October is a great time to review your choices and decision. But don’t confuse the two, because the two words mean different things.
“We are our Choices” – Jean Paul Sartre
I recently learned that a CHOICE is not the same as a DECISION. Choices are needed to clarify priorities, while decisions are needed to make things happen.
Early October is a great time to look back at the first nine months of the year, and to look forward to the remaining three. It is also the ideal moment to do a 90-day plan for the rest of the year. I am doing such a plan myself, and am helping some of my clients with their planning.
Maybe at this point it is worth mentioning what I do for a living. I provide training, coaching and hands-on support to executives in charge of building new businesses or transforming existing ones, always in the context of a growth agenda. What clients expect from me is to help them FIND CLARITY and CLEAR THE FOG, so they can confidently focus on the right actions to achieve their business objectives.
In this time of the year, I invite my clients to take a good look at their achievements, and to critically review the objectives they want to reach by the end of December.
When doing the planning, it is important to make a distinction between CHOICES and DECISION. I have come to the conclusion that
the choices we make are what matters most.
A decision is the act or need for making up one’s mind, while choice means the right, the power or the opportunity to choose. Decision is process oriented and backward looking, Choice is value oriented and forward looking.
The word “decision” comes from “cutting off” and implies a process of analysis about what to eliminate or let go. We look back and decide what we keep and what we leave behind. A decision can be the result of a process of analysis. We make decisions all the time. “Do more, do less, start doing, stop doing” is an example of a decision to make from time to time.
Choice has more to do with mindset and perception. We make choices when facing various opportunities, but have to choose which one to follow. Choices set the direction of where we want to go, both in business and in life. We make choices based on our values, beliefs and perceptions. To make choices we need to image the future we desire, otherwise choices are made for us.
You may not feel the need to do a 90-day plan for the rest of the year. But I encourage you to use the month of September to do at least the following three things:
- Take a moment to look at what you have achieved this year. Look for things you can be proud of.
- CHOOSE one or two goals you feel are possible and worthwhile to accomplish by the end of the year.
- DECIDE to let go of one habit you know is hindering you, be it in personal or in business matters.
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
This post is an edited version of a memo I sent out every second Monday.
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For help with your quarterly planning or your next management off-site contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.