Making Decisions: Moving the Needle

Decisions, we’ve all been faced with them!

We’ve all made them, big decisions, small decisions, daily decisions, and just as sure as we are breathing right now – we will continue to make more.

Models and methodologies are key to moving the needle in the right direction.  So, what is it about the decision-making process that can turn a man into a mouse and a confident professional into a wary worrier?

I’ve always considered myself a pretty confident, resilient, resourceful individual. That is, until I recently began to consider relocating. Those of you who know me know that I have relocated multiple times in my life. Most times without a support system and with limited knowledge of what to expect on the other end. Through the years though I not only survived, but thrived.

Taking a leap of faith, and stepping into the unknown with an open mind has somehow always worked for me. This time, however, I found myself struggling, reflecting, analyzing what has worked in the past, and pondering what is different this time.

I asked myself … have my previous decisions around relocation “worked” because:

  1. I made a practice of running TO something, not away from something, or
  2. I never looked back once I made a decision, or
  3. I looked FOR opportunities in any situation and made the best of it, or
  4. I sought counsel from a hand full of close and talented confidantes, or
  5. I created a robust plan and followed it, or
  6. Was I lucky???

My answer to all six questions was YES! So, I’m following the same process this time, so what was making this time more difficult? Why more sleepless nights? Why have I analyzed the situation ad nauseum and still find myself with the unanswered question of go, or to stay?

Some differences and insights began to surface. My first AHA was that this decision to relocate is different because it is the first time in my life that I wouldn’t be moving for my JOB. For the first time in my life, I look at a map and am not concerned with geographical boundaries to ensure that I will be within x miles of my workplace. Instead, I see a blank canvas looking back at me… exciting, yet scary.

You might say, Joan that should make it easier… but I beg to differ.  This time, there is no job waiting on the other end, no network of colleagues who are awaiting my arrival, no corporate relocation expert to show me the area and share their wisdom, AND there are fewer jam-packed days which equates to more free time.

Ah yes, another AHA.  What, Joan, will you do with more free time?  You see it dawned on me that this possible relocation is about MORE than a job, or the weather, or the fact that I love my current home and the natural beauty surrounding it. This possible relocation is about the first step of this next chapter in my life, and the overwhelming urgency to make it my best chapter yet!

When I was young and working my way up the corporate ladder, I never looked at the distant future. I was focused on the next step.  I had a plan and a roadmap;  but there were never any end zones, or long-term outcomes, only the next step.

A good friend and former work colleague quoted her mother as saying “that each and every step over the age of 50 is an important one.” She was referring to the importance of being careful, surefooted and keeping one’s balance to prevent a fall which might lead to a broken bone or hip.

I recognize now that her words contained much deeper wisdom.

Each step we take (at any age) is important because it moves us one step closer in the direction we want to go. However, this time for me, it’s looking more closely at a defined outcome. Starting with the end in mind, I need to be deliberate in asking and answering, “what am I looking for in this next chapter?”

Am I seeking to be physically closer to friends, or family, or looking for a new playing ground to take my work and service to the next level? If choosing to have more free time is an option, am I looking for activities that pique my interest and passion? Am I looking to continue to be part of something bigger than myself and/or seeking a community of like-minded people?

Am I looking for the hustle-bustle of a city, or the beauty and call of nature as I finally slow down enough to hear the birds sing or to see a bunny or squirrel or baby quails go running across the street?

I have also realized that this relocation decision does not carry the same sense of urgency that came previously. Yes, I need to consider the buying and selling markets, and availability of the type of home I want. However, there is more at stake here. My eye is on the prize…

My definition of success has always been: to reach for the goals I have set for myself; to be the me that I want to be; to do what want with who I want, where I want; to pay it forward and help those who need a hand up – not a hand out.

There’s one thing I know for sure… whether I stay or go… Success is what I am shooting for!

What about you? Are you moving the needle each day in the direction you want to go? Do you have an “end” in mind? Do you make it a practice of experiencing joy each day? It’s never too soon or too late! Make each day count! Drop me a note at and let me know what’s next on YOUR journey to success!


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