To make a decision means you will spend your time, money, and attention to get something you want
A decision is more than an intention, though intentions are often assumed to be decisions. The distinction is important.
For example, you could decide you want to go to the movies tonight. But is that really a decision? Not until you go to the theater, buy the ticket, go inside and sit down. Up until you have made the commitment of your time and money, it is just an intention. You may believe fervently that you are going to go see the latest action movie, but it is not a decision until you go.
What movie to see Should I quit my job to take care of my parents? Should we put my mother in a nursing home? Is it time for my parents to stop driving? I wonder where we should go for our family reunion? What’s the best long term care plan to buy?
Find people you judge to be credible and ask them to help.
If the decision involves only you, this step is about finding people with knowledge and insights that will help throughout the decision. It could be these people help you see the problem differently. It could be they have insight into what you really want. It could be that they know about choices you don’t.
If the decision involves others, then these people need to be included in some way: through their votes, listening to their voices, and perhaps showing them what you’re thinking.
In any case, make an effort to also seek out differing points of view.
Figure out what you really want as a result of making this decision.
Values, preferences, wants . . . They’re all the same thing. They’re how you tell the difference among alternatives. They are your criteria. They are why you’re making this decision in the first place.
For each decision, particularly those involving others, you need to be sure that “wants” are described clearly and distinctly . If those other people have a stake in the outcome of the decision, you may need to account for their wants as well.
A good measure of a preference is that you can put a number to it. That’s not always the case, but it’s worth trying. Ask yourself, how you would know if you got what you wanted.
Identify at least three different, interesting alternatives.
You do not have a decision unless you have alternatives from which to choose.
We think you should have at least three alternatives —and sometimes many more than that—that are different from each other, are doable, are interesting in some way, address the situation, and that collectively seem to represent the full range of choices.
You can work the mechanics of a decision like a pro, and if you do not act and choose ethically, you will ultimately erode if not destroy the trust of the people involved in making and enacting your decisions.