The Five Phases As a Model for Problem Solving and Goal Setting

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. practices acupuncture in Bethesda, Maryland, Reston, Virginia, and in Washington D.C.

The Five Phases As a Model for Problem Solving and Goal Setting

The Five Phases model provides us with a set of guidelines and questions that are useful for solving problems and setting goals.  Traditionally the Five Phases correspond to its own season:  wood to spring, fire to summer, earth to late summer, metal to autumn, and water to winter.

The following problem solving guidelines are outlined according to the Five Phases.  For each phase there is, first, a list of key words to help you recall the character and essence of that phase.  This list is followed by a few questions to give you a sense of the issues that are examined by that phase.

These key words and questions are meant only to be a beginning.  As you begin to experience each of the phases as it expresses itself within you, you may want to add your own key words and questions which prove to be helpful tools.

The advantage of using this problem solving tool, or any other such tool, is that it facilitates the ease with which we can solve problems, make decisions, develop ideas and plan our goals.  Whether you prefer a linear/analytical model for decision making or an intuitive approach which grasps whole patterns, these guidelines can stimulate your analysis and facilitate your intuition when used from a grounded and centered perspective.

The following guideline questions are directed more towards the evaluation of goals, but the same questions would apply to decision or ideas.

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