I'm so sick of judging myself

Being Ordinary


10 questions

My first foray into self-coaching came a decade ago during a leadership forum for the senior executives of the corporation I was working for. A famous coach named Marshall Goldsmith presented some of his techniques. Almost as an aside, he mentioned that he paid someone to telephone him every weekday morning and ask him ten questions. The questions were intended to evaluate whether he was staying on track with his intentions for self-improvement.

You don’t have to hire someone to do this. You can simply list the questions and place them next to your computer. Every day, look at them and write down your answers. They’re usually yes-or-no questions.

Here’s an example:

1. Did I go the gym yesterday?
2. Did I make three business-lead calls yesterday?
3. Did I meditate for 20 minutes this morning?
4. Did I do someone a favor yesterday?
5. Did I keep the TV off yesterday?
6. Did I double-check my to-do list yesterday?
7. Did I sense into my body at least three times yesterday?
8. Did I spend 10 minutes in nature yesterday?
9. Did I catch myself attacking myself yesterday?
10. Did I email two people just to catch up yesterday?

Best if you track it on a spreadsheet so you can tell yourself what still needs work. Once a question seems superfluous – it isn’t relevant anymore or it has become a no-brainer habit – replace it with another.

Keep the intentions simple and possible. The list can be a nag, but it’s also a reward. You get to see how you’re doing things that are beneficial, and you’re doing them regularly. This helps counter the tendency of your mind to attune to dangers, and stay in self-attack mode. Give yourself a break. You’re doing better than you think.