How Your 'Choice Point' Can Help You Make Stronger Decisions
When was the last time you made a decision?
Chances are that you made one now, when you clicked to read this article—and that’s just one of the 35,000 small choices studies shows that we make every single day.
When you stop to think about it, it’s easy to get inundated with the decisions: Coffee or tea? Read a book or binge a Netflix show? Stay in or spend time in the outdoors?
Those choices are usually easy to make, but often times life throws us curve balls that force us to go head-to-head with a choice, challenge or obstacle—and we don’t know how to respond.
When we make different decisions, we often forget that each choice helps us build towards our goals or the life that we want.
The key to taking on those decisions lies in sitting with what’s known as your choice point.
Your choice point is the space you’re in right before you make a decision. It’s a term from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and it’s a helpful framework to make decisions that help us prioritize our goals and dreams.
It's a moment where you can pause and connect with your why before you make a decision.
To help you understand what it means to sit at a choice point, take a moment to visualize a fork in the road. One road is your towards moves, and the other is your away moves.
Your towards moves are all the decisions that align with your goals or values. Your away moves are just like what they sound—actions that stray you from your goals or values.
When you look at the bigger picture and remember that the choices that you make everyday are the building blocks to your goals, using a choice point framework to help you pick towards moves is helpful.
Here's how you can make it work in your day-to-day:
1. PBD: Pause Before Deciding
Whether it's a big or small decision, taking a beat before you make a choice is crucial. Use that paues to first connect with how you're feeling.
Whether it’s writing it out in your notebook using journal prompts, or taking time to meditate in the Shine app to help you gain perspective, giving yourself space is key to making a clear decision that works for you based on what you need.
2. Reconnect to Your Why
Your values play a key role in your goals and the decisions you make.
Taking a moment to think about the "why" behind your goals can help you make the best choice for you. Are you aiming for authenticity? Creativity? Honesty?
Use this guide to help you rediscover the why behind your journey and let that be your north star.
3. Make Your Towards Moves
Once you have a firm grasp on your why and your feelings, it’s time to find your towards move.
One way to work through making a towards move is by writing out all the different ways you can move forward, and circle the towards moves and cross out the away moves.
As you do this, ask yourself: What decision will guide me in the direction of my goals? If the answer is more than one choice, try making a pros and cons list and do more reflection.
It’s important to understand that of the 35,000 choices that we make in a day, every single one isn’t going to be perfect—and that’s OK. We’re all human, and remembering that can help you push through any obstacles.
Despite ups and downs, remember that your choices have power.
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