Make Up Your Mind: The Power of Decisiveness

22 March 2013, by A. Cedilla

So-oo…. how are your New Year’s resolutions going? Good, bad, so-so?

What about the important personal goals you drew up, right around the promise of twelve brand new months to fill? Did any changes stick?

I mean, we’re far enough into the year to make a fair assessment on any appreciable progress you’ve made since then.


  • Have you seen or felt any tangible results from working towards your goals? What have you learned about yourself in the process?
  • How are these commitments working with the other responsibilities you have? What adjustments did you make to accommodate these changes?

Have you looked at the patterns of your life that aren’t working in your favor and addressed them? You know what they are:

  • The ones you tolerate because it would take too much effort to fix right now.
  • Or you’re just waiting for a better time to fix them. Or more money to come in. Or for a current issue to blow over.
  • Or because ”it’s not that bad…anyway. Much. Anyway, it could be worse, you know.”


It’s a pain to be so confused about important things, right? You had goals, you have a brand new year to see them through, you had months, and yet, and yet…

You were supposed to be somewhere, making something happen by now. Where did you go? What happened?

You got a little lost. You forgot to follow up. You had a lot to handle. You have a plan, but making up your mind about what to do now, next and tomorrow is hard.


Making up your mind isn’t a thing set in concrete.

Things change. The rug is pulled out from under you. You or someone gets sick. You get rejected yet again — You started out with a plan, but after all that happened, you faced a set of interruptions, disruptions and disappointment and had to react accordingly. You need to be flexible and adapt. Concrete doesn’t do that. You can. But you have to make up your mind.
Making up your mind is different from honoring your commitments.

You make a decision, you support it by your actions. The old saw about how pigs and chicken giving bacon and eggs apply here (Hint: the difference is commitment.) You commit to some goal, okay. But how good are you at adjusting when you experience setbacks and forks in the road? That’s where decisiveness can push you onward.

Making up your mind is deciding that here is the direction you want your life to go, and this is the direction of the choices you need to make to make sure that that happens.

Make up your mind. Assess, weigh, decide, act. Drop things as done, or as non-viable or unimportant. Keep going, give yourself the freedom of making adjustments and taking other routes if you have to.
Making up your mind is small tweaks taken with the intention of change and in the direction of desired change.

  • I won’t do that anymore, I will start doing this instead, until I see the changes I want to see.
  • When I make a mistake, before I sleep I will forgive myself and accept it, because I have tomorrow, and that’s another chance I have to make it happen.


Making up your mind means springing into action and ending your indecisiveness. You close one stage, and move into the next with whatever you decided needs to be done next. Some common activities people do to help make a decision are:

  • Making a list of pros and cons and weighting the risks and benefits.
  • Flipping a coin and checking your gut feeling.
  • Consulting trusted sources and mentors, then checking in with yourself on how you’ll stand after making a choice either way. (This is important*)
  • Just doing it and waiting to see what happens next


We have problems making decision because we’ve been trained to follow orders by the educational system.

We were told to follow the rules, aim for the gold star, and to read the directions before doing absolutely anything else. This left many of us used to waiting for orders, ill at ease with acting on our own agency, and anxious when it comes to thinking about all the possible fall-out of our choices.

Try to grow out of being like that. The world now isn’t very hospitable to that kind of personality. Make up your mind to change, and the difference can change everything.
* Making up your mind is the other side of knowing your mind.

Bonus Link: Simplicity and Apathy – Dave Bruno of the 100 Thing Challenge.

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