Home > Thoughts > How To Make Better Decisions: The 4R Cocktail

How To Make Better Decisions: The 4R Cocktail

With the budding revolution of simplicity, minimalism, and the Paleo diet, even decisions can be broken down to just a few steps.  Here are the 4 ingredients that I like to shake, not stir, when I’m getting ready to take a big gulp: reading, research, reflection, and writing.

1) Reading – It teaches experience without actually having to experience and inspires new mental frontiers from 50 shades of sexploration (Fifty Shades of Grey) all the way through to what it is like to be a child in a remote African mission (Cutting for Stone) or the first participant in a group dominated by people who aren’t like you (Marathon Woman – about Kathrine Switzer, the first female to officially run the Boston Marathon).  Anything you have even the slightest interest in begins with reading.

2) Research – Price comparing (amazon.com, ebay.com, 80spurple.com, milanoo.com, etc.), finding examples of people who have done what it is you are thinking of deciding to do (forums, clubs, etc.), realizing and attaining what resources will be necessary (a new speedo, a ferret leash, Nike + sensor, a sack lunch, cash, or simply a blank journal, etc.), takes time, but this is the preparation part.  Here is where you start to find out exactly what it would take to get involved or accomplish that new ‘jaw-dropping’ bedroom move for your husband or the Ultimate Xtreme Marathon Spartan Swimming Everest feat.

3) Reflection – SKIP!!!  Just kidding.  This is the part most people skip and then end up with purely decorative exercise equipment, a refrigerated compost of all those health foods, unused travel vouchers or language books, and a dusty sex swing.  Reflection is supposed to be where you internalize what you have read and all the research you have done.  It is where you decide if it is too much for you or not enough for you.  It is where you predict whether or not you and your current lifestyle are custom built for this new undertaking or simply not ready and in need of more reading/research or preparation.  You don’t have to be ready, just because you are excited.  Let it marinate and you might find you’ll spend some of that time coming up with creative solutions for the barriers that often surface during research.

4) Writing – The last ingredient–fruition.  You discovered, you learned, you weighed the consequences of making the change.  Now you do it or you don’t and you leave a note for yourself about it.  Sometimes this note might be lipstick on your mirror that reads “Beautiful” because you have decided you won’t let anyone make you feel anything, but beautiful.  Sometimes this note is a 50 page journal about what it was like to spend 3 days backpacking in Costa Rica.  The important thing is that you do something so you remember to follow through, so you can later look back at your accomplishment, OR if you decided not to do something, so you can remember why you thought it was not the best decision for you at the time.  Deciding not to do something is often harder than deciding to do something.  Listing your reasons not to do something can help you feel positive about the decision, help you to sustain strength in it, AND you can always go back and re-evaluate without starting from scratch.

Safe adventuring, buenas suerte con tus cambios, and XOXO boodie-jis!

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