Decisions Decisions Decisions
Every day we are bombarded with a plethora of circumstances that require us to make decisions. Sometimes, decisions don’t come easy. Just ask my husband!
I created a template to sort out the internal chatter (fear and doubts) from real external issues (how to take the next steps) which helped John and I crystalize our decision to trade Suburbia for full-time RVing.. For me, this exercise unloaded apprehensions, perceptions and worries whirling around a life-changing event . John participated fully even though he had no doubt he would become an RVer. I’ve included the Introduction to my first e-book to give you a taste of our life before RVing:
Excerpt from On RVing Time In A Long, Long, Trailer, Too!
“Can we please trade urban-cluttered madness for a condo on wheels to travel the vast outdoors?” John asked.
Could you be talked into giving up your contemporary lifestyle? Escape to “RVland” to while away the days on long stretches of golden, sandy beaches? Dance all night under a brilliant star canopy? Restrained by suburbia, a fleeting memory on life’s highway? Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
John, my tenacious husband, sought out every resource available to throw our lives into turmoil — not before we earned degrees in subjects not typically learned from hitting the books. And yes, without ever having graced the inside of a repulsive, bug-infested tent.
So, what happened?
I blame early-onset male menopause. The affliction would explain the whole shebang: the restlessness, the mood swings, the sulking. The wild ideas, which he called “Adventures”, enveloped his every waking hour. He threw a fit, panicked, for lack of a better description if I rained on his parade.
Remarks like: “What would you think of wintering in the Florida Keys? Picture us on a powdery white beach in Mexico, a cool breeze wafting through the palm trees? Snuggled in front of a cozy campfire under the Canadian-Rockies” starlit sky?” abounded.
My favorite, “I think I can drive you to Europe — Alaska to Russia via Siberia. Where’s my map? As I see it, the only problem is how do I float the rig across the water?” The ideas flowed like hot lava and then hit the cold reality. “Me!” If male menopause wasn’t to blame, he had gone mad.
“John.” I pleaded. “Yes, we are set in our ways but I love our lifestyle. Travel to exotic destinations sounds tantalizing. To abandon our four-bedroom home backing on to the golf course to settle for a trailer? My answer is a big fat “nooooo!” The end of the pitch and back to the drawing board to rethink his plan of attack — a quirky thing unbefitting to my normally stable, content, Englishman.
We experienced trials and tribulations with work and daily living. Who didn’t? The guest bedroom welcomed Rex, our white terrier mix. On occasion, he sneaked a nap on an expensive, heirloom quilt. Family visits were scarce. In their words, they were too far away for lunch and too close for vacations. I loved all-inclusive vacation deals. John had grown weary of them. His wandering spirit finally caught up with us and he craved full control of the travel itinerary. I gave no consideration to leaving my life behind. John had fancied a way out of suburbia before age or sickness crept into the picture.
By writing down self-doubts and concrete concerns and weighting their value to the bigger picture, we empowered ourselves to move forward with confidence. We repeated the exercise with different questions until we both felt comfortable moving forward or abandoning the decision. We agreed at the outset to trust ourselves to settle on the outcome.
Now it’s your turn. I have given you the steps to follow and share a sample of our brainstorming blitz right down to the final outcome. Click here to download a free copy of my Goods and Bads Worksheet.
Step 1. Formulate the pressing decision into a question format.
Step 2. Start the brainstorming session.
Write every good for and every bad against your decision. List the goods on one side and the bads on the other. Give yourself permission to write down everything without judgement or second-guessing. The time for that is coming. Don’t worry about how you’re going to get where you’re going. This is the first step in a process to help you establish all the stumbling blocks up front and work through them to make the right decision.
Step 3. Exhaust all the goods and bads around the decision.
Don’t worry you may not have included an item, you can always repeat the exercise. We spent many, many hours weeding the real from the imaginary concerns. Now weight your responses from 1 – 10 based on honesty with yourself and your gut feeling. A value of one, the concern has little or no bearing on the decision. A value of ten, the concern is of significant important.
Step 4 Add up the weighted values for each side.
The list with the highest weighted values will be your answer to act or not act.
Your effort boils down to trusting your gut instinct. You and only you (and your better-half if this is a joint venture), will know when enough is enough. Have fun with this exercise. Again, here is the link for your free copy of my Goods and Bads Worksheet .
Let me know if you have any questions and please share your experience with this powerful tool.