(7) Agree on Contingencies, Monitoring, and Evaluation

Alright friends. This is the last of our coconut posts, aka how to solve any problem (🥥) you have. If you need a refresher on what we’ve done so far, click HERE before reading on.

Good work on all these problem solving steps (if you’ve been following along)! We’ve come a long way!!! If you missed these posts, really, go read them before progressing on to today, and you’ll get more out of it. Because today we are going to take that decision we’ve made to solve our 🥥 and agree on contingencies (what do do in certain situations), monitoring (how we will supervise this) and evaluation (ways we can tell progress).

Here is an example where I take us through ALL the steps from beginning to end:

  • identify the problem = 😭 friends won’t hang out with me because I smell like sardines, 🥥 you don’t want to do what is required for change 🚧 because you should be able to eat what you want
  • understand everyone’s interests = friends don’t like the smell, you like the sardines, husband is tired of having to listen to all your “girl chat” since you no longer have friends, kids are sick of eating sardines too, your parents are tired of getting phone calls from friends about your breath, cat loves you more than ever and sleeps by your face, coworkers have started burning candles at their desks but are much to diplomatic to comment, strangers no longer smile when they pass you
  • list the possible solutions = keep eating sardines, stop eating sardines, only eat sardines on special occasions, brush your teeth more, also use mouth wash, also floss, also buy a tongue scraper, also buy mints, get new friends, stop dumping all your “girl talk” on your husband, get online friends, hide from your parents friends, spend more time with your cat, buy sardines for everyone and get them obsessed too
  • evaluate the options = keep eating sardines (can’t do that because I miss having friends in real life), stop eating sardines (can’t because they are SO good), only eat sardines on special occasions (might come to this), brush your teeth more (really good idea), also use mouth wash (also good), also floss (I’m just not that dedicated, won’t happen), also buy a tongue scraper (ouch no), also buy mints (yum, mentos please), get new friends (well I like my friends), stop dumping all your “girl talk” on your husband (this is probably pretty important), get online friends (good idea for when I do eat sardines), hide from your parents friends (not possible, they’re like super spies), spend more time with your cat (totally valid after eating sardines), buy sardines for everyone and get them obsessed too (I just don’t see this happening, people are so grossed out by them which is weird and unfortunate)
  • contingencies, monitoring, evaluation =


  1. If it is a special occasion like my birthday or something, then I can eat sardines.
  2. If I eat sardines, then I need to brush my teeth and use mouth wash right away.
  1. If I have smelly breath, then I must suck on a mint.
  2. If I have lots of girl topics to talk about, then I must find a friend other than my husband to chat for hours over.
  3. If I have sardine breath that won’t go away, then I should only talk to online friends.


  1. Sniff checks by hubby in the morning.
  2. If coworkers light a candle go brush your teeth.
  1. See how much attention you get from the cat.
  2. Call your parents and see if they’ve heard anything lately.
  3. Whisper secret and watch to see if friends back away from you.
  4. Set limit of 5 cans a week and then take stock of sardines and see how fast they are disappearing from pantry.


  1. Try this plan for 4 weeks.
  2. At the end of each week check with friends, husband, cat and parents.
  3. See if we need to create more contingencies.
  4. Decide to try another 4 weeks or revise plan.

Okay, so I’m pretty sure your problem (🥥) is not eating too many sardines. Pretty sure. But as you can see ANY problem can be completely examined using this method. And we can come up with legit plans to actually fix those 🥥!!! So tell me… what are you waiting for? What am I waiting for? Let’s run a few problems 🥥 through this methodology and start making progress.

If you didn’t immediately run from your screen to go solve your problems… hi. Since your still here I’ll show you a hysterical Veggie Tales skit on sardine breath. You’re welcome. 🐟

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