take decisions under pressure

10 Ways to Make Conscious Decisions in Life & Stick to Them

How many times have you come across social media posts that say “just make a decision” in captions. Unfortunately, those couldn’t be more wrong. The phrase “make a decision” is a social media indoctrination. Because each one of us makes tens of thousands of decisions every day. Infact, a group of researchers at Cornell University claimed that we make about 226.7 decisions each day on food alone. So making decisions in life is not really a big-deal. Instead, it is making “conscious decisions,” and how to stick to those conscious decisions. In this article, we’ll learn about the top realistic ways to make more conscious decisions in life.

As a side note, I’ve first-hand experience with these strategies, so you don’t have to take any risk following them.

What is Conscious Decision?

Simply put, a conscious decision is when you trust your brain over gut. It’s when you put aside your ego and actively analyze all the possibilities in the decision-making process.

For example, right now you’ve two choices. You either continue reading this article, or you stop. Making any of the choices is a conscious decision.

take decisions under pressure

Why Make a Conscious Decision?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “Man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice.” How do you undo it? By making a conscious decision.

And what if you don’t make a conscious decision? Let’s say, you’ve to choose any one career from two options. When you have chosen one, only  after few months you realize later that it is harder than you initially thought. You wish you’d have taken more time to think about every possible aspect before making that choice. This is exactly why taking a proper decision is so much more important.

Also, making a conscious decision helps you improve your well-being. Research says, well-being is associated with health, longevity, mental and physical illness, productivity, and also how you socialize with your environment.

Here are some more benefits:

  1. Increased confidence.
  2. Reduced stress and anxiety.
  3. Better financial condition.
  4. Betterment of mental health.

Ways to Make Conscious Decisions in Life

Here are top ways I’ve put together from my own experiences that will help you make better conscious decisions in life.

Gather Information

Having all the required information is the key. For instance, if you’re taking a job at a new company, then gather all the information about them. Know the company financials, future plans, culture, how they treat their employees and how much benefit will you have taking this job.

Analyze the Long-term Impacts

This is so obvious, everybody knows this, right? Wrong. I’ve learned that the most obvious rules are the ones, people break the most. Before making an important decision analyze all the possible outcomes and the long-term impacts the taken decision in your life. This will save you from unintended consequences in future.

The 5-5-5 Rule

This is an extension of the last rule. When making a decision, determine how this will affect you in the next 5 days, 5 months, and 5 years. Alternatively, you can apply the 10-10-10 rule (How will this affect you in the next 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years?).

Seek Advice from Others

Sometimes it is better to ask others before making a decision. You don’t have to act on their advice but you’ll definitely have an alternative perspective, which is crucial to make better conscious decisions. For example, if you want to start a side hustle, then consult someone from that field. Ask how they manage their time, how they take care of mental health while doing so et al. Getting valuable information from others also immune you from any potential failure. However, if you’ve a parental figure it’s better to ask them first.

Take Care of Your Health

I feel like a fraud including this one, but the truth is if you’re not well physically or mentally, your judgmental power is going to be affected. So it’s better to take care of your health. A few steps you can take right away for self-care are:

Learn from Your Past Mistakes

Remember the last time you failed because of a wrong decision? Well, why not use that to your advantage. Bring a notebook or page, write down all the possible reasons you think for your failures in past. You don’t need to write an essay. A few words or sentences will do. Now that you’ve the data, evaluate it. And rectify all your past mistakes. Learn from your past mistakes and ensure you do not repeat them in future.

learn from past mistakes

The Outsider Perspective

It’s also possible, you’ve a specific pattern while making a decision. If most of your past decisions have resulted in disasters; it’s better not to think the way you think most of the time. In other words, be an outsider observer and see what mistakes you’re making repeatedly.

Take Risk

There is always a risk factor in every conscious decision. But the trick is not to be afraid of those risks. Like Swami Vivekananda said, “If you win, you can lead, if you lose, you can guide.”

Respect your decision
I never lose… Either I win or I learn

Evaluate Alternative Decisions

This is the second last step and probably the most important of all. You shouldn’t think of the outcomes of only one decision, you’ve to examine the opposite of your alternative decisions as well. This is such an infantile trick, but it works every time.

Decision making
Examine and choose your path

Trust Your Gut

After you’ve followed all the above steps religiously, and still have doubt making a decision, then it’s time to trust your gut. For instance, if you’ve left with only two options and both the options provide similar advantages then choose the one that emotionally fits you best.

How to Stick to Your Conscious Decisions?

After you’ve made an important decision it’s time to stick to it for a long time. Plenty of people fail in this particular step. But you definitely wouldn’t, if you follow the below steps:

  1. Divide the main goal into a few smaller ones.
  2. Reward yourself after you achieve those small goals.
  3. Don’t get burned out working too much.
  4. Take care of your mental health.
  5. Don’t procrastinate or overthink.
  6. Keep a journal to track your progress.
  7. Listen to self-improvement podcasts, or read some inspirational quotes.


Every conscious decision you make adds to your character. It makes you better each day. Even if your conscious decision turns out to be bad in the end, you’ll at least have no regrets because you gave your best.

With that said, remember that it’s not always about making the right decision. Sometimes it’s also about making a conscious decision and making it right.

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