Write down your action plan and most importantly, carry it out! ______ Keep working on your problem in a step-by-step manner. Remind yourself about any progress you have made and congratulate yourself if you are able to solve the problem. Perhaps it is time to tackle a new problem – have a look back at your problem list. What should you try to work on next? Follow the steps of problem solving we have worked on, and record your results. SUMMARY 1. Identify problems you are facing and write them down. 2. Choose a problem you want to solve from your list, one that you feel is doable (SMART) and write it down. 3. Think about all the possible solutions to the problem and write them down, no matter how unlikely the solution seems. 4. Choose a solution, list the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide. 5. Make it happen – carry out your chosen solution. You may need to break it down into smaller steps (SMART thinking applies here too). Remember to congratulate yourself when you solve a problem and once solved, you can begin working on a new problem. TIP: Watch out for negative thoughts! Remember, when you are depressed, you are likely to have negative thoughts popping into your mind. When you think about solving this problem, are you having any negative thoughts? If so, write them down. Then evaluate them – use the skills you worked on in the last section. How is this thinking holding you back? Try to weigh up the problem and your ability to solve it in a fair and realistic way!