Last week I went to a twilight market with my family. While the kids were enjoying the petting zoo I left my husband in charge of supervision and went off to scout out the stalls on my own. I had planned to just do a walk through and come back for the family, but ended up stealing a little private shopping time too.
I was standing at one stall with tables laden full of colourful goodies and within a minute had selected a Christmas gift for hubby (will keep secret in case he reads this). I paid, but then suddenly noticed a woman who was spending a lot of time looking at one table and realised the items she was checking out would be perfect for my mother who is visiting. I looked through the 40 or so choices for this (secret again) item and narrowed immediately to two choices. I debated back and forth picking up one and putting it back again. All together 30 seconds passed and I had selected her gift. The woman turned to me and said “you are so decisive” and I almost dropped to the floor in a fit – of laughter! I turned to her and replied – “I was not always so – this is new for me.”
I knew why she was impressed and I would have been too a year ago. It made me realise yet again how much I have changed this year and how many people still stand in fear of making a decision.
A few preliminary tips that will help immensely if you are not already doing them.
1. For purchases, know your budget. There is no point considering a Mercedes and an Astra in the same discussion of choosing a new car. If your budget really is the Astra you are simply complicating the situation by even reviewing options that you honestly know you cannot afford.
2. Accept that there are very few comparisons you will do that will involve straight Apples to Apples. The endless variations make it impossible to compare easily. This is true whether buying something, deciding between job offers or where to live.
3. Have permission – be in the driver’s seat. Often what holds up our decision making is not being 100% free to choose. Unless you have reached the point of having the “green light” from the other party involved, or are in a situation where you are the only decision maker, you will stay stalled.
In August I went on a simple shopping trip that showed me I was now free from the analysis paralysis that I had suffered from for as long as I can remember as an adult. For years I had wanted a GPS as I have no sense of direction. I said to hubby (who can find his way in a new city almost instantly so has always said “we” don’t need one) once and for all “I am getting a GPS”.
I set off to research GPS devices and got stuck – which brand was best? How big a screen did I need? Some came with maps updated and others you paid for them – how much are extra maps? and so on. I asked friends on facebook but every single brand was mentioned as a favourite. I did gather enough information to help me though.
Empowered at least by my sudden power trip, demanding things that made my life easier, I also declared I wanted to buy a new home phone. Ours often seemed to die for no reason and the batteries had to be bought at a shop like Dick Smith as they were proprietary to the phone (not universal batteries).
So I walked into this shop for a quick trip armed with my plan. I found a salesperson and let him do the work for me. I said I needed a GPS and a phone. For the GPS I asked – of all the models you have here which has guided lane navigation AND has free map upgrades (since I found out they could be hundreds of dollars). That left 1 GPS unit, it happened to be on sale and I said “sold” – it took 3 minutes.
We went to the phone area and I said I want two cordless handsets and it must take regular batteries. He looked at every model he had and said “Panasonic are the only ones we have that don’t have their own batteries”. Boom – one minute and I had my phone selected. I was out of the store in ten minutes!
What made it so easy? I had a budget in mind, had declared to my husband I was taking action (so would not be coming back to him after visiting the store) and knowing there was never going to be an easy way to compare every feature I focused on my non negotiables. Once I knew those it did not really matter what little extras each brand offered as they were really unimportant to me.
So back at that stall even though there were 40 choices for my mother, my eye zoomed in on 2 that both featured her favourite colours. I narrowed it from 40 to 2 in 10 seconds. Then it was just a preference issue of one theme over another. Sure she might have liked any number of them, but I used 1 criteria to make it easy. I did the same for hubby’s gift and only focused on 2 choices – easy!
I find I can now filter out all the extra info and just focus on the key issue for me and finally trust my decisions. Of course you will make some bad decisions – everyone does, but making no decision at all is a bad decision too. Taking action empowers you and strengthens your ability each time. It gets easier and you get better at it.
Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant. ~Anthony Robbins
Is there something sitting on your to do or to buy list that you can take action on today? Go do it!
Find your simple,
Images: Fortune cookie
I will be linking up with Jess for I blog on Tuesdays