How to make better choices

Choice – the right, the power, the opportunity to choose

Every choice comes with a consequence. Once you make a choice, you must accept responsibility. You cannot escape the consequences of your choices, whether you like them or not. – Roy T. Bennett

How do we choose?

It is effort to make decisions. Therefore:

People prefer that choices are made for them. For example – if you had to click not to receive an offer, most people would just stick with the default option that has been chosen for them.

People do better with limited choices than with lots of choices. They may feel they prefer a wide choice range – as long as it about 8-15 options. Our brains shut down when we face to many options. Some call it decision fatigue. Often we choose anything just to get it over and done with.

Making many decisions is tiring. People fall prey to decision-overload when they are facing to many decisions over a short period of time. A 2010 study of magistrates doing parole hearings revealed that parole were more readily granted to prisoners early in the morning, after teabreaks or after lunch breaks. When magistrates become weary listening to too may cases, the chances of parole granted diminished substantially. The conclusion is having to make difficult choices in a short period of time leads to taking ”the easy way out” or safe decisions that doesn’t require much thought.


What is a good choice?

Psychology.today describes good choices as decisions that help you get ahead in life. Bad choices on the other hand are decisions that keep you back – they cause more problems, rather than solving them.

Example: You want to have a career and be financially independent one day. Currently you choose to partying ,drinking lots of alcohol and engaging in unprotected sex. How long will you be able to keep up with studies and classes if you wake up most mornings after 11h00 with a headache? How will an unwanted pregnancy influence your future plans?



When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.

Roy Disney

Bottomline is that your choices must be congruent with your future plans.

Another important factor in decision making is that people who make good decisions are responsible people. Winston Churchill said ”the price of greatness is responsibility.” Every choice has a consequence. There is no way to escape the result of your choices – good or bad. Two reactions that follow a decision can either be satisfaction or regret.


The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose. – J. Martin Kohe


What time of day to we make better choices?


What process do you follow when you make choices?

You didn’t know you actually follow a process? Yes you do!

Resource: Counselling theory and practice in South Africa. Claudia da Rocha Kustner. April 2011.

What influences you when you make choices?

You thought you and only you influence your choices? Check this out:

Resource: Counselling theory and practice in South Africa. Claudia da Rocha Kustner. April 2011.


6 Steps to make better choices?

If you tend to make bad choices and  would like to stop doing that, you might need a set method, or steps you can follow, to help you make the best decision. It is especially helpfull with decisions or choices that will have a long term effect. It might save you a lot of remuneration if you know you did your best to make the best decision possible at the time.


Remember: When people believe what they decide matters, they are more likely to make a decision.


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Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/in-control/201508/making-good-choices

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/180/decision-making-factors-that-influence-decision-making-heuristics-used-and-decision-outcomes

https://www.theexceptionalskills.com/decision-making-steps/

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