How To Make Decisions With Ease, Clarity + Certainty!

Carmen-MarshallI’ve had a lifelong dream of owning my own wellness retreat. A place that offers everything I love and love to teach, under one roof, in the most breathtaking, tropical environment.  Dance, raw foods, and personal development. Intentional jewelry, clothing, journals, and books – everything imaginable to support guests in creating a life they love.  I could see it so clearly in my mind’s eye, this magical space of discovery, relaxation, and peace.

So when I had the opportunity to buy land in Bali, I almost did.

Until one afternoon when I was lying down and heard a voice in my head.  I felt the vibration in my body.  My inner-knowing spoke clearly and simply: “Now isn’t the time.”

Fortunately, I acted on that inner-knowing feeling right away. I called and told my land lawyer, my architect, and everyone else involved that I was pulling out.

I felt immediate relief.

Sustained relief.

Weeks and months have passed, and I am still so glad I made that decision.
So, why was it so hard to make the final decision?  Because it was linked to a lifelong dream, to something I’ve always wanted. I was scared to say “no” to something that I “should” jump on now.  And aren’t we supposed to “start before we’re ready,” especially if it’s our dream?

But it wasn’t the right choice for me, and as I look back on that month of anxiety, there were several tools I could have used to make a quicker decision.  Had I utilized any one of those tools, I would have conserved valuable energy and simplified my emotional life.

I also realized that I’ve done the same thing with at least 3 other major decisions in my life.  I now know that I don’t want to go through that level of constant anxiety ever again, no matter how important my future decisions may be. When we’re stressed for long periods of time, it lowers our vibration and ties up energy we can use for bigger and better things.

How to Make Decisions with Ease, Clarity + Certainty

ouioui[11]1.  Ask yourself, Is it a full body YES?

Author Cheryl Richardson talks about this in one of my top 10 favorite books, The Art of Extreme Self-Care.

Is it resounding YES?
If it is, do it.
If it’s not, say No.

Simple, huh?

There are so many things in life that require us to make choices: potential relationships, jobs, homes, purchases, business partners, opportunities. How can we make sure we make the right decision every time?

If it’s not a huge YES, then it’s a NO.

In my case with the land, it wasn’t a whole-body YES.  I wasn’t visiting the land every day filled with excitement at the prospect of building on MY plot. I didn’t have a resounding YES in my body every time I thought or dreamed about it.  I wasn’t visualizing my retreat center on the land every morning.  In other words, I wasn’t FEELING a YES.

2.  Is it taking you a long time to decide?  Are you going back and forth?

I’ve learned that if I’m taking a long time to decide about anything – a personal relationship, a new business project or the opportunity to buy a piece of land – the answer is NO.  If it were a resounding yes, I would be all over it and no potential “cons” could stop me!

When the opportunity arose for me to move to Maui-Bali, for example, it didn’t take me more than a day to say YES with my whole heart. I didn’t go back and forth on whether I should do it. I had a few predictable concerns, but they took up about 1% of the “move to Maui-Bali” bandwidth.  And ultimately, my decision to move to Maui-Bali opened me up to so many MORE things in my life, just as I knew it would.

What if you ARE going back and forth (as I was with the land)? What else can you use to help you decide?

IMG_1736[7]3.  Is the decision in line with what is most important to you this year?

What are the three most important goals you want to achieve THIS year?
My 3 main goals for 2013 are:

1. Re-brand + solidify Live Well International, my business and lifestyle company;
2. Launch Create A Life You Love Retreats, a brand new enterprise;
3. Complete my global relocation experiment and select the 2 countries in which I want to have permanent residences.

One of the reasons I was so conflicted about purchasing land and building a retreat now was that it wouldn’t allow me to focus on what was most important to me this year: solidifying one of my existing businesses, starting a retreat + more company and living in several different countries to discover where I wanted my two main homes to be.

My inner-knowing knew this, even if my conscious mind was dragging me all over the place.

Our subconscious is extremely powerful.  If we’ve directed it with clear goals and visioning, then it will let us know when a potential decision doesn’t fit. We will start to feel anxious and worried, and this is a GOOD thing. Your feelings are your guidance system when something is off track.

Action Step:
What are your 3 most important goals this year?  Jot them down right now (you can go back and refine later), because they are crucial for designing your life AND for making any important decision.

4.  Does the decision support your 3 Banner Words for the year?

These are 3 words that you choose to describe how you intend to BE and FEEL in 2013.  I learned this concept from the Handel Group (my favorite life-coaching company), and I love to use this powerful way to set intentions for the year.

My 3 banner words for 2013 are:  Simplicity, Alignment and Joy.

Purchasing land and building a retreat wouldn’t support any of those intentions, especially my desire for more simplicity in my life, ha!  I’ll start to feel anxious and out of sync if I make decisions that lead me away from Simplicity, Alignment, and Joy.

Action Step:
What are your 3 Banner Words for how you intend to FEEL and BE this year?  Jot them down quickly because they can help anchor you to what’s most important to you this year.

Unknown5.  Is it on your 5 Year F*it List (FiL)?

This list is one of the best and most SIMPLE transformational tools I’ve ever seen.  I am in love with this resource that was introduced to me by Rick Cowley, founder of SURF LIFE FulFiLment (which is also one of the best retreats I’ve done recently).  Don’t let the title throw you off.  FiL = fulFiLlment. And you have to admit, it grabs your attention 😉

Download the the FREE list from the Surf LIFE website HERE.

