John Lennon had it right. On many things, sure, but in the context of the here and now, when he said that ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’…man, that strikes a chord. Because there’s so much discussion of the future, of five year plans and unfolding affairs, that while we’re scribbling another date in the diary, we forget to actually enjoy the moment we’re in.

The answer here is better planning. Work smarter, not harder as they say, and if we all focused on making choices firmly and decisively, rather than taking a disproportionate time on the process not the product, then we’d have a little more time to focus on the important stuff; friends, family, self care…you get the picture. Now, paint it, with these; our 5 IDEAL tips on how to make better life decisions. 

MEDITATE

We know that meditating can sound a little eccentric to those who haven’t tried it before, but if you’re at a crossroads in your life, it might be a good idea to let go of your long-held preconceptions and give it a go.

The clarity gained from taking a few moments each day has been proven to improve concentration and focus in those who are open minded to it. This is in part due to the fact that meditating allows you a few minutes away from the distractions of your world, to clear your mind, and consider what it is you actually want from the future. If you’re still not convinced, check out our advice on the ways meditation can help you in everyday life.

SEEK A SECOND OPINION

Meditating can be a great way to reach a decision, but not everyone likes making important life choices in isolation. In fact, most times, you shouldn’t. Gaining perspective and a second opinion is invaluable when mulling over the big decisions. If you’re someone who prefers to have a sounding board, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or family to get their take on the situation. Problem shared, problem halved and all that.

LEAVE IT TO FATE 

Life’s an unpredictable beast, and a rollercoaster which sometimes, you just have to ride (sorry to keep quoting songs here). While some people find it helpful to have a clear idea of each and every step in their lives, others prefer to leave it to fate, and that’s okay too. 

If you have a feeling in your gut, telling you to go for that new role in your company, follow it. Should you decide to ring up for clairvoyant readings, for instance, and you’re told that a handsome man or a beautiful woman is on the horizon, it’s perfectly fine to be content with waiting around until they materialise, whether that’s a month into the future or a year. Or perhaps you’re a believer in astrology, and the stars have guided you to reconnect with an old acquaintance? Sometimes, it’s liberating to leave the decision making to fate. You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

GO ON A TECHNOLOGY DETOX

We spend so much time plugged in that sometimes we forget to log out. Mentally that is. And this can have a huge effect on our decision making abilities, since we’re always distracted, our minds on too many things simultaneously and not giving enough attention to the important things. 

It’s an affliction we all suffer from. A bad habit we’re all guilty of. A curse on society which needs eradicating. Okay, maybe that last one is a touch excessive, but mobile phone use seems to have permeated every moment in life, from interrupting our sleep to taking precedence over our social interactions. It’s time to change not only your settings, but your habits, too (yep, we appreciate the irony here, that you’re probably reading this on your phone).

Anyway, let’s focus on the positives; after time spent with your devices out of sight and mind, you’ll approach life with renewed clarity and vision. And we that’s what you’re here for, right?

MAP THINGS OUT VISUALLY

Finally, are you more of a visual thinker? Drawing up a road map to help clarify what it is you really want from the months and years ahead of you can really help you visualise your goals. This should include not only potential relationships, but any other goals or achievements you’d like to work towards, too. Though you don’t have to follow such a map precisely, it can help to have this blueprint when you’re met with tough decisions in the years ahead.