YOLO decisions bring a thrill into life that is hard to ignore. I’ve written about the risks and challenges about making decisions based on the You Only Live Once (YOLO) philosophy. They can be a bad idea because they’re often made out of the context of
what is healthy for a person, like having another piece of cake because you want one when you know you don’t need one.There are; however, times when making a YOLO decision is a great idea. These kinds of decisions push me out of my comfort zone, encourage me to explore and discover new things about myself I never would have otherwise. Here are some of the criteria that provide you with the context you need to have in order to make good YOLO decisions. You need all the criteria, not just one or two.
Your family needs are met first
Family comes first. So long as my family has all its needs met, there’s no reason I shouldn’t buy a treadmill or splurge on a nice dinner. Sacrificing my family is a decision that adds up over time and hurts far more than putting my desire off today for a selfish reason.
You have the monetary budget
Next year I want to travel to Asia. A plane ticket, food hotel and activities won’t be cheap. I know I want to take the trip and make it within my budget. I can start setting money aside for that trip so I can take a once of a lifetime, bucket list trip. If I have the budget and family needs are met, then nothing keeping me back. There’s just no sense in stressing my budget, already or going into debt just because I have a nudge or an opportunity to go on a big trip even if it is at a discount.
You’ve honored higher priority responsibilities
Priorities are important and it’s easy to get priorities out of line. For example, if I had children, they should come before remodeling my home or a girl’s trip. My job comes before buying a new car because if I don’t have a job, I can’t buy the car. If all of the above and below criteria are met and I’ve honored my higher priorities, then I say go for it.
You have the time
If I have enough vacation days at work, have the budget and my at home responsibilities are met, I should be able to attend exercise classes, take trips or dance lessons. My time investment should also align with my priorities, especially since my time investments are cumulative. For example, I can go to school all semester and not pay attention. Cramming the night before the final exam won’t do much, but if I study all year, then the final won’t be as daunting.
You have some wiggle room
If I’ve saved and have extra money to spend on a once in a lifetime splurge, am not in debt, have saved for higher priorities, and still have an emergency fund, I say, “Go for it!” I should never spend money I don’t have on something I don’t need just because I listen to the YOLO thing. Another example is, if I’ve been working out extra hard one week just so I can enjoy a big meal, I know I’m going to have, then there’s no issue with it. If I’ve been eating dessert all week and am really out of my diet, then I have no business adding an extra piece of cake.
This is a no brainer, but people like to think that no one will ever find out, or “I’m out of the country, so it doesn’t count.” They’re all lies. Do the right thing and stay legal.
You only live once. It’s true. Just make your decisions in a way you won’t regret later.