21-Day Self-Coaching Challenge

I am committing as of today to do 21 days in a row of daily self-coaching, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Last time I said I was going to do it for 21 days, I did not make it into a daily practice – I never explicitly said they had to be in a row, but that’s part of the problem. Now I’m posting it here to enhance my level of commitment, and I want to tell you a little about what I’ve experienced so far and then the details of the challenge.

I have found these little sessions to be amazingly powerful. By recording them on my iPod/iPhone (using voice memos), I’m able to hold myself accountable to completing the 30 minute sessions. That is, to completing 30 minutes of intense, productive focus! Even when I’m at my laptop with the usual potential of getting distracted by a million little things, I just talk myself out of them by keeping the recorder on. The difference between using the recorder and not is incredible.

With only 8-10 complete sessions behind me, I have already accomplished so much. I was even able to get started on a lot of tasks during the self-coaching sessions by talking myself through them step-by-step. I’m talking about tasks that needed to be done online or tasks that just involved thinking it through.

I have already completed today’s session, so March 5 is Day 1. March 25 will be the last day. Today’s incredibly awesome session was about what my next 21- or 30- day challenge would be. Through that session, I was able to solidify my commitment and figure out what it entails.

The “Deets”

I decided that I would not be committing to writing about it on this blog except for this post, because I don’t want to distract myself from the other things that self-coaching is helping me to focus on. That’s part of the commitment: deciding what I’m not committing to. You can’t make a commitment without giving yourself the permission to really focus on it.

However, I will definitely make at least one vlog post or an audio post using the same voice memo program through which I’m doing the coaching sessions. The post will be in the form of coaching. I want to do this for a lot of reasons: 1. to enhance commitment, 2. to build self-confidence and skill with public speaking, 3. to enhance the pure awesomeness of the challenge by sharing it and giving something to others, 4. to throw in another way of doing self-coaching (because coaching others is also a bit like self-coaching), 5. to help me see myself as a person who’s committed in general to speaking from a place of productivity rather than of complaining and excuses, and 6. perhaps also to give me practice with helping others.

I am also focusing on quality over quantity this time, unlike my self-confidence experiment, because it’s not just about having the confidence to post something. I have already made a few vlog posts, some of which were not very good in terms of quality and some of which I eventually took down for this reason. So I already feel confident with posting, and self-coaching should give me the discipline to ensure that the posts are of high quality. At the same time, in order to ensure that I end up with a vlog post that’s better than any I have made before, I may spend a lot of time doing recordings. That should make up for the lack of quantity publicized.

That’s all, folks. Keep an eye out for my next vlog update within 21 days.

Updates

Day 2 – March 6
I keep far surpassing the 30-minute minimum because it’s so worth it. 🙂 Today I focused on a couple things. The session was a real confidence booster on finding a new job, because I walked myself through every step of the way. And I also did some focusing on something that was bothering me in regard to a past dating situation, finally coming to a resolution about how I will handle it.

Day 3 – March 7
Again went over time – it was great. I did 10 minutes in the morning before work to boost my self-confidence, energy, and focus on the job. Then came home and did 30 minutes on how I’m spending the rest of the evening and the next few days/weeks. It was choppy in terms of how much time it actually took due to pausing the voice recorder, so I need to work on that to ensure I’m using my time efficiently.

Day 4 – March 8
Took me all day, but I got around to the coaching session at the very end of my night. It was great, I planned my next day, and I ended up dreaming all night in the form of self-coaching (sort of… I was still planning my day), waking up in the middle of the night and thinking as if I were still self-coaching, and then waking up and self-coaching first thing in the morning instead of getting on Facebook or some other crap.

Day 5 – March 9
Completed this first thing, so my birthday got off to a great start! ‘Twas all planning.

Day 14 – March 18
My session went over 50 minutes. More productive than the past week of sessions. I used the session to work out some new commitments. The last seven days of this challenge will now involve at least two hours of daily self-coaching because I’ve decided that 30 minutes is not cutting it. With two hours, I could be a lot more productive. After the 21-day challenge is up, I will continue the daily self-coaching. I haven’t decided exactly how it’ll go, but it will probably be a minimum above 30 min and below two hours. It will be ongoing, like at least three months if not, well, three years. It is just that important to me.

Day 17 – March 21
So this is the first day I reached 2+ hours of self-coaching using the voice memos alone. It went very well. I did about 3 hours total throughout the day, which I had off of work and managed to get through a number of things I was procrastinating on. Even though it took till the third day to honor my commitment of 2 hours, I totally accept this as part of the process because 2 hours is a lot more ambitious than 30 minutes. I’m just getting into the flow of it.

Day 18 – March 22
My day starts off unusually productively, even without starting it with the self-coaching. Yesterday’s self-coaching really paid off, and now I am doing some coaching before work.

Day 19 – March 23
Started off my day with more than an hour of coaching, left the house by 1:30 to go print some resumes, then went and applied to about seven jobs by 6:30. Had a new job at the end of it. Wouldn’t have achieved all of this without self-coaching. I found that I was coaching myself throughout the whole process, silently, as I went from place to place to apply for the jobs.

Day 20 – March 24

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