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Posts Categorized: Problem Solving

Acceptance Reduces Conflict

Acceptance Reduces Conflict | focuswithmarlene.com

Acceptance is a concept – a state of mind – a way of looking at life and problems. It is a way of thinking that can be applied to any circumstance. It is a pivotal point that takes us from what we can’t do to possibilities, options and choices.

Problems have a magnetic way of holding us in place. Like an insect caught on fly paper, we get stuck in the mess of it all and can’t see a way out.

Acceptance takes us out of the victim role and puts us in the administrator role.

It keeps us from playing the blame game where everything – from circumstances to people, parents, siblings, religion, God, whatever – are blamed for our inability to do anything.

Acceptance puts us in control of our responses regardless of what life throws at us.

Stress Reducer: Acceptance

Stress Reducer: Acceptance | Focuswithmarlene.com

Acceptance is a necessary step in helping us recover from losses.

When we accept our circumstances, their formidable impact on our life is reduced while helping us find ways to reconcile and heal.

In many ways, we are addressing stressful events every day. We acknowledge, accept, look for options and work to find solutions instead of allowing them to create ongoing turmoil. Because acceptance is such an important concept, I want to expand on how it can help us lower stress levels in our daily lives.

We are currently living in uncommon stressful times: the pandemic, inability to go back to work; wondering whether our kids can go back to school, whether we will have enough money to pay our bills or if life will ever return to normal. Add to that the emotional stress that is generated as we try to communicate and work together to solve the escalating problems we face.

Yes, You Can

Yes, You Can | focuswithmarlene.com

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

— Erma Bombeck

You have been on a life-altering journey, a journey you had neither anticipated nor wanted.

There have been many unexpected surprises that demanded change, adjustment, a new assessment, and adaptation of plans. Your life has been forever altered.

Taking back the reins of your life requires purpose, choice, and determination.

Brainstorming: How I Worked Through a Problem

Brainstorming: How I Worked Through a Problem | focuswithmarlene.com

Last week we addressed conflicts and problems that exist between more than one person, and how you can properly identify the problem, given two different perspectives.

This week I share a major problem I faced and how I was able to resolve it.

After the death of my husband, I was faced with a huge financial decline along with a house we had just built, a small mortgage and lack of immediate resources.

My basic problem: What do I do now? What are my options?

What is the Problem? Yours – Mine – Ours

What is the Problem? Yours – Mine – Ours | Focuswithmarlene.com

When you learn the basics of problem-solving it will be a skill that you use automatically.

In last week’s post, I outlined five basic components of problem solving; questions you need to ask to find the solution you want. Today you will set the criteria to resolve your problem and learn how to identify exactly what the main problem is.

Identify the problem – define the conflict

Whether the question is how to advance beyond basic survival, how to prepare for your financial future, or how to better communicate with your spouse, it is crucial that the problem be correctly defined.

Unless the problem is correctly defined, you will be trying to rid yourself of emotional distress rather than resolving the actual problem.

Questions I Need to Ask to Find the Solutions I Want

Questions I Need to Ask to Find the Solutions I Want | focuswithmarlene.com

We experience problems every day that require some kind of action. Most are insignificant, or require little thought, such as, What will I wear today?  Do I want to take the weekend off and get away? We make a decision and move on.

But other problems are more complex with more serious outcomes, such as, How can I make enough money to support my family or care for an aging parent? How do I survive this pandemic?

One problem often has a multitude of other problems attached, each requiring thought and consideration. An aging spouse with health issues may require additional care.

Replacing Habits That Keep You from Being Successful

Replacing Habits That Keep You from Being Successful

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
—Brian Tracy

To be successful, you need to be in charge of both your time and habits. Chores need to be done but we also need fun and relaxation.

In my recent post, Are Your Habits Sabotaging Your Efforts? you kept a record of how you spent your time each day for a week.

Last week, in Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life, you re-examined the log you kept, and formulated a workable structure for how you spent your time each day.

This week’s post will help you understand how habits are created and reinforced.

Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life

Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life

What is your daily time routine? Habits and time management go hand-in-hand. If you want to maximize your time, you need to put habits in place that will help you follow those guidelines.

Next week you will learn what keeps habits in place. But first, let’s set up a time management program that works for you.

Time management is more than making to-do lists.

We all make lists of things to be done and then either abandon them or become stressed in the process of trying to get everything done. And we tend to do the things we like doing first and then put the rest on hold until we feel like it.

Where Do We Begin?

Where Do We Begin? | FocusWithMarlene.com

You have grieved, accepted, let go and are now ready to put your energy into making plans for the future.

Before making any major long-term goals, some preliminary questions can help you avoid a lot of wasted time and energy. Some of those questions include identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Have you given thoughtful consideration to what you would like to do in the future and what obstacles or barriers you may encounter?

Starting over is never easy.

When we started out in life, it seemed there was a more defined path to follow: going to college, establishing a career, getting married, starting a family, etc. Somehow it was easier to coordinate all the pieces and move in the direction we wanted to go.

Use It or Lose It: 10 Tools to Help You Communicate Effectively

Use It or Lose It: 10 Tools to Help You Communicate Effectively | FocusWithMarlene.com

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

-Nelson Mandela

We live in an age when information is available 24/7. Just install the right app and push the right button and you have anything and everything you want.

But do we?

We sign up for interesting and exciting courses online thinking when we have completed them, we will be able to bake a cake, take apart a car engine or know the best ways to travel. While all of this is wonderful and exciting, there is one step missing. Application.

Throughout this year, my blog posts have offered information, tools and strategies to meet the everyday challenges of life. But that information is just that – information – until it is used. Until we personally apply the information that can help us, it will simply remain good ideas.