Monday, June 25, 2012

Lesson 9: Problem Solving

There are so many obstacles that can get in our way when we are trying to achieve a goal (weight loss and better health in this case). To deal with these obstacles we need to do a little problem solving.

Step 1: Identify and Describe the Problem in detail.

Identify the problem clearly
eg. I eat too many cookies (or other desserts for that matter) in one day. I tend to eat when I am stressed or bored. They are a quick and easy food that has a wonderful sweet taste (which I normally crave).

Identify what leads up to the problem
Many problems involve a chain of actions.
Try to see the steps.
  • Things around you that cue you to eat or to be inactive.
  • People in your life who don't support your efforts.
  • Thoughts or feelings that get in your way.

eg. I like to bake for the kids (and myself) so homemade sweets are in the house a lot. They are typically stored in a visible location. When kids are crazy or I am not sure what to do next, I go to the kitchen for a bite. Cookies are an easy find that fills my desires.

Step 2: Brainstorm your options.

What are all the solutions you can think of?
  • Write them down.
  • Let ideas flow.
  • Don't judge them here - anything goes.

Step 3: Pick one option to try and develop a plan.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each option.
  • Choose one (or combination of several) that are do-able and likely to work.
  • Try to break as many links as possible, as early as possible.
Step 4: Make a positive action plan
  • What you will do.
  • When you will do it.
  • What needs to be done first.
  • Who else is involved.

Write your plan down.

eg. Making cookies/desserts will be limited to once a week. They will be stored in a container in a cupboard. Other foods will be available for quick grabs (grapes, bananas, apples - maybe have a healthy dip to go with the fruit to help satisfy my sweet tooth).

Step 5: Try it.
Did it work? If not, what went wrong? Try this process again.

This is a process! Don't give up. Failure only occurs when you STOP trying.

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