Your Every Day Decisions Impact Your Long Term Goals
Decisions, decisions, decisions. I am an incredibly indecisive person – just choosing the photos to accompany this article was a 45 minute task. If I’m at a lovely restaurant, deciding what to pick can take forever. I don’t want to make a poor choice and live in regret, but at the same time I know it’s not my last meal ever. We make decisions all the time, and not all of them are perfect, but with a few tweaks to our thought processes and decision making processes, it can be easier to make a better decision.
Start to consider your long-term goals.
In more ways than one, I’m not particularly good at thinking about the medium term future when I make snap decisions. Take breakfast meetings for example – the French Toast and Bacon always seems like an amazing idea, but when my medium-term goal is to tone up, I should probably opt for Avocado on toast or an acas bowl. Training your brain to consider your medium and long term goals can help you with your decisions, and make your choices less overwhelming.
Trust Your Gut
This is something I truly believe in. When making big decisions, always trust your guy. Consciously, deep down you probably already know what is the best decision for you to make. Recently for me a perfect example is when I decided to hand in my notice at the Software company and become a full time blogger/YouTuber. Of course, it was a huge risk, but deep down I knew I could make it work and that it would pay off. If you’re thinking about shifting jobs, chances are you probably should. Something inside you has told you to move on, listen to those little voices in your head!
Make Decisions Today to Prepare for your Future
.. and by future I’m not talking about how you’re going to look in a bikini in a few weeks if you have that calorific breakfast, I’m talking about decisions that you can make today, that can impact your long, long term future. Yep, I’m talking about when we are 60,70, 80. I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t really thought that far ahead before, and I certainly hadn’t put into place any plans for that part of my life.
I was recently introduced to the Aviva Shape My Future tool, and by using it, it suddenly dawned on me that we need to be preparing for our future right now. Sometimes our employers will help us put money aside for our long term future, but often if you desire a certain lifestyle, you will need to be supplementing that yourself. As someone who is self employed, it’s completely down to me. I used to tool to ‘pick’ the lifestyle that I hope to have when I retire (a comfortable 4 bed house, latest technologies, protection for my home and family, a nice car etc) and the tool gave me an indication as to how much money I need to be putting aside each month, starting now.
It made me think about how my future is something I can start preparing for now, squirrelling away a little each month to ensure I can live the lifestyle that I want when I no longer choose to work.
Stop Creating Decisions!
It’s hard to imagine, but scientists have proven that our decision making ability is finite – so the more decisions we can cut from our daily routine, the better! Have you ever been to exhausted to even choose which shampoo to use in the evening!? Well that’s because you’d probably used up all your decision making ability for that day.
The easiest way to combat this is to cut out the decisions you have to make first thing in the morning. Pick out your clothes the night before, pre-make as much of your breakfast as possible (I particularly love overnight oats) and maybe even make your lunch.
Make Decisions When You’re in the right Frame of Mind
Decisions made when you’re upset or angry, or totally worn out will not usually turn out to be the best decisions!! Try to make big choices when you’re in a neutral or good frame of mind. If it’s urgent, try to get advice from someone who is more levelheaded at that moment in time, or go for the most neutral of options.
You don’t want to end up causing long term damage to your work, or getting yourself or anyone else in a spot of bother based on one rash decision! The same applies to responding to a heated debate or criticism, allowing the initial feeling or upset or anger and responding when you’re more calm will always have a better outcome in the long run.
What are your tips for making decisions for your future?
Don’t forget to try out the Aviva Shape My Future Tool here.
This post is in collaboration with Aviva
Photography by Derek Bremner
The Aviva Shape my Future tool uses simple inputs to give a basic idea of retirement income. Details of assumptions are available at Aviva.co.uk.