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When working toward goals, challenges often arise. I s important to have an effective strategy for resolving these problems.

Steps to Solving a Problem

First

Identify the problem. Define it as carefully as possible because your definition of the problem will determine your solution. "Everything sucks" is not a good problem definition, but "I am angry at my friend" is.

Second

Brainstorm solutions. Think of as many solutions as possible, even if they seem stupid. The longer your list, the more likely that it will include some solutions that will work.

Ask a friend or family member to brainstorm with you. Two heads are better than one!

Third

Carry out your plan. Pick one or more solutions from your list, break them down into manageable pieces (small goals), and start working on them.

Fourth

Evaluate the outcome. Did your solution work? If not, have parts of the problem improved or has the problem changed? If your problem is solved, you are done. If not, start at the first step again. If the solution doesn't initially work, it doesn't mean you have failed because you have learned something more about the problem and how you might try to tackle it. That allows you to re­strategize and come up with new solutions.

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Session 20: Setting Goals & Solving Problems

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