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Resource / Guide

Decision-Making Formula

Ronald L. Banks [An open letter to clarity seekers]

I started decluttering my life in 2016, and I’ve been on a mission to conquer my clutter, prioritize my values, and pursue meaningful work.

Throughout my experience and lessons learned, I’ve developed a singular belief:

There’s only one way to ensure you live a life you have creative control over – and it’s not wishing or hoping for it.

The only reliable way to find success on this journey is through constant, disciplined pursuit of more clarity.

The following guide will walk you through my exact decision-making formula.

I have used this formula to help me declutter (when I felt stuck) and guide me toward my final decision to leave my corporate job (after eight years) to pursue a more meaningful career.

I can’t wait to hear about how it helps you.

Talk soon!


- Ronald L. Banks

Download a copy at the end of this guide.

What is a Decision Matrix

A decision matrix is a tool/method to evaluate your decisions with greater clarity and objectivity before making them.

This tool is most effective when deciding between more than one option, and there are several factors you need to consider to make your final decision.

My 7 Part Formula

There are seven simple steps to my decision matrix.

  • Values
  • Impact
  • Effort
  • Gut Check
  • Knowledge Check
  • Vision
  • Score

Each step is an additional layer/filter to push your decisions through.

This matrix won’t make the final decision for you, but it will create a map guiding you toward your best decision.

Steal My Decision Matrix

My goal is to help you achieve success in life and have a successful decluttering experience.

To guarantee that, I must give you the tools necessary to help you make decisions efficiently and confidently.

Let’s begin.

(Step 0: Write down the decision(s) you’re contemplating)

Step 1: Values

The first thing you need to do is filter your decision through your core values.

Now, if you’ve never thought about what you value (and written them down), here’s your sign to do so.

Here’s a free core values worksheet.

After you know what your values are, the next step is simple.

Ask, “Will this decision pull me closer to my core values or away from them?”

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = disconnected from values, 5 = completely aligned)

Step 2: Impact

Once you have filtered your decision through your values, it’s crucial to consider the impact that decision will have.

Ask, “How much of a positive impact will this decision have on my life?”

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = little impact, 5 = huge impact)

Step 3: Effort

After considering the impact of your decision, the next step is to look at how much effort is required.

You may not want to commit to a decision that will require a ton of time and work—relative to how much available time and energy you have in this current season of your life.

Ask, “How much time and effort will this require?”

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = ton of work, 5 = almost no work)

Step 4: Gut Check

Before moving forward with a decision, it’s critical that you feel good about it.

Ask, “Am I emotionally at peace with this decision?”

If things don’t feel right, or you have a bit of worry in the pit of your gut. It’s best to step back and reassess.

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = not at peace, 5 = completely at peace)

Step 5: Knowledge Check

There’s a massive difference between knowing enough information to make a decision and knowing everything to make a decision.

Don’t get stuck chasing the latter.

Ask, “Do I have enough information to make a sound and informed decision?”

You may discover that you already have the information you need.

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = irrational decision, 5 = well-informed decision)

Step 6: Vision

Similar to your values, your vision is a significant thing to consider to ensure you make the best decision possible.

Ask, “How close of a fit is this decision with my vision for my life (beyond decluttering)?”

Rank your answer on a scale of 1-5 and write it down.

(1 = not close, 5 = very close)

Step 7: Score

When you finish ranking the above six questions (as they relate to the decision you’re currently contemplating), the final step is to calculate your average score.

To do this, sum up your scores for the above six questions and divide them by six.

Your average score should fall somewhere between 1-5.

(1 = needs further consideration, 5 = strongly consider)

This exercise will give you great insight into the overall impact of your decision. Use the final score to help inform your final decision so that you make a confident decision.

Final Note:

Once you use this matrix a few times to help you make decisions, your decision-making skills will strengthen, and so will your confidence in them.

You’ll gain valuable insight into the type of hiccups you generally face when making decisions, and you’ll have a system you can lean on when you need a jumpstart to begin moving in the right direction.

Remember: This matrix won’t make the final decision for you, but it will create a map guiding you toward your best decision.

Download link:

Click the link below to download a PDF version of this decision formula.

PDF Worksheet
Ronald L Banks Headshot Photo
Ronald L. Banks

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