We could all use a little more clarity sometimes. When you’re dealing with life’s issues, and needing to make decisions it helps to have a way to get clear on what you need out of the situation. Writing about the problem in a way that helps you get clear is a way to use your journal for problem-solving. Here’s a way to do it that might make your decision-making process a little easier.
Journaling to Solve a Problem
A simple and basic way to use writing to problem solve is to answer the following questions:
- What is the problem?
- How did it happen?
- Who is involved?
- Why did it happen?
- How does it affect you?
- Why does it affect you?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What would the result be for each solution?
- For each possible solution how would it affect you/others positively and negatively?
- Who can you ask for help/advice?
- Which solution is best for you?
- How can you make it work?
- What are you going to do now?
- How will you feel once the problem is resolved?
As you are writing about the problem and answering the questions others may occur to you. Write them down and answer them. You don’t need to write lots and you certainly don’t need to worry about complete sentences, grammar and punctuation.
Simply mind dump everything to do with the problem onto the page. This very act of getting it out of your mind and on to the page can help lessen the stress and anxiety. By brainstorming different scenarios, you consider different options as well as the roles of others who may be involved. This can help you to see the problem from a different point of view.
By considering how you will feel once the problem is resolved and identifying the steps to take to resolve it you are creating positive action and visualizing a successful outcome.
Writing for Decision Making
Making decisions is not always easy. Quite often you’ll put off making them as it seems too hard or you worry about making the wrong one. A tried and trusted method of writing to help the decision making process is to use a list of pros and cons.
Take a piece of paper and fold it in half or draw a line down the middle. At the top of the sheet write down the decision that you need to make. Next, label the columns Pros and Cons (For and Against).
Write down as many points as you can think of to support the Pros and Cons of the decision.
Once you’ve listed as many points as you can think of in each column review what you’ve written and see which has the most points.
By considering the points for and against the decision you need to make you are thinking through all of the options available and how they will affect you. This helps to clarify your thoughts and enables you to see the effects of the decision you need to make before you actually make it.
Writing can help you to clear your mind and make better decisions. It can also help you work through and resolve problems you may be experiencing. Being able to organize your jumbled thoughts onto paper and then review them helps you to see patterns, connections and results. By writing you are creating something that you can use, review and change as needed.