"Then what?" I have a friend who says the entirety of personal ethics can be summed up in those two words. "If I do this thing... If I make this decision... If I speak this word... If I enter into this relationship... If I follow this course, then what?" What effect will it have on others? What ethical trajectory will be set into motion?
St. Paul wrote an interesting word to first-century believers: "Imitate me," he said. Not "Do what I say," but "Do what I do." He felt comfortable enough with his own personal behavior that he could recommend it to others. That, it seems, is at least one reasonable goal of establishing a moral structure for one's life. So, before making decisions that have long-term consequences, ask yourself the question: "Then what?"