Seeing through change


It’s obvious to most of us that if you want to change things you have to change some things.

What if I told you that although most people we met on our programmes knew this very few actually carried it forward into their thinking or their actions.

If you want to do this effectively, you have to embrace new stuff. This takes you outside your Comfort Zone and by definition this is less comfortable.

What makes change tricky is it really boils down to embracing new ideas, using them and sticking to them until they become business as usual and comfortable enough to constitute your new comfort zone. This is not so easy as often new stuff doesn’t immediately come easily or well. One of the key ideas we asked our coaches to stress with their clients coach is that,

‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first’.

So first things first :

You may find this work with your Monkey easy and natural. You may even find it feels right, completely normal and you are able to liberate some time and get the exercises done without missing a beat.

Some do but some don’t and, if this is all new to you then you may find these changes tricky to start with. This is just a step on the road when we move out of our comfort zone.

This Post

You may find this post useful if you are trying to implement the changes advocated in the book on your own. It contains a number of ideas and tips that   we think will help you get things moving and sustain your progress.

In the challenge we specify a 12 week burst of activity 30 minutes each day to allow you to reengineer your relationship with your Monkey.

These notes are to help with implementation and stress another great idea, the  prize is what matters and it is sensible to make it as easy as we can to get the work done.

If you have read or listened to the book these notes will also help you implement the process on your own with the book as your guide.

You can also see exercise notes for Audio book users here 

The Challenge mentality

Your goal in taking on any change or challenge is to change something in a specified period of time. This is something that will be worth the cost of completing the challenge in time money and focus.What ever your reason for implementing the reengineering process with your Monkey, make sure you are clear on the value of success to you. Set this change as a ‘towards’ something better goal or project.

Check out the magic of towards motivations here.

In the book we run through a series of exercises that lead you step by step through the reengineering process.

In the 12 week challenge we help you to manage your journey by setting a deadline defining a timetable and then driving the timetable with tailored email links to guided exercises and resources.

If you are approaching the process on your own it would make sense to copy this approach and set your own timetable and time scale. This will allow you to know what to do when and have the value of a set programme you can include in your own schedule.

Once this is done, here’s a few more things we learnt that seem to really help:


It helps to set up a new routine that makes it easy for you to complete the activities required.

From a practical implementation view point you are more likely to stick with it if you know there is a daily commitment.

If you can set and keep the same time each day or link it to something that already is fixed in your routine:

  • When you get up – first thing in the morning
  • When you go to bed – last thing at night
  • When you stop – around a meal time
  • Choose the best time for you and make it regular.
  • If the slot you original chooses proves difficult change it until you find a space where the commitment required can grow and thrive

Setting up a routine time for your challenge activity begins to build you a habit. A space you can use for the next 12 weeks or so to reengineer your Monkey relationship and something you could seek to use post trial to continue to deliver change that matters for you.


We all have existing habits. Many of the results we have now are the results of these habits. A quick way to free space for change is to stop doing some of your existing habits that don’t give you what you want now.


We use labelling throughout the book to help us gain distance and call out things that doesn’t help us. This works with habits, with your routines and with your environment to help you rise above or change factors that don’t help you progress or sustain the changes you want.

A simple exercise is to sit down with paper and a coffee or your own poison and take time to Label three habits you have now that will hinder you completing the change or challenge you are embarked on. Take a moment to practically consider how their impact or incidence can be reduced or avoided altogether for the next 12 weeks.

The reverse of this is to sit down quietly with the mandatory paper and coffee… and Label three existing or new habits that will help you see the challenge through to the end. You can then take steps to make these more prominent.

Both these exercises help you manage the journey effectively.

Knowing what you are doing consciously to overcome prior unhelpful habits or maximise helpful habits really helps you feel like you are running a change project on which you can really deliver. It can leave you feeling ‘in charge’ and confident about what you are doing and how you are doing it. This feeling is worth cultivating as it powers you through any setbacks or tricky moments you may encounter.

Planning and Organising

In the challenge we suggest you take the time each week to review progress (get your scores from the survey) and take the time to plan and organise the coming week.

Successful participants note that this deliberate time for organisation paid them back significantly. Make sure specifically that you :

Set up your Environment

We mentioned how changing your environment to help you do the right things more easily before . Here are some practical tips:

  • Have a place to do the work
  • Have the tools to do the work
  • Head phones / Reference materials / Options for making regular notes.
  • Have somewhere visible to record your scores that shows you trends
  • Make sure those around you know you need a quiet time for 0 minutes a day for 12 weeks

Journalling / Taking Notes

For those of you who like journalling this activity will be full of great notes you can use to fuel your Monkey journal. As we progress through the 12 weeks, the exercises provide a window to show you so much about what is going on with you and your Monkey. Inevitably the process flags situations where you could choose new options which would suit you and your destination better. It also fags situations and experiences that are totally positive and our evidence is that the incidence of these increases as your journalling or note taking helps sets expectations for more. Noticing positive change as you progress in itself accelerates the process as you and your Monkey have tangible examples that this works.

The Survey

Concrete evidence of change helps us to sustain and power through the activity. The Misaligned Monkey Survey will give you a numerical score which if you take the time to use it before you start and then on a weekly basis gives you wonderful trend data that proves things are moving. You can expect some variation over the first few exercises / weeks but the evidence is that after 12 weeks of sticking to the programme the scores will underline the significance of the change you have achieved.


If community is your thing we have a private Facebook page you can access from your own facebook page. It is somewhere we envisage will provide the chance to share progress, tips, scores and feedback and see how other people are getting on.The buddy or mentor facility is enabled so it’s also possible to find a friend who is going through the same process.

Stay ahead of the programme

On day 7 each week we suggest you complete the survey again and make notes and plans for the coming week. This is your slot where you have the opportunity to review and manage your challenge. Taking a moment to think and plan each week is not widely done but if you are involve din change it is invaluable.


Some of us get things done by bribery. If it works for you do it and diary a special reward or celebration for when the job is completed successfully or when you reach specific weekly milestones.

Make it something you will look forward to as a reward when the effort has been made.

As a minimum work out what you will get when the change you are after delivers. Make sure this is big enough to help you see the value in overcoming anything involved that takes you outside your comfort zone.  If you can’t do this read our post on Happy Paddock  which may help.

If social or friendship is your reward, completing the challenge with a buddy is a great idea.


Changing yourself is not a test or a competition where only the strong can succeed. If you want change its worth deciding to make it as easy for yourself as you can. The change and what it delivers is more important than this weeks activity or how good you are at each exercise. Don’t sweat this small stuff.

The exercise format and the guidance notes and especially the challenge, will help you through the process, a process  that will positively effect your relationship with your Monkey.

Be gentle and work to your outcomes rather than your tasks. if you fall off of your plan, just get back on again and keep going.

Useful links

You can also download or listen to some more audio support and see implementation notes for Audio book users here 

If you want more help check out the 12 week Challenge