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I am excited to share with you a great way of looking at your particular situation. It’s called a stock-flow map. I know that doesn’t sound exciting, but stay with me, please.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want. You can apply this tool to almost anything that might be, from losing weight, to a better marriage, to more money, etc.
  2. Write what you want in the middle of the map, in the area we will call the stock.
  3. Look at the pipe on the left that leads to the stock in the middle. On this side, list all the things that could cause the stock to increase. For example, if you want a better marriage, some things that could cause that would be spending time together, complimenting your spouse, saying thank you, showing more appreciation, etc. Allow yourself to really think about all the things that could make a difference in this area. You might find that fewer activities would allow you to have a better marriage, or maybe a less cluttered house would make a difference. List everything that could make your marriage better on the left side of the map.
  4. Now, look at the pipe on the right leading away from the stock, and think about things that take away from what you want. If we use a better marriage as our example, we could list calling each other names, ignoring each other in favor of our electronic devices, having no free time together, etc. on the right side of the map. List everything that might take away from the stock in the middle. These things cause the stock to drain out.

The stock increases or decreases, either quickly or slowly, depending on various causes. Really taking the time to identify what is happening, or what could be happening in your situation gives you more control for what you want in the future. You can also ask “When the stock increases or decreases, how does this impact the rest of my life?”

None of us have absolute control over everything that causes our stock to increase or decrease, but using this tool helps us see what we can do to our own personal stock market going up or down!