Have you ever found yourself really struggling to make a decision? Maybe there were so many choices available that you had difficulty eliminating options to get to your best choice. Or maybe you had two choices and each had their drawbacks. You simply got stuck and were unable to choose either one.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Being decisive is integral to living a quality life.

Consider these reasons why decisiveness matters to you and your life:

1. When you’re decisive, you’re able to keep moving forward. Indecisiveness stops you in your tracks. When you’re stuck, trying to make a decision, time still goes on. You’re likely to become stagnant while life passes you by.

2. You maintain direction in life. Without making a decision, you lose your “compass.” But as you make choices, you know where you’re going and what you’re doing.

3. New learning occurs with each decision you make. Look back over your life at some of the major decisions you’ve made. Even when you made mistakes, there was knowledge to be gained. Decisiveness enables you to consistently learn throughout your life.

4. You cultivate confidence. Indecision often means you’re afraid of making a wrong choice. Although fearing you’ll mess up might be a reasonable initial response to making a decision, it can stifle your efforts to select an option and move on.

* You build self-assurance each time you make a decision. The more decisive you are, the more confidence you have.

Use these strategies to make smart, timely decisions:

1. Accept that it’s okay to make mistakes. Remind yourself you’ll learn something, no matter how things turn out. When you have the experience of making a mistake, you know what not to do in the future. Plus, you learn that you’ll survive your mistakes.

2. Start the decision-making process by surveying your options. Sometimes, a situation automatically presents an array of choices. Other times, you have to come up with them.

3. Narrow your field of choices. How do your options look to you? Are there any options you can toss out right off the bat? Streamlining the number of options makes decision-making easier.

* Sometimes when you’re narrowing your options, an appealing choice jumps out at you. If so, your work is done.

4. If possible, use facts to help you make a decision. Facts enable you to remain objective when making a decision.

* Luckily, you’ve got the internet to help. If you want to make a decision by seeking facts online, look for information at sites you know are reputable. Eliminate websites you’re unsure of.

5. When facts aren’t available, use your gut. Depending on the situation, there are times when you must optimistically utilize your feelings and make your best guess.

6. Strive to have a Plan B. A backup plan brings you confidence. So, if you’re struggling to choose between two options that you like, be thankful you’ve got them both. Select one and take action. If that option doesn’t work out, you have an automatic Plan B to switch to in a pinch.

* In the event you lack an attractive second option, ponder what a Plan B could look like.

You’ll live a richer life when you’re decisive. You’ll move confidently forward in life, have a sense a direction of where you’re going, and learn something new with each decision made.

The life you want is waiting for you. Focus on making your best decision now!