Most Common Times You Make Bad Decisions

Do you ever wonder why you continually keep making bad decisions and choices? I have been observing people who have to make smart decisions everyday to ensure that they stay on the path they want their lives to go in. One thing they have in common is knowing when NOT to make choices.

 

My husband is an alcoholic. Twenty five years dry now. Every day, he must make a conscious decision not to drink. It does get easier, I am told as time goes on, but one can never get lax and forget that addiction can rear its ugly head at any time, any place. I can not tell you how proud I am of him. Addiction is so hard to beat and sustained, lengthy times of sobriety are a great accomplishment. Not to make light of it but if you told me I had to give up chocolate, I don’t know if I could do it.

 

I have gone to many AA meetings with him and they are so inspiring. Here is a group of people who struggle everyday to make good choices. They share their stories so that others don’t feel alone in their battle. They share their stories so others can learn from their mistakes. But most of all, they support each other and share their bits of wisdom for making good decisions every single day.

 

One of the best acronyms I have ever heard came from a meeting and anyone can use it in their lives when they are faced with a dilemma. The next time you are thinking about making a decision, HALT! Stop and think if any of the following factors are playing into your decision-making process.

 

Hungry

 

This is much more than a “don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach or you will end up buying all of aisle 4” kind of philosophy. When you are mal-nourished, your brain isn’t functioning properly. You will make a decision that you feel will fill an empty gap when the only thing you really need to do is fill your stomach. A glass of juice or even water can temporary work. Get a few calories in you and you will be surprised how different your thinking is.

Angry

 

One of the strongest emotions is anger. And yes, sometimes we need to feel it so that we can release it. Decisions made when angry are usually rash and more often than not, regretted at a later time. Let the emotions play out but leave choices to a time when your feelings are stable. In the moment, we tend to perceive situations as personal and they usually are not. Once the emotions are settled, a rational mind makes circumstances easier to analyse.

Lonely

 

We all like to be alone at times but feeling lonely and unconnected, even in a group of people, can really wallop your self-esteem and confidence. We may do things that are not in our character or that do not fit our life plans. It’s so easy to go along with the crowd when we want to feel included. Be true to yourself and your needs/wants. Wait.

Tired

 

Lack of sleep can play havoc with your brain functions and greatly affect your perceptions of your surroundings and your situations. Don’t sleep for weeks on end and you can even begin to experience hallucinations. There is a reason for the old sayings, “You should sleep on that” or “It may look different in the morning”.  A rested brain is capable of rationally analysing events and better prepared to make good decisions.

 

No more making bad decisions and living with regrets. Just remember HALT. Ask yourself the next time you are making choices if that is a good time to be doing so. Eliminate the factors above, and then tackle the problem or situation from the best vantage point.

 

Do you find yourself continuously making bad decisions? Check out the times you should avoid making choices that can affect your future happiness.
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27 thoughts on “Most Common Times You Make Bad Decisions

  1. I’m 26 years clean of an addiction. HALT is invaluable. While they’re all things that most people already know, the concept of HALT makes it “active” instead of “passive” (if that makes sense). Otherwise, without that deliberate consciousness, it would be far too easy to make an emotionally-driven, poor decision – be it something small like having an ill-advised piece of chocolate cake, or something larger. I find HALT applicable in so many areas of life.

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  2. This is excellent advice! Though, as a chronic avoider & procrastinator, I don’t personally have too much trouble not making choices, just making them! But it is good to know that sometimes when I don’t make them, that is probably a good thing. #blogsharelearn

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  3. Hi Elena, I know what you mean about the chocolate! I continue to strive and occasionally fail to ditch the sugar. I’m in awe of anyone who makes a daily commitment to choose themselves and those they love over their addiction. Thank you also for hosting the LinkyParty – our first one! I’ll add a post just as soon as I can figure out how to do it! 😉

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  4. I agree with Karen I usually make bad choices when I’m tired and life is just too hard. I love HALT and it is easy to work with and remember. Stopping by from #BlogShareLearn and thank you for the opportunity to link up. Have a lovely week.

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  5. I strongly agree with all of these factors when it comes to decision making. Whenever we have a really long day without a proper lunch or get little sleep the night before it makes us all irritable which can also cause the anger and other emotions like feeling lonely. Sometimes I look at us and see we act about as irrational as our toddlers when they are tired and hungry lol!

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  6. I’m so good at making bad decisions. Haha I must be tired, hungry, lonely and angry all the time. But it does help to wait to be level headed at least with the harder decisions, and other times it’s better to decide quickly. Thanks for the tips and congratulations to you and your husband, you’re a strong team!

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  7. This is brilliant advice, distilled down into such an easy-to-remember acronym. Thanks for sharing, Elena. Bravo to your husband for his sobriety–not easy. And brava to you for learning so much along the journey.

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  8. This is great advice Elena. My first husband was an alcoholic and sadly, he never sought sobriety. I attended Al-Anon meetings and gained a great deal of strength from those who lived with alcoholism on a daily basis. HALT was a terrific tool that helped me. Thank you for reminding me of it. So simple and so effective.

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    1. Those meetings are amazing too. Especially for those whose partners are not seeking help. It is important for spouses to get help. I’m sorry he never sought help but I am so glad the meetings helped you.

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