6 Steps To Solving Your Problems

Steps To Problem Solving
There are many different methods to solving our problems. Often it’s not enough to just get by or ignore our problems… we need to resolve them or they will keep resurfacing in our lives in one way or another. Majority of people work on solving their problems every day and every minute we are solving small to large problems we face in our jobs, with our family and other aspects of our life. An example of one of these decisions is what to eat when you get up in the morning and should you have cereal, or toast with jam. Or another decision we make is whether to sleep in an extra 20 minutes or not.
When we make any decision and attempt to solve a problem we consider each possible strategy, pick on and taken action in implementing our decision. Sometimes we may find that one strategy over another may end up being quite ineffective, so we may want to try another strategy.
Most individuals that can deconstruct and define their problem, consider their options, make choices, and implement an action plan have the skills needed to effectively solve their problems.
Research shows that individuals that follow a step-by-step procedure for deconstructing their problems, brainstorming solutions, implementing solutions which can make solving your problems seem less daunting and stressful.
Here is the 6 steps for solving your problems:
1. Identify the Problem and Define it
  • Clarify your problem. (ie. I don’t have enough money to pay rent.)
  • Define the problem by being specific about the behaviour, situation, timing, and circumstances that make it a problem (ie. I need to pay for groceries, by phone bill, and I don’t have enough money to pay for both this month.

2. Brainstorm Solutions

  • List as many potential solutions for your problem, without worrying about the quality of them.
  • List at least 15-20 solutions, being creative and thinking outside the box. (Try not to overthink these)

3. Evaluate your Options

  • Go through each option and eliminate the less desirable one or unrealistic solutions.
  • Reorder the remaining solutions in order of preference.
  • Examine each options advantages and disadvantages to see what works best with your particular problem.

4. Choose a Solution

  • Specify who will take action.
  • How the solution will be implemented.
  • When it will be implemented (ie. tomorrow morning call the landlord to ask for an extension.)

5. Implement the Solution

  • Take your plan and proceed with it.

6. Examine your Outcome

  • Is it what you expected?
  • Was it effective in resolving the problem?
  • Will you need to revise the plan to attain a better outcome?
  • Should the outcome not be pleasing, what other possible solutions in your list may be more helpful. Start again at Step 2 to find a new solution or revise the current solution and repeat the remaining steps.

Solving problems is a daily task and if you follow this process it can make it easier. There may be small problems that are small and can be solved easily while others may be more challenging to resolve. The more challenging problems can be resolved using this specific and strategic way of solving problems. Even still if you find solving your problems too difficult without any success, maybe if it can be left for a while and come back to it again because you may have a renewed outlook on the problem. Try these steps though first and see how they work for you and if they are helpful. Learning to solve your problems in a strategic way will minimize the amount that you struggle and become stressed out. Give it a try and see if it helps. Don’t forget that one of our experienced counsellors can help as well.

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