Six steps to problem solving

Anyone attempting weight loss will come up against problems that keep us from using the tools and techniques outlined in Slims. This section will help you become an expert at problem-solving.

These steps have come up after years of research and study by professionals such as psychologists and are proven to get you the results you need.

The first step: Identify the problem
The second step: Remind yourself of your goals
The third step: Brainstorm practical ways to overcome the problem
The fourth step: Pick the best idea
The fifth step: Put your solution into practice
The sixth step: Check: Is your solution working or do you need to try another of your ideas from step 3?

#How Purab used the six steps to solve his problem.

Purab is 53 years old and is somewhat new to being much above his usual weight. An official 2-year posting to a place he had never been to before, plus the vagaries of living on his own without his family, led to some fundamental changes in his eating habits, resulting in a sudden weight gain of ten kilos. Purab’s goal is to keep a food diary to help him identify the problems in his eating patterns, but he is facing some challenges.

The first step: Purab identified the problem as an inability to regularly keep a food diary. He starts off in earnest on a Sunday but by Monday he is not able to keep up. He is too busy at work to remember to write in his diary. He also feels it’s a lower priority than getting tasks done at work.

The second step: Purab’s goals are to lose 10 kilos before his posting ends so that he can get back to his usual active lifestyle, including being able to run upstairs without getting short of breath.

The third step: Purab’s brainstorming threw up the following ways to overcome the problems:
1. Keeping a small notepad in his pockets at all times.
2. Using abbreviations that take little time to write.
3. Keeping notes on his mobile, which is on his person at all times.
4. Revisiting his SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific) goals at the end of the day when he is not at work to remind himself that his health is just as important, if not more, than his job.

The fourth step: Of all the ideas, Purab chose the first idea, which he felt was the least time-consuming.

The fifth step: Purab chose to start implementing his solution right away with a small notebook and pen that became his constant companion. He found many short breaks in his day when his diary would come handy: waiting for his turn at the water cooler, for instance, or the 5 minutes it took whoever he went to meet to finish a phone conversation.

The sixth step: After a week, Purab checked the results. In his case, his first solution had worked!

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