How to make big life decisions

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Change Management | 4 comments

Earlier this year I found myself dealing with job burnout and was faced with a major life choice- what direction to take in my career. Seek another full-time job? Take a part-time job? Start offering work-life balance and professional development coaching services on the side? Start actively pursing paid speaking engagements? Take a risk or follow the “safer” route?

Ultimately I decided to set aside my fears and take the plunge into part-time self-employment. I took a part-time job, officially became a professional blogger, scheduled my first paid speaking engagement, and am in the process of working on a business plan for coaching services. Talk about a major life change!

Of course this isn’t the first major decision I’ve made that’s changed my life for the better. I’m not someone who’s content to keep doing the same thing if that thing isn’t working for me. I’m willing to try a new solution and risk it all for the chance at my best possible life!

Maybe you’re a risk-taker, too. Or maybe you’ve stayed in a situation too long because you’re just barely comfortable, or you’re immobilized by fears. Fear no more, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned about making good choices in life!

How to make big life decisions

making decisionsImage courtesy of Pablo Fernandez

Put yourself first

If you want to make healthy choices, you’ve got to put yourself first! Live your own life. When you make decisions based on what’s right for anyone else you’ll end up unhappy, and so will the people around you. When it comes to your life, you’ve got to make the best possible choice for you.

Believe in you!

Believe you can do amazing things and you can- at least believe it’s possible to do amazing things to get you started. If you want to accomplish anything great in your life, you have to believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe you’re worth it, no one else will, either.

Do your research

If you’re about to make a major change such as switch careers or move across the country it’s time to do some research. Request an informational interview with a professional in your desired career or talk to locals where you’d like to live. Gather information that will inform your decision.

Ignore other people’s advice

No one else knows what’s right for you and regardless of what someone else has experienced- no two people have the same experience. No one else has to live with your choices- no one but you. When it comes to advice, take what’s useful to you and leave the rest.

Kick your fears to the curb

Your fears are not looking out for your best interests. Fear keeps you quiet, and meek, miserable, and stuck! Stop making fear-based decisions. Tell your fears to stick it where the sun don’t shine!

Take a chance!

Sometimes you just have to take a chance! As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Let go of the outcome

You don’t know what will happen next and no outcome is guaranteed. Maybe things will work out the way you hope, or maybe they’ll work out equally well in a way you never imagined possible. Sure, maybe things won’t work out for the best, but that’s not something you can control so stop worrying about it!

Learn from the experience

Life is all about learning, and every choice you make, or don’t make, is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what is and isn’t right for you.

If things dnn’t work out as expected, so what? Chances are it what you had before you made a change wasn’t working out for you, either.

Try something different

If you make a choice and it doesn’t work out for you, try something different. Life is a series of experiments. Keep experimenting!

Live your life!

This is your life- embrace it, celebrate it, live it! Live your life with hope and joy and love! When you’re faced with a big life decision, make the most hopeful, joyful, and loving choice.

I love your comments! What’s your biggest challenge making big life decisions? What helps you feel confident in your choices?


  1. Hey Chrysta,

    This is sound advice.
    Putting yourself first is so important as you need to be able to look after yourself before you can look after anybody else, True?

    Belief carries you through the challenges and research prepares you for them.

    It is important to look for people who are getting results that you want and take their advice, but ignore people who have quit at it.

    Learning is the biggest motivator for people as we look at knowledge as progression. Every mistake we make is a lesson to change the experiment as you say.

    My favourite part of your post is the advice to live your life and to make the decision that will benefit yourself and others.
    Enjoy the journey toward the destination of your goals.
    The journey will give you the stories to tell.

    Thank you so much for sharing


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Gary!

      First, I want to apologize for taking a few days to reply. The truth is I have had am unusually busy week and often felt drained with I sat down at the computer on my own time. Ultimately I chose to take care of myself first and thank you for understanding. :)

      I love your thought about the journey giving the best stories to tell- absolutely! Society can put a lot of focus on accomplishments and celebrity but what’s really interesting is how people got there, and the journey is life- it is the day-to-day. If we only focused on the end results, well, we’d have very few high points in life. Focusing on the journey we can experience many highs as we enjoy experiences and celebrate progress- that’s the good stuff!

      I’m very grateful you stopped by and thank you again for commenting! Have a fantastic day!


  2. Hi Chrysta

    Bravo for the changes you have taken. I find I am usually pushed into changes. Some have worked out fine others I would have never taken. But since I don’t live by myself there is always someone else to consider. Have regrets about not standing up and taking risks or saying no, but too late to go back and fix anything.

    We want to move and I am working on the process we need to get rid of stuff and fix up the house. When the time is right to move I plan on being ready. Not sure exactly, but I know I am moving in the direction I should be and it will come together when the time is right. There is a much bigger purpose than just moving I feel I am being prepared for.


    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Mary!

      I really appreciate your thoughts about being prepared for a much bigger purpose than what’s right in front of you. I often feel that’s how my life works, too, when I am mindful and intentional in my life and open to the experience of life instead of trying to manipulate and control my experience. I can be open to the cues life is giving me instead of barging ahead.

      When it comes to making big life decisions I have made good decisions and I have made decisions that didn’t work out so well. I choose to give myself a break because obviously I wouldn’t have made the not-so-good decisions if I’d known how things would work out- I don’t get to know that. I can only do my best with what I have, and always learn from whatever the outcome!

      I also believe that much of what happens in life isn’t inherently good or bad, it is only my perception that is good or bad. So if things don’t work out in a way I find desirable, maybe that’s okay- not good or bad, just how things worked out.

      Good luck with your move! Have a fantastic day!


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