Questions You Need to Ask Before Making Big Decisions

Young mixed race woman with hand on chin trying to make up her mind.

Making a big decision can be daunting, but it's important to think things through before you take any action. (Image: Fizkes via Dreamstime)

Making big decisions can be daunting, but it’s important to think things through before you take any action. It pays to ask yourself some questions to help you make the best choice for you.

Questions to ask when making big decisions

1. What are my goals? 

Whether you want to buy a house, drive cross country, or pick up smoking, when making big decisions, knowing what you’re trying to accomplish and how it fits into your life in the long run is key. Setting clear goals and staying aware of whether they are being met will help make sure that you are satisfied with your decision.

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2. How much will this cost me?

While thinking about the short-term costs of something can be helpful, look further ahead when making big decisions. Thinking about the long-term impact of an expensive purchase may get you thinking twice before running out for that designer handbag every time stress levels rise at work! The price tag on that big purchase might not seem so harsh after all once you consider all of the ramifications.

Family carrying big box purchase into house.
The price tag on that big purchase might not seem so harsh once you consider all of the ramifications. (Image: Monkey Business Images via Dreamstime)

3. Will I regret this choice?

Before collecting on a debt or moving away from your family, look ahead to determine if you will be OK with the situation in the long run. Would you feel guilty about letting someone down in making big decisions? Could you live with yourself knowing that your decision may have caused them pain and suffering? If not, it might be worth holding off until after things blow over to collect that money or grab that guy’s number at the bar.

4. What are my options?

Knowing all the choices available before making big decisions is crucial for putting yourself in charge of your own happiness and well-being. Many people get stuck between two places, thinking their chosen destination is best when there may be other options out there that you haven’t considered. Do your research and consider all of your alternatives before making a decision.

5. What facts am I not considering?

Take some time to really think about the facts involved in your situation instead of focusing on what you want or how you feel about it. It’s easy to get wrapped up in emotions, but taking the time to look at things from an unbiased angle can help reveal what information is missing and where you should go from there. While creating a list like this might seem time-consuming, it will give you clarity and lead you down the right path when making big decisions.

6. What are the consequences of waiting?

Having patience is key when it comes to making big decisions. Making a choice too quickly can lead you down the wrong path, but waiting around until you are absolutely sure that your choice is the right one may cause you anxiety. Take into account that there might be consequences involved with rushing or holding off. For example, if you decide to wait longer before buying a house, interest rates could go up and make it more expensive than ever! If possible, try setting some time limits on how long you will wait before choosing.

When making a big decision, take into account that there might be consequences involved with holding off, such as higher interest rates.
Take into account that there might be consequences involved with holding off, such as higher interest rates. (Image: Nitiphon Yudram via Dreamstime)

7. Is this what I want out of life?

Before giving up everything for someone or taking on one more responsibility just because everyone else has accomplished these milestones in their lives, stop and consider how happy you will be with your choice. Strive for authenticity and work toward doing what is right for YOU instead of just what has worked for everyone else.

8. What are my priorities?

Your priorities are what’s important to you — whether it’s putting your career first, traveling the world, or making sure that no one goes hungry in your house. Knowing which things are most critical to you will help making big decisions easier because you know precisely where to focus your time, money, and energy. Don’t forget to include personal happiness as a priority. If something won’t bring fulfillment into your life, it might not be worth taking on!

9. Do I have all the facts or am I acting on assumptions?

Blindly making big decisions can lead you down the wrong path and cost you plenty. Make sure you have all of the facts before committing to anything, as that will allow you to make better-informed decisions. Assumptions can be hazardous because they skew perceptions and may cause you to ignore important details.

10. Would I do this for someone else?

It’s easy to dismiss something as unimportant or tedious when it doesn’t apply directly to you, but what about if everyone was doing it? Apply this question to your situation: Would you expect someone else in your shoes to take on this responsibility or complete this task? If so, go ahead and get started! If not, keep looking until something more suitable comes along.

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