Health, School, Social


Making Smart Decisions Regarding Drugs, Alcohol and More

We’ve all been there.  That moment when you’re faced with a difficult decision, and you just don’t know what to do.  Sometimes, you wish that your Mom would just make the decision for you, but then other times you want to be in charge and make your own decisions like a #boss.

As a teen you are faced with various decisions every day.  Do you go to that party – even though you know your friends’ parents won’t be home?  Do you get a part-time summer job? Do you skip school with that cute guy from the football team?  Do you share that racy screen shot of that guy from your science class?  Do you drink that alcoholic beverage even though you know you’re not old enough to drink it? Do you apply for early admission to college, and which college do you apply to?    Ahhh….so many decisions, decisions, decisions!

Listen, it may not seem like it, but the decisions that you make your teen years, can really affect the rest of your life, so it’s important to make smart decisions.

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 1.  Get Clear on the Problem

What is the problem that you are faced with?  Get really clear on the situation that you are involved in, and then write it down.  Writing down the problem helps to gain clarity when brainstorming possible solutions and outcomes that can arise from the problem.

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2.  Get the Facts

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Be sure to gather all of the facts about the situation.  It’s time to do some investigating and make sure that you cover all grounds when it comes to the problem at hand.    Find out the details about the situation such as the date, time, location, other people who will be there, who the problem will affect, who the problem won’t affect, etc.

[blockquote]Gathering this information will help you make an informed decision.[/blockquote]

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3. Brainstorm and write down all of the possible outcomes

Look at your list of possible options to your problem.  Now, make a “Pros and Cons” list weighing the good things that can happen from going along with the problem versus the bad things that can happen from going along with the problem. Using the skipping school example listed above, some possible good things that could happen might be that you could be viewed as “cool”, you may become a part of the “popular” crowd, you might get to have a fun day with your friends.  However, some of the bad things that could possibly happen are: You may get behind in your school work because you may miss an important lesson or miss the ability to turn an assignment in, you may get in really big trouble if your parents find out that you skipped, you may get involved in other negative activities that happen when parents are not around. Make a “Good Things That Can Happen vs. Bad Things That Can Happen” chart on a piece of paper and weigh your options regarding you problem.

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4.  Decide what is the best option for you

After weighing all of your options and the possible outcomes from those options, decide on what is the smartest decision for you to make right now.  If you make this decision how will it affect you, and how will it affect other people?    For example, if your problem is deciding if you want to drink alcohol or not, it’s important that you not only think about how this decision will affect you, but how will this decision affect those around you?  What could possibly happen if you decide to drive a car after you drink alcohol? You could possibly physically hurt other people, and yourself.  These are the types of thoughts that you should have when deciding what’s the smartest decision to make.

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5.  Measure the results from your decision, and make adjustments if needed

After you have made your smart decision, give it a shot.  Try it out, and see what happens.  Maybe you made the right choice, but maybe you didn’t.   If you feel like you made the wrong decision, you can make some slight adjustments, or start the decision making process from scratch to see if you come up with alternative solutions and outcomes to your problem.

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o see how much sugar is in a given serving.

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10. Limit Processed Foods

Processed foods often have high amounts of sugar, unhealthy additives, saturated fats and trans fats, all things it’s best to avoid for your overall health. To get started, read food labels carefully to find out what is in a given product. It’s hard to avoid processed foods altogether, but lessening the quantity of processed foods you eat, even by a little, can make a positive difference in your weight loss quest.

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