Making decisions that matter

I’ve got decision making on my mind. 

Last week I wrote about how there’s always something that will get in the way of our dreams — if we let it. I’ve been hearing from a number of people that they just don’t have time to take action on their dream, whether it’s a business or a creative venture. 

Another vein of excuses runs along the lines of not being ready, needing more training, or having to “get through” something first.

I’ve said all those things myself at one time or another.

The key to making a change is making a decision

A “Life Decision” as Dr. Phil calls it — a life changing, unalterable decision that you know you won’t go back on.

This is not the same as “trying.”

It’s not the same as “seeing how it goes.”

It means making an unequivocal decision to take a course of action because you are determined to make a change.

These aren’t decisions that come along frequently. They are LIFE decisions, after all.

Life decisions

Life decisions involve commitment to a way of being and a sense of identity, combined with taking powerful action.  

Two examples:

1. When I quit smoking (I can’t believe I used to smoke either) I made a decision that I would never, ever smoke a cigarette again. I had been through too many instances of quitting and learned first hand that it was such a slippery slope for me that the only way to guarantee that I wouldn’t backslide was to vow never to do it again. I could feel the strength of that decision in my bones the  moment I made it. That was in 1993. I haven’t smoked since and I never will.

2. When I founded my Writer’s Circle and made a decision to think of myself as a writer, I also made a life decision. It’s not that I hadn’t been writing before — but this time I made a conscious choice to pursue writing like my life depended on it. To that end, I write 6 days a week, and I refuse to stop.

The power of decisions

I’ve seen the power of decisions first hand, particularly with my Writer’s Circle participants. Decisions change their lives. Those that make a decision to write and to use the system succeed. Those that sign up, but don’t make that decision — that soul-level commitment, don’t. The system can help motivate you, but it can’t make the decision for you.

The same is true with any diet, program, or system, isn’t it? The decision to get something out of it — to be all in — it’s yours, isn’t it?

On the subject of decisions

Chris Guillebeau recently wrote a great post about decisions that I think you’ll like — and make sure you also read his article about how NOT to make decisions, while you’re at it.

Your turn

Tell me your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

And for those of you in the U.S. — Happy 4th of July!




Coming Attractions

~> July 5th. Last day to register for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle. For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing.

~> July and August. It’s almost time for the next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. Are you interested in grabbing a spot before we sell out? Email my team and we’ll put you on the advanced notification list. Find out more at


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Mentoring with screenwriter Chris Soth and participating in ScreenwritingU’s Pro Rewrite class after finishing the ProSeries.* (They’re offering their free rewrite* class this month, which is great.)

~> September 18 to 20th. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU* event to meet with producers and agents.

~> September 21st to 22nd. Staying on in Hollywood for the InkTip Pitch Summit.

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Still reading Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix with my little boy and Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey on my own. Still in the movie queue: (500) Days of SummerAnother Earth, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Not watching a lot these days.


* Affiliate link


  1. Hi Jenna,

    Good to bring up this inability to make decisions to life! It’s all routed in the training we get to “never have the wrong answer.” Testing does bad things to people. It creates generations of young humans afraid to take chances, when taking chances is all we have.

    thanks! Giulietta

    • Jenna,
      Your writing on Decisions strikes me like a bell ringing out from center. Thank you. Right on/Write on!! :-)
      This past weekend I did a Feng Shui workshop with Barbara Bobrowitz (energetic alignments) she spoke of architecture either lending itself to clear decision-making . . . or not – for ex: walking into a foyer where you are confronted with a split staircase,
      one goes up, one down = a challenge in area of decision-making.

    • Giulietta — Yep! That’s analysis paralysis for sure. I get into it myself. I think there’s also an aspect of making commitments that we don’t understand or develop. A kind of personal determination that we never get around to making.

  2. Hi, Jenna. Great post, as always. I love reading them as they inspire me to continue on. I’ve recently decided to start writing full-time, so I’m considering this a “life decision”. I don’t want to work for a company ever again, so I’m working really hard. I write every day, five days a week and my daily goal is 5,000 words. I don’t always hit it, but if I feel I’ve had a productive day (and my brain is friend), I will usually move on to other writing-related activites (promotion, blogging, etc.).

    • I’m so glad my posts inspire you, Michelle! And I’m thrilled to hear you’ve decided to start writing full-time. That is a major life decision. Good for you! Sounds like you’re in a great rhythm. Love it. :)

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