Every day presents a roster of decisions for me to make. Decisions related to my business, family, and personal lifestyle choices. It would be nice if I could neatly organize them all—categorize and arrange them in a certain order so they don’t impact one another. But this has never worked for me. For me, choices appear from all directions and in no particular order. And I’m never able to control how or when they come. I’ll be right in the middle of conducting business and suddenly…Wham! A personal decision presents itself. Now what? Well, I may try to isolate it as a personal decision. Tell myself that personal decisions and business decisions are separate and don’t impact one another. But do you really believe that? I don’t. I think the decisions you make in all areas of life reflect the kind of person you are, and the kind of person you are is reflected in all your decisions. Hmm…did I just repeat myself? Okay, so I don’t know your reality, but here’s mine. My decisions intersect and collide in relation to my beliefs, values, and convictions. Some are simple and routine. Others are complicated and go to my core being. None of them exist in isolation. Instead, they are woven into a fabric that touches every area of my life. However, years ago, a decision-making principle was passed on to me that I have found extremely valuable. It’s the power of ONE decision. You see, many of the choices on my daily roster are repeat decisions. I remove them from the roster by making one decision in advance and sticking to it. For example: I don’t get up in the morning, think about whether or not I’m going to work that day, and then make a decision to go. Why? BECAUSE I’VE ALREADY MADE THAT DECISION. Work is necessary for income and unless there is a specific exception, it will be part of my regular routine. I don’t think about shaving and showering either. They’re both part of the deal. In fact, I usually have my mind on other things while getting ready for work. How about you? Okay, so that one is easy. Going to work, going to school are no brainers…pun intended. So let’s try something a little harder. How about exercise? When exercise is on the daily roster of decisions it loses out like a guy with B.O. and a bad case of acne. Other things get in the way or I just don’t feel like exercising. Sound familiar? This is where making one decision is particularly effective. I take it off the daily roster by deciding in advance the type of exercise I’m going to do, the days and times I’m going to exercise, and then I follow through on the decision. Of course there are exceptions. But this keeps them that way. Do you know why this approach is so powerful? It removes my EMOTIONS and engages my WILL. It’s my emotions that trip me up most of the time. Emotions and the surprise factor. That’s when I’m cruising along and suddenly a choice presents itself that is totally unexpected. Maybe even catches me completely off guard. It appeals to my desires, engages my emotions, and calls for an impulsive decision. This is where most of us get into all kinds of trouble. The principle of one decision can be applied to every area of your life. From simple habits and routines to profound, moral/ethical decisions. The process I use is the same:
  • Choose a particular decision and consider the goal I want to achieve.
  • Think through my beliefs, convictions, and the values I want to demonstrate (for me this process may include scripture & prayer, but that’s another discussion)
  • Form a decision and the action I will take when the choice is presented
My one word of caution is to avoid becoming legalistic in how you apply this in your life. Always leave room for grace—for yourself and others. In other words, use it as a principle and not a rule. As a principle, it will guide you. As a rule, it will enslave you. Perhaps you may consider this approach too structured and confining. But I have found it to be very freeing. It has also added consistency and simplicity to my life. I hope it does the same for you.


Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter, published author, playwright and pastor. He publishes drama at www.chiptudor.com, books on Amazon.com, and articles on his blog.

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