Frameworks for intentional decision-making

Last summer, I was working on a goal-setting app that revolved around root cause analysis and goals-system theory. Funny enough, I’m a hypocrite and don’t use these frameworks nearly as much as I should.

If I’m being honest, I’m prone to making decisions out of habit and doing things that are second-nature, so I could use a little more self-examination to really check-in with myself. Goals-system theory is a way to hone in on “motivation as cognition,” which looks like a mind map connecting goals to sub-goals, while opening up possibilities to choice and substitution, as well as varying levels of motivation. Root cause analysis then helps you dig deeper into your “why?” to uncover where the source of motivation is actually coming from.

Added together, both tools become a way to align my decision-making process with my values while I work to achieve a goal. This is crucial because I can lose sight of why I’m doing things and I do get distracted by external noises, and this all leads me further away from myself. Ultimately, this is unsustainable because it can lead to burn out.

So, my soap box this week and my renewed commitment to myself is to be more intentional with my decision-making process. Arguably, there’s nothing more important than being in touch with yourself and knowing why you’re motivated to do the things that you do. Understanding this thus becomes a self-renewing fuel to keep you on track by grounding yourself in your reason for being.

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Emily Chang-Chien

Emily Chang-Chien

UC Berkeley Class of 2020. Event planner, home cook, writer--finding her way into sustainability, diversity and inclusion, with twists and turns along the way.