Five Steps of Problem Solving

There’s no doubt that you will encounter problems on your fitness journey. However, problems are just opportunities to learn and grow. Remember that continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

Instead of spinning your wheels on the same problem for months (or even years), break through it using these steps.

You’ll find there are three possible outcomes. One, the problem isn’t a real problem, but more of an inconvenience. Two, the solution is simple. Or three, the problem is a truth that you will need to accept.

Five Steps of Problem Solving

  1. Recognize the problem
  2. Define the problem
  3. Come up with alternatives
  4. Pick the best solution
  5. Test and verify that solution

*If you get through all five steps and the problem still isn’t solved, then it’s time to repeat steps 4 and 5 and keep working towards a solution.

Let’s dive into an example of a nutrition based problem and possible solutions:

Problem: You stick to your diet all day but you overeat every single night.

Step 1. Diet starts on Monday, and by day 3 you recognize that nightly overeating keeps occurring.

Step 2. You define the problem by either journaling about it or telling someone about it.

Step 3. You come up with alternatives such as having a cup of hot tea instead of food, fasting during the morning so you can eat later in the day, or increasing your overall calories as this may be a sign that you’re actually not eating enough.

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution One): You test the tea solution. And you think “f*ck this, I’m still hungry and this tea ain’t gonna cut it.”

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution Two): You fast in the morning but end up inhaling your food, leaving you overly full… remember the goal is to feel good, not just hit your macros.

Step 4-5 (Possible Solution Three): After a week or so of trying these solutions, you finally increase your overall calories to have more balanced meals that keep you full and satisfied throughout the day, preventing the daily binge at night.

I’m serious when I say take pen to paper and go through these steps. Yes, I know it may seem daunting, but you know what’s even worse? Ruminating on the same problem over the course of months with no actual solution.

If this trial and error doesn’t do the trick, reach out to a coach. I’m happy to answer questions and brainstorm solutions without being hired full time. Sometimes it just takes a few tweaks to find your winning solution!

To apply for fitness and nutrition coaching you can fill out the questionnaire here.

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