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How to make decisions when you do not know the next step

Updated: Apr 11

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 40

Decision-making can be such a time suck.

So this week, we're talking about how to take the next step. We've all been in a situation, even if you can't currently think of one, or one that you're in right now, where someone or something needs to get done and you can see the end goal of where you need to be and what you want to be achieving at the distance from where you sit right now feels almost impossible to navigate.

And the idea of having so many options renders us have more things on our to-do list that we absolutely must achieve in order to get to that place can feel like we're just spinning in indecision. It feels quite panicky and possibly makes you feel a bit anxious about all of the things that you've got to get done in order to get so towards the idea of having achieved the thing that you're working towards. It can feel kind of like it's just not possible unless we get all of the things done.

And I wanted to share with you one of my favourite life hacks, and that is to find the smallest possible step that you can take, which moves you in the direction that gets you closer to your goal.

So you don't have to achieve all of the things in the next hour. You don't have to achieve all of the things on your to-do list. You don't have to break down all of the steps on your five-year plan. You need to feel like you're making one tiny move towards where you want to be. And that in itself is huge progress.

What is the one thing that you can do today that moves you slightly closer to where you want to be? Is it just finding one piece of momentum? Is it just replying to one email? Is it just taking one step towards a qualification that you want? Is it just deciding that you're going to reply to a text message from someone that you've been avoiding? What is the one thing that is going to make your path a little bit clearer?

And I think that when we have this idea when we're striving for these goals, we think that everything should be really clear and really obvious and really easy that we're working towards and that things should be better or that things should be good or easy or we should be able to define how we get there. But actually, sometimes the really important stuff in our lives can get really murky and really difficult for us to be able to decide what we're doing and how we're doing it when actually we can take one step. It doesn't need to be so complicated.

Just being clear about facing the direction that we're in, just getting clear about where we want to be and knowing that if you travel this journey towards where you want to be, with just the impetus, the momentum, of knowing that each action is taking us closer to where we want to be. Some of it's going to feel amazing, and some of it's going to suck. But if we're moving in the right direction, we're going to keep moving towards our goal.

And along the way, we're going to face lots of different emotions. There are going to be emotions like confusion and frustration and boredom and joy and lust and clarity and despair and hope and tumultuous optimism and many, many other things. And it doesn't mean that just because the decision that you're making or the action that you're taking doesn't feel good right now, it's the wrong decision or the wrong action. If it involves some emotions and it is travelling you in the direction that you want to be facing, you're on the right track. So I'm going to try and keep it short and sweet this week.

What is the one thing that you can do that takes you slightly closer to where you want to be? And when you've identified that, you can work out how achieving that tiny thing would make you feel. And when you can work out what you want to be feeling, then you can work out what thought might cause that feeling and imagine someone who's already done it, I don't know, pop in a little role play thing and try on that thought. See what might work for you. And if you can find a thought that motivates you to make that one incremental step closer to where you want to be, that is the thing that's going to make sure that you're always constantly alignment with where you want to be.

Let me know if that helps. It certainly made a huge difference in my life and hacking my way in my to-do list.

I hope it's useful for you too. I'll speak to you next week.


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