This list guides you to identify what is most important to you in the next 5 years.  From there, it teaches you to be OPEN and NOTICE when that opportunity presents itself to you.

So, make sure you balance questions #3 and #4 with, “Is it on my FiL?”  Because if it is, GO FOR IT!

Even though my current business, my new enterprise, and finding my home are my 3 top priorities for this year, attracting a soulful, beautiful and compatible partner is on my 5-year FiL list.  So if he were to appear, that would trump (and happily co-exist with) #3 and #4.

Why?  FulFiLlment goals don’t always come to us in the way, or in the timeframe we expect. It’s our responsibility to get really clear on what we want, to visualize it, feel the feeling of having it, and then be unattached to how it comes to us.

One more thing:  If the answer is a resounding YES in your body, that always trumps #3 and #4 as well.  Your body, inner-knowing and your FEELINGS are your guidance system.  Your answers to questions #3 and #4 work best when you’re feeling a lot of anxiety around a decision. They will help explain why you might be fighting your subconscious.

6. Is there anyone you are scared of disappointing, or is there any fear of loss attached to saying No?

I realized that I was scared of disappointing my friends who had helped me so much in finding and brokering the purchase of the land.  I was also worried that I would be missing out on an opportunity to start living one of my huge dreams NOW.

Being scared of disappointing others, or fearing the loss of something, is never a place to say YES from.

A decision is right when our desire to HAVE or CREATE it is much greater than our fear of LOSING or not HAVING it.

And finally,

letyourselfbedrawnquote[4]7.  Does your choice INSPIRE you?

Does the decision, the person, the opportunity, or the purchase INSPIRE the heck out of you?  Do you feel joy, excitement and expansion when you think of it?  Do you feel “lit up” from within when you imagine choosing it?  (By the way, butterflies in your stomach are a GREAT way to tell you’re “lit up” by something. Dread, heaviness and contraction tell you the opposite.)

Inspiration is THE place to live from.  Go towards what brings you absolute joy.  Do what makes you feel ALIVE.  There is nothing more worthy of your attention and focus than that which inspires you.  And when you align with THAT, you can never, ever go wrong.

Always say YES! to what inspires you.

Sometimes, saying NO to one thing will make room for saying YES to something even better.

This might be the single greatest lesson I learned from my difficult decision to postpone my dream of owning a wellness retreat. Saying NO to a physical place didn’t mean I had to say no to the experience of it!

The process of saying NO opened my eyes and heart to an even more wonderful opportunity: the opportunity to say YES to hosting my first ever wellness retreat!

Now it’s your turn…

How do you make important decisions?  What works for you?  What advice would you give others?

Is there a decision in your life that you need to make right now, that you can make with the help of this formula?

How do you use INSPIRATION in your life to make decisions?

As always, comment below – I love to hear your thoughts, responses and input!

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…


Carmen xo


Join Carmen for the first ever Create A Life You Love Retreat in Bali, May 2014. If something like this is on your FiL list, or if your body is starting to tingle at the thought of saying YES, please go here to learn more about it!

A true entrepreneur, lifestyle master and international wellness coach, Carmen is the founder of Create A Life You Love™ and the SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge.  Carmen also works in partnership with the Handel Group Life Coaching and writes for Glam Fit Magazine as their Business and Lifestyle Expert. Visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter for more information.

  • Mary Robertson

    This morning I woke up very early and as I thought about my day, I told myself that I had to make a decision as to what I am going to do with the rest of my life. The need to earn a living has kept me in a place of fear and doubt. It has been the reason why I have not done what I wanted to do with my life. For the last year and a half I have been in a place of major struggles and decision making. Although I know what I want to do, my financial worries keep me going around in circles. I found this page when I opened my email, what a gift. Thank you and I will try and use your insight into making my decision today.

  • Hi Carmen, great post. I love the practical advice. I am just on the cusp of launching my dream business and your ideas about goals and measuring my decisions to see if they support those goals is what I needed today. I have been going forward smoothly with getting ready to have my business but now that the launch of the website is just a week or two away I realize I need to get clear on what my goals are for the next 6 months and year so I know what I am working towards.

    The banner words are wonderful too. What is all this for except to have it support and bring me back to the feelings I want to feel as a result of doing the work!! Love it.


  • Dr.H

    6 years ago I was exposed to the law of attraction. I had written down that I wanted an additional Chiropractic office. I didn’t really want to hunt up a location. Do all the research that goes along with setting up a business. I just knew I wanted to try and double my income. I love mentoring young doctors! I put it down in my wants notebook and in under a month a neighbor knocked on my door and offered me his practice at the cost for the equipment. Things started to line up. Now i have 2 good practices and I am having a blast. A good young doctor came my way at just the right time. So you can over think this stuff a bunch. If you ask and open yourself up to it and live joyously you can create your experience. If you fear what you ask for, forget it! Don’t try paddling upstream. Ifs it’s too hard you may be forcing it. Feel the flow and go with it.

    • Dr K

      Thank you for sharing this! I am a Chiropractor who is looking for inspiration in the growth of my practice. I just happened to run into this blog and just happened to peek at the comments. Reading this manifestation from you was just what I needed to hear! Funny how that works….

  • Makemba

    OMG!!!! Thank you for this post!

  • SK

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom! Love it!

  • AishaLove

    This is the best thing I’ve ever read! I have such a hard time making decisions. I will sit on something for weeks debating. This just simplified my life! Thank You!