Many people have trouble making good decisions. A clear example in the US is that 61% of Americans are obese. Obesity starts from not being able to make good decisions about food. This often forms in youth. The reason: the person is deciding about food from their feelings. The were not taught any other way to decide. The problem: good decisions are not made from feelings. So how are good decisions made?
Good decisions, those that support our long-term success and happiness, are made from clear criteria. Bad decisions, unsupportive ones, come from just feelings. How do you know if you are going by feelings or criteria? Simple. if they are criteria, you can write them down! Criteria are questions that tend to have a yes or no answer.
Here’s an example: Obese people tend to have an over simplified feeling question about food like: “Will is fill me up?”, “Will it taste good?”, or the BIG one: “Will it make me feel good?”
People with a naturally thin eating strategy will have a checklist like:
1. Will this food give me energy?
2. Is it healthy?
3. Will it make me fat?
4. Is it fresh?
If any of our criteria is a “no”, we stop. It’s a simple test list.
What’s the moral of this story? If you are having trouble deciding on ANYTHING, write down your criteria! Get our of the feeling test, which changes with mood, and actually write down your list. Make sure you sort the list too. Great criteria or sorted and the order makes decision quick and powerful.
Finally, you can use this with your friends and family. If they are stuck and can’t make a decision, check if they can write down their criteria. Let’s say you have a girlfriend that can’t decide on a guy… bet she doesn’t have criteria that can be written, instead she’d waiting for a feeling. Problem is, just a glass of wine can change feelings.