3 Steps to Prioritizing your Decision-making

Benjamin Haas |



Sometimes, it’s really hard to make decisions. The more important the decision at hand, the more likely there are multiple factors or variables that we have to consider. What’s the last big financial decision you had to make? Taking a new job? Deciding when to retire? Moving? Planning a vacation? Juggling two kids going to college at the same time? These aren’t small items.

How do you approach having to decide which way to go? Are there multiple outcomes that all seem good to you, or multiple outcomes that all seem bad? It’s at times like these that some of us dive deeper into the details of the decision. But often times, the details only make the decision harder to make. The deeper we go, and the more fine print we read, the less comfortable we get with any strategy that might help us pursue our goal. Does this sound like you?

This is why planning is so important. It’s the process of prioritizing our objectives and taking stock of our resources so we can sift through different factors and variables that are in play. Prioritizing is absolutely necessary, so we can allocate our resources in the most impactful way we can, in an effort to reach our ultimate goal.

So whether deciding on something smaller like planning a vacation this summer, or deciding on something much bigger, like making vacation permanent (affectionately known as retirement!), take a step back and follow these three steps to prioritizing objectives in an effort to make the decision making process easier:

  1. Start with the end in mind and keep the main thing the main thing. What is your goal? Are their multiple outcomes you’d like to see happen? Try to go back to the start of your process. What was most important then, might still be most important now, but you got bogged down in the details that tend to pull us in different directions. So keep the main thing, the main thing. Write down the main objective(s) but keep this list short.
  2. Write down each factor in the decision. Assess the importance of each factor in the decision, within the context of your main objective(s). In short, one factor may be relevant, but isn’t really important towards the main objective you have now identified. So narrow the factors down to only those that are truly important.
  3. Finally, prioritize each factor for its importance to the main goal; does its role fit a need, a want, or a wish? Like many things in life, one has to give up something to get something. One has to compromise. So this process of prioritizing will hopefully make it easier to identify which factors you’re most comfortable letting go.

Prioritizing isn’t always easy and compromise can sometimes stink. Who wouldn’t want to have our cake and eat it too? But sometimes indecision is a bad as feeling like we made the wrong decision. If you are having a hard time with big financial decisions, give us a call. That’s why we’re here, to help walk you through a planning process that prioritizes for goals and aligns your personal values, vision and wealth.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through U.S. Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor. U.S. Financial Advisors and Haas Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.