Have you faced any big decisions lately?

Our family is preparing to move. The decision we are facing is where to live. It feels like an important and weighty choice; the decision of where to live will have major life shaping consequences for our family for years to come.

Any major decision, personal or professional, can cause anxiety, consuming large amounts of mental and emotional energy. From my own experience I know that some ways of processing decisions are more productive than others.

Here are some suggestions about ways to process your big decision.

Consider personal values and mission. As you face a big decision, keep in mind how various options fit with your values. It may be that your decision will become obvious as you think about how each option will affect your ability to live out your values  and mission.

List your priorities and rank them. Check your priorities with your values and mission; often our priorities will reveal what we truly value. Also, ranking priorities will help you help you determine your non-negotiables. Your top two or three priorities are likely those things that you are unwilling to be flexible about.

State your non-negotiables. What will you fight for? What are you absolute unwilling to concede? Clarifying your non-negotiables will give you direction in your decision making. If you are making a decision with others, the non-negotiables should be decided in advance and agreed upon. One obvious non-negotiable for our family in this move is that our new home must have more than one bathroom.

Keep things in perspective. Maybe your decision is as monumental as it feels. Or maybe it’s not. Think about what effects this decision will have on your life in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Then give the decision only the attention it deserves.

Do you have any other suggestions or helpful strategies for decision making? If so, share them in the comments.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.