All of us face times when we’re trying to find our way through a situation or make some sort of change in our lives.  We feel stuck and don’t know what to do.  At times like these, it’s really helpful to have a map or a framework to help us through the process.

The first thing to do is to consider where we would like to go in this situation.  We then look at the things are getting in our way.   What obstacles are there?  This could include something in our personality, a relationship, bad habit, lack of money, time etc.  It’s important not to be overwhelmed and give up at this stage.  We then look at what supports we have – what are those things that might help us get to where we want to go?  These could include personality, relationship, ability, habits and the like.  Once we’ve identified both supports and obstacles, we can start to plan what needs to happen next.  Ideally, we will draw on our supports to address and overcome the obstacles and then take the next steps on our journey.

A very simple illustration might be helpful.

A parent wants to spend more meaningful time with her children, but doesn’t know how to fit it in.  Some of the obstacles she might face include tiredness, work, and very little spare money. As she considers those obstacles, she realizes that she actually spends quite a bit of time on social media at night after the children have gone to bed.  This realisation can become a support to her.  Her children love going out cycling with her (another support).  She decides to restrict her own screen use in the evenings, resulting in her sleeping better at night and feeling more energetic.  As she’s up a little earlier in the mornings, she gets dinner preparation done, leaving time for a short cycle ride with the children after work and school.