How To Make Hard Decisions Easy
It took me a long time to figure out how to make hard decisions in life. I used to waste so much time agonizing over choices both before I made them and afterwards, wondering if I had chosen the right option or path.
Nowadays though, I regret very few choices because I know how to make hard decisions: I make them aligned with my values.
Knowing and understanding your top five values gives you the key to making incredible, authentic decisions in your life. When you know clearly what you hold most dear, the making hard decisions becomes easy.
This means significantly less time wasted worrying over the big decisions, and significantly more time spent enjoying the fruits of our choices.
So how do you use your values to make decisions?
The best model I have found for making values-based decisions can be found in Suzy Welch’s book 10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and at Home.
Prior to discovering the 10-10-10 method, I discussed strategies for making hard decisions based on the short-term, mid-term and long-term.
People’s eyes glazed over. There was nothing “sexy” about evaluating decisions in those time frames. But Welch changed that with 10-10-10.
10-10-10 is one of the most powerful tools in the Superpower System, and using Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 process, I created a 10-10-10 worksheet for decision-making based on values.
The worksheet helps you apply your top core values to your choices by inviting you to examine the implications of your decision in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years in light of those values you hold dear.
What are the steps to Welch’s 10-10-10 process?
The starting point for 10-10-10 is a clearly defined question. With your top five values in hand, you take a decision you have been struggling with and turn it into a question it’s tied to.
Maybe it is, “should I leave my current job for this new one?” Or maybe it’s, “is it time to sell my house and move into a new, bigger one?” Or even, “should I end this relationship that I am in or try to work it out for the better?”
Now that you have your question to frame your decision making, the second step for 10-10-10 is to use your values to answer what are the positive and negative outcomes of each option in 10 minutes (short-term), in 10 months (mid-term), and in 10 years (long-term).
If you value integrity, does your current job meet that value in the next 10 minutes?
If you value family, does the new house in 10 months allow you to lean into that value more or less?
If you value freedom, 10 years from now is the relationship you in going to prevent you from living the free life you have imagined?
The final step is to analyze the information you have gathered. Welch wrote that this part of the 10-10-10 process requires you to ask yourself: “Knowing what I now know about all of my options and their consequences, which decision will best help me create a life of my own making?”
To help you do the 10-10-10 exercise, I created a 10-10-10 worksheet which you can find in my superpower worksheet packet (get your superpower worksheet packet for free by signing up for the Llama Times.)
To help you see what the analysis looks like, here is an example.
I was asking myself whether I should stay at home and read and relax or go to a party that my aunt is hosting.
It may look like the pros outnumber the cons, especially in the next 10 minutes, but in 10 months and 10 years from now the cons really show that the best choice would be to attend the party hosted in my aunt.
Often times the hard decisions are hard because two of our core values are at odds. But when you can take the pros and cons for each top value and put them in front of you, it is much easier to see what the path forward is.
Using the 10-10-10 process will allow you to start making hard decisions easy. You make hard decisions easy by leaning into with what you value most.
Doing this allows you to start creating the life that you want to lead, because each decision you make will be aligned with who you are and where you want to go.
Once you have got values-based decision making down, feel free to continue growing yourself by Setting Boundaries and Keeping Them!
Your cape awaits!
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