food: The Primal Connection Between Food and Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum">37 Ways You’d be Better Off as a Bum</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-decent-standard-of-living">A decent standard of living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-free-to-be-poor">Not free to be poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance decisions poverty Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:45:49 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1197 at http://www.wisebread.com