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What to do? A major dilemma has your brain cells spinning? Decisions, decisions ...

You face choices daily. Should you stay with your so-so BF, or dump him for that hottie whose feelings are mondo-mysterious? You could score a cake dog-walking gig, or take a shot at the bead biz you dream of launching. You can keep being baffled, or you can read GL's tips for making up your mind.

MAKE A PROS-AND-CONS LIST

This classic trick is a time-tested method for figuring out what to do when you're torn. Maybe you're thinking of breaking up with Brad, the sweet-but-too-shy guy you've been seeing. No prob. Whip out a piece of paper, draw a line down the center, and scribble "Pros" at the top of one column and "Cons" at the top of the other.

In the "Pros" column, write a fist of reasons for staying with your guy (his dry humor, a shared passion for manga). Under "Cons," list why you're better without him (he stares at his ex and blows off your IMs). Then, review both lists. You should be able to assess whether it's best to stay or move on.

PLAY OPPOSITES

Imagine doing the opposite of what you'd typically do. Let's say you want to double-pierce your ears, but your folks are old-fashioned about this stuff. Usually, to get your way, you beg and plead, then throw a temper tantrum.

Take a different course of action. Do some research to find a reputable salon, and get info on preventing post-piercing infections. Share your savvy on the subject with Mom and Dad. This might help your 'rents see you as capable of making such a big decision since you're mature enough to dig up the facts first.

BE YOUR OWN BFF

Talk to yourself like you would a bud, and you may find a crystal-clear map to Right-ville. You're slipping in math and need to ace finals when the unexpected happens--someone slips you a copy of the test. How would you advise a friend? You'd tell her that, if she got the wrong test or--even worse--got busted, she'd blow it and be in deep trouble. Removing yourself from the equation makes it easier to see the best choice.

PLAY FEAR FACTOR

Tossed between two options? Dream up the scariest scenario that could happen in either case. You're tempted to audition for a talent show, but you've never crooned before an audience. Still, your inner diva is itching to wow the crowd. Should you rehearse your heart out or stick to singing into a hairbrush? If you take the stage, what's the worst that could happen? You might forget your lyrics or miss a note, and everyone will laugh. But if you bail? You'll be stuck in the audience, wishing you'd gotten up there and belted one out. Your choice.

INVESTIGATE IT

Do some decision-making detective work. Say your folks offer to send you to an all-girls school next year. The institution has a great rep, but you're worried the girls might be clique-ish. And you're not feelin' those uniforms. Then again, the lack of academic challenge in your current school is making you mental.

Some delving is in order. Visit the school, and talk to teachers and students. The admin might even let you sit in on a class, so you can scope out the overall vibe. Once you have the low-down, it's way easier to decide what will make you happiest. And, ultimately, that's what matters.
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Title Annotation:GL LiFE; tips for making up your mind
Author:Helbig, Cathy
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:566
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