The end of summer is just around the corner, with school starting shortly and new challenges lingering in the near future. Our son is going into kindergarten this year, but it got me thinking about new challenges that people of every age are getting ready to go through.

Each stage of life is different and every decision is different, but the steps are essentially the same.

We first weigh our options on the decision that we have to make. We have to identify all the different alternatives and solutions there are. We might need to do research by asking loved ones for their feedback or see how others have moved through similar challenges.

We will have to take into account time restraints, financial commitment, the willingness of others, and other information. We have to be very realistic on goals and feasibility, but not be limited by what we currently know or have.

Eventually, a decision has to be made. It might be what school our children will attend, how will we invest our money, or which puppy will we make part of our family.

Once all the data is collected, we need to decide and move on to the planning stage. This implementation plan will keep in mind our restrictions and how to potentially get around them.

This is where we are more creative and can use our imagination. It is also where we do not allow our restraints to confine us. Instead, it is where we find a way around the restraints.

Don’t be afraid to look outside the box and find unorthodox ways to accomplish your goals. You might need to start or end your day a little earlier or later. You might decide to join a group that will keep you accountable. Create a plan to allow yourself to move forward in your goal.

While you are moving forward through your challenges and following your plan, don’t forget to reevaluate your plan along the way. New information might become available to you that could make your current structure obsolete.

You might find new options for funding of which you were not aware. New programs might be available to alter your decision. Don’t be afraid to continually evaluate if this decision is still the right one for your family or yourself.

The ability to be flexible even when you feel you should be steadfast can allow you to find a new path or create one. Giving up is not the same as altering the current path.

Always have an open mind on your current challenge and allow yourself to be free in the decision. Do not bridle yourself in what you think is expected of you. Face your current challenges and decisions head-on and enjoy the ride.

Holly Wright of Bluffton is a Reiki Master, reflexologist, NASM certified personal fitness trainer, and co-owner of Trinity TheraSpa in Moss Creek Village.