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Making Decisions

Making decisions is a simple exercise that follows the concept of Trademark Values. Values are only useful if they’re being used to make a difference in our daily decisions. The exercise serves as a follow-up to the values exercise–a muddy concept if it stands alone. However, the two exercises together provide a great structure for students to identify what’s important to them and take different actions based on that information. This exercise also looks at creating systems and thinking about the actual point when a decision is made.

An example is a student who wanted to get better grades and study when she got home from school. The problem was she lacked the energy necessary to do so. With her coach, she explored possible habits that were contributing to her lack of energy. She realized that a lack of nutrition during the school day was the cause of her lack of energy–her need to nap after school. She placed value around studying and getting her work done, but not on her nutrition, which was leading to her downfall.

Once she altered her nutrition habit, she was able to complete more homework during the second half of the school day, and devote her afternoons to studying. So she realized she should place a higher value on nutrition.

This simple exercise is effective because it helps students pinpoint the moment when they’re making the decision to follow wrongly-directed values and curb those values into more effective ways of improving their system.

How to Best Support Your Child

So much of this coaching program helps students take a step back from worrying or being anxious about the final goal in focusing exclusively on the work that needs to get done and moving forward from there. You can help your child by focusing on the process and reminding yourself and them that you are on the same team.

From the Academic Life Coaching Workbook

Now it’s time to put your values into action, especially when it comes time for you to make decisions. To make informed decisions, you have to know what’s most important to you. Your values can help guide your decisions, especially when you can pull out what’s most important to you and consciously include more of it in your life.

Below is an exercise to work through your values. 

An area of your life you want to focus on:

Value you want to honor in that area:

The actual point in that system when you make a decision to follow through on your value:

Systems and structures you have in place to support you:


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