Your ability to make these 3 decision types will shape your whole life.

When I was about to leave high school, I told someone close to me that I didn’t want to go straight to university. You know what they said?

“Oh, so you’re not going to do anything with your life then?”

If I had listened, I might have gone to uni, got a degree I hated, worked in a job, and then maybe eventually wound up running my own business. Instead I:

  • Worked
  • Saved money
  • Got paid to study
  • Fulfilled my dream of backpacking in South America solo
  • Got together with my dream husband
  • Went to uni on MY terms and got to do amazing internships
  • Decided to start my own business instead of getting a grad job
  • Had top New Zealand coaches as clients
  • Have been asked to speak on podcasts

How? By refusing to do things I don’t want to do, and chasing the things that I want consistently.

And ALL of this stems from the ability to make decisions based on what YOU want. So I have come up with the THREE types of decisions you need to be able to make to start living the way you want.

1) Interactional Decision Making 

Interactional decision making is your day to day decision making.

It is doing more of what makes you happy, and less of shit you hate.

I talk to so many people who for example are driving a friend out to the airport at 5am. And they whinge and complain and I say, OK well why did you say yes? Oh because I had to.

Well, you actually don’t have to do anything.

This is all about listening to your ENERGY.

You say no to things that suck the energy out of you or frustrate you, and YES to the things you know you want (even if it feels unnatural, to begin with).

For example, when I was travelling, scared Lucy didn’t want to bother anyone by asking if I could go with other people from the hostel. Decision making Lucy asked even though I was scared, and ended up travelling with them as a group for like 6 weeks.

Signs you need to work on interactional decision making: 

  • You often find yourself resenting going out with people or doing favours for people (when really you should have just said NO in the first place)
  • You sit uncomfortably and writhing on the inside because you want to say something but feel like you can’t
  • You get jealous of other people and their lives because they are more exciting and they have something that lights you up (and you feel like you never do)
  • You agree rather than saying what you really think, and later wish you had said something
  • You get FOMO and have missed out on opportunities because you took too long to decide whether you wanted it or not

2) Directional Decision Making

Directional decision making is about how easily you can pivot in your life. It’s about being able to move from one chapter of your life to the next.

This is probably the most common decision-making issues I talk to clients about because the stakes are usually higher. You’ve been going in one direction for so long, and it feels terrifying to change direction.

What will your family think? What will your friends think? This is where I have been helping people re-write their self talk.

For example, I was just working with a client who has been building her business for more than a year but it makes her desperately unhappy. So the self-talk she has been saying is

“I have to keep going in the same direction because I’ve put so much effort in”

but the truth we are replacing it with is

“I am in control of my decisions at all times”. 

Signs that you need help with directional decision making: 

  • You make a lot of excuses as to why you are happy on your current path (even though you know you are trying to convince yourself as well as others)
  • You change the subject when people ask how your life goals are going
  • You spend a lot of time dreaming about what you wish your life actually looked like, but never actually change anything
  • You think about quitting your job/leaving toxic relationships/starting new hobbies/planning a big trip overseas, but you get scared and end up doing nothing instead

3) Aspirational Decision Making 

The third type of decision you need to be able to make is “Aspirational”.

Aspirational decision-making is all about life goals. The first step in making a decision is about knowing what you actually WANT. The second? Making the resolution to actually do something about it.

This is where I see a lot of people downplaying their dreams and coming up with reasons why it wouldn’t work. They say they want something, then immediately say that it wouldn’t work or sounds too big or too silly.

Saying you want something isn’t enough. You have to decide what you want, and RUN towards it. And nobody (not even me) is going to do it for you.

Signs you need help with Aspirational Decision Making:

  • You tell people what you want… but then soften the blow by explaining why it probably won’t happen
  • You say things like “that’s nice for them but it would never happen for me”
  • You edit your daydreams. You dream of working from home, but that you wouldn’t actually make that much money. You want to plan a trip to a tropical island, but you won’t stay in a fancy resort like you really want to.

So which decision-making type do you resonate the most with? Which do you need to work on? Let me know in the comments!