Making Decisions and Setting Goals Making Decisions and Setting Goals Objectives: 1. Identify the steps in the decisionmaking process. 2. Explain why it is important to practice decision making. 3. Develop and implement an action plan for setting a goal. Making Decisions and Setting Goals Health Concepts Decision making is a multi-step process that can be used to make responsible health choices. Practicing your decision-making skills can prepare you to handle real-life situations. Setting and achieving goals is important to the quality of your life. A key to effective goal setting is learning to develop and implement an action plan. Making Responsible Decisions Imagine finding gift-wrapped boxes at your doorstep along with a note that states, “Whichever box you choose will determine how your life proceeds.” Which box would you open? Would you just grab the one nearest to you and hastily tear off the ribbon? Would you instead take your time and carefully inspect each box, looking for subtle clues as to its contents? Making Responsible Decisions Making decisions about major life issues must be done carefully and deliberately. Just as you would slow down and look for approaching cars when arriving at a busy intersection, so you will need to approach life decisions with caution. You will need to “look in all directions” for possible risks, and then act decisively and without hesitation once the risks have been identified and weighed. Making Responsible Decisions The most crucial step in all decisionmaking is to distinguish between ethical and unethical options. Decisions and actions should only be based on the choices that are among the ethical options. Making Responsible Decisions Activity 1 – Independent Work There are occasions when we do not have time to use the entire decisionmaking process. Give examples of decisions that need to be made quickly. Explain what you should do in these situations. The Decision Making Model One of the traits of a health-literate person is being a critical thinker and problem solver- having the ability to evaluate information from reliable sources and then make a responsible decision. The decision-making model can help you act in a way consistent with this trait. The model is designed to help you make decisions that will protect your rights, health, and self-respect, while respecting the rights, health, and self-respect of others. There are six basic steps in making an important decision. The Decision Making Model Step 1 STATE THE SITUATION Examine the situation and ask yourself: What decision needs to be made? Identify others who may be affected by your decision. The Decision Making Model Step 2 List the Possible Outcomes Ask yourself: What are the possible choices that I could make? Remember, to include “not act at all,” if appropriate. Share your options with responsible family members, teachers, or friends. Ask for their advice. The Decision Making Model Step 3 Weigh The Possible Options Ask yourself if there are both positive and negative results of each choice. Weigh the outcome, or consequence, of each option. Ask yourself: Is this decision healthful, safe, and legal? Does it show respect for others and myself? The Decision Making Model Step 4 Consider Your Values Evaluate whether your course of action is in keeping with your values and the values of your family and community. Ask yourself: Am I comfortable with the possible outcome? What will my family and other responsible adults think about this decision? What will I feel about this decision in the weeks and months ahead? The Decision Making Model Step 5 Make Decision and Take Action Use everything you know at this point to make a responsible decision. You can feel good that you have carefully prepared and thought about the situation and your options. The Decision Making Model Step 6 Evaluate Your Decision After you have made the decision and taken action, reflect on what happened. You might ask yourself: What was the outcome? Was it what I expected? How did my decision affect my health? What effect did my decision have on others? What did I learn? Would I take the same action again? Setting Goals Having and setting goals is one way to help shape your life in positive directions. A goal is something you aim for that takes planning and work. Setting realistic goals and achieving them leads to increased self esteem Setting Goals Do you view your life as a series of events that simply happen to you or do you see it as a work of art that you are constantly shaping and creating? Think about your plans for the future. What do you want to do with your life? What do you hope to become someday? Do your plans include further education and a family? What type of job do you hope to have? What do you hope to have accomplished by the age of 20? What kind of life do you want to be able to look back on when you are 70? Kinds of Goals Every goal involves planning, and planning involves time. Some goals can be achieved fairly easily and in a short period of time. Such short-term goals include getting your homework done by nine o’clock. Other goals, such as becoming a teacher or a professional dancer, pose a greater challenge. Such long-term goals take a longer period— sometimes months or even years—to achieve. Kinds of Goals Many long-term goals can be achieved by breaking them down into short-term goals. In order to meet the long-term goal of playing on the school ice hockey team, for example, you must first satisfy the beginning goal of becoming a strong skater. What kinds of short- term goals do you think might be necessary to pursue a career in politics? What short-term goals might help a person work toward the long-term goal of becoming a professional athlete? Goals and an Action Plan While goals can differ in the amount of time and degree of effort necessary to reach them all can be achieved by creating an action plan. Like the decision-making process, an action plan is a multi-step strategy for identifying and achieving goals. An Action Plan consists of six action-based steps that can help you accomplish your goals. Action Plan 1. Select a goal to work on In selecting a goal, you need to be specific and realistic. Also, state your goal as something positive. Do not settle for just “not failing.” Focus your energies instead on succeeding. This will help motivate you to work toward achieving your goal. Action Plan 2. List what you will do to reach the goal Look for ways to break your goal down into smaller, more manageable tasks. If your goal is to become a long- distance runner, begin by training yourself to run shorter distances. Action Plan 3. Identify sources of help and support Identify sources of help and support. Sources of support and encouragement are important to achieving any goal. Such sources might include friends, family members, teachers, or neighbors. Action Plan 4. Set a reasonable time frame for reaching your goal When first setting out toward any goal, you should establish a reasonable time limit for reaching that goal and put it in writing. Action Plan 5. Establish checkpoints to evaluate your progress As with establishing a time frame, such checkpoints should be reasonable and realistic Action Plan 6. Reward yourself after reaching your goal Once you arrive, congratulate yourself and enjoy the personal satisfaction. One way is to buy yourself something you have wanted. Knowing that a reward waits at the end of the journey will help you work that much harder. Other Guidelines for Setting Goals Make certain your goal will not harm your health or anyone else’s. Be sure that your goal shows respect both for you and for everyone else affected by it. Set a goal because it will help you grow, not because you want to outdo someone or win someone else’s attention. If you fail to reach your goal, use what you learn from the failure to set a new goal. Goals For Life What are your personal goals right now—today? If your answer is that you do not have any, ask yourself why. If you do not have positive goals, you need to ask yourself: Why? How can I remove the roadblocks that stand in the way of my having positive goals? Remember, goal setting, like decision making and the other health skills you learned about in this chapter, can move you toward the ultimate goal of total health and wellness. Do Now Journal Entry Write a list of all the decisions you made today from time you woke up until now. Then chose one of your decisions and focus on the process.