We all have decisions to make, but we can agree that some are harder than others. As a Caregiver, you’re faced with tough calls every. stinking. day. There are so many factors to consider and outcomes to weigh. One of the best things you can do is to try and take the emotion out of it and look at the hard facts, and the best way to do that is to write it down!
If you’re a list maker by nature, you’re saying “well, duh!”…but if you’re not, this could be a step outside your comfort zone. There are so many great things that come out of taking all the information out of the dark corners of your brain, and into the light of a piece of paper so you can really see what’s there.
Beyond everything, a list is a Caregiver’s best friend because it becomes an unbiased tool to communicate to family members and friends on where you’re coming from to get everyone on the same page…and we can all agree that sometimes that’s the hardest part in all of this.
Here’s our process when making a list to compare options and make a decision.
STEP 1: The brain dump
Write down all of the qualities that are important for you/your family in an ideal situation. What’s the “best case scenario”. Don’t hold back or tell yourself that it’s unrealistic…just write it down! There’s plenty of time later to pull the Reality Card, but for now, see what comes out when you let yourself brainstorm.
STEP 2: Prioritize
Ok, so here’s where that Reality Card comes in. It’s time to take that list and put them in order prioritizing them from most important (aka “must haves”) down to things that are just nice to have or pluses”. Now here’s the catch: they can’t ALL be deal breakers. Pick your top 3 that are non-negotiable and work your way down.
STEP 3: Use the list to compare
Now it’s time to use this list so you can compare apples to apples. Take it on every tour, or every meeting/interview you have with a service provider to make sure you are getting questions answered and reminded of what really matters.
STEP 4: Make a decision
Now that you have the facts, making the decision will probably be the easy part. You’ll have all the data you need on your top priorities to see which option hits the majority of your priorities…especially your top 3!
Once you get in the habit of jotting down lists to help make decisions, it becomes second nature. Even better, it becomes a tool you can use to as a Caregiver to take stress, guilt and pressure off knowing you have done your due diligence and have the facts to back it up.