Every day we face decisions, some easier than others. While we may want to offer a quick turn around or adopt a yes-man model, these approaches can become an impediment to our ability to make meaningful decisions and live a mindful life.

First consider – what are my dealbreakers? In my case, I never want to put my family in an undesirable position. As a result, I tend to be a bit cautious about certain risks that might impede on their lives or stability. Sometimes I need just to confirm that they are separate from the equation then I immediately become more confident and comfortable with the decision. If you can highlight any red flags right off the bat, then you can stop there. The answer is no. By considering these aspects first, it can be an easy way to weed out potential draining projects or ventures.

Sure – if someone asks you if I want them to grab me a coffee first thing in the morning – then the answer is probably yes, but when it comes to making large-scale decisions, it becomes important to be cognizant. Everyone falls prey to picturing an idealistic five or ten-year timeline, but they don’t always consider how the more minute details or questions play into their goal outcome.

This leads us the question – Is this going to help me achieve my goals? We know the coffee will, but if we are agreeing to added work or stress that might not be the case. Do I want a promotion? Then maybe I should accept more responsibility in order to build up my portfolio. Clarity is key to goal setting, but also goal achievement. If we understand our goals and clearly outline our ideas on how to get there, it makes effective decision making based on our aims less difficult.

Who does this decision impact? We all have ties. Be it family, friends, coworkers, or employees. Our answers affect the people around us. As a result, we need to consider how our choices impact the larger ecosystem we exist in. As Joseph L. Badaracco says, “By relying on what philosophers call your “moral imagination.” That involves stepping out of your comfort zone, recognizing your biases and blind spots, and putting yourself in the shoes of all key stakeholders, especially the most vulnerable ones. How would you feel in their place?” Interconnectedness is everywhere.

Last but not least – Will I be happier after accepting this responsibility? This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook this key component to success. Everyone wants to be happy. By steering your decisions around finding fulfillment, you ensure long-term happiness.