How to Know What You Want and Get What You Need

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes. . . well, you might find you get what you need.”

– The Rolling Stones

Differentiating between desire and need is crucial when making decisions about our lives. We need to start at the foundation and build up. Self-care is concentrating your energy and time on what is healthy and achievable. Here are some tools to help:

1. SWOT Analysis

First, let’s concentrate on situational mapping through SWOT analysis, a tool used in the business world to evaluate ideas. If you are facing a personal decision, answer the following:

Strengths
What brings you joy?
Weaknesses
What causes you stress?
Opportunities
What can you change and who can you ask for help?
Threats
What are your fears?

2. HWNR Analysis

Next let’s address emotional mapping. A HWNR analysis will help you establish boundaries and pinpoint goals. Answer the following:

Hopes
What is the fantasy outcome?
Wants
What do you desire from the situation?
Needs
What do you require from the situation?
Risks
Are you exposed to danger, harm, or loss?

3. Example:

My husband, and I just separated, and my daughter’s first birthday is coming up, what should I do?

SWOT Analysis

Strengths
What brings you joy?
1. Seeing my daughter happy.
2. My family’s approval.
3. Documenting the event.
Weaknesses
What causes you stress?
1. I don’t have a large budget.
2. My husband and I are not speaking.
Opportunities
What can you change and who can you ask for help?
1. My husband and I can have separate parties.
2. I can ask my family for help baking and decorating to save money.

Threats
What are your fears?
1. I am afraid of arguing with my husband.
2. I am afraid of being judged by people for my choices.
3. I am afraid of being a bad mother.

HWNR Analysis

Hopes
What is the fantasy outcome?
Two fun and beautiful parties where both families are happy, and there is no conflict.

Wants
What do you desire from the situation?
My husband agrees to hold separate parties on different days.
Needs
What do you require from the situation?
My husband communicates with me calmly and we come to a mutual agreement about the birthday plans.
Risks
Are you exposed to danger, harm, or loss?
My request will heighten conflict and my husband will make demands I cannot agree to.

4. Conclusion

Mapping out your situation and emotions helps you understand where to focus your time and energy. Paying close attention to your opportunities and needs will help you achieve your goals. Working with a mediator will help you overcome your threats and risks.

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