Week 1

Getting Started

Welcome to your first week on the Misaligned Monkey 12 week challenge.

Specifically, this challenge is about aiming a short burst of focussed activity to:
  1. Reduce the level of the interruptions
  2. Change the focus of the interruptions from negative to positive
  3. Improve the timing of the interruption

At the end of the experience you will be able to enjoy the difference this makes in your real life and also see the change reflected in your scores on the Misaligned Monkey Survey.

This first week has a a few more words coming your way – as we get into the swing of it we promise less to read and more to do!

This first week

This week is all about getting off to a good start.

We spend some time making sure we know what we mean by the Monkey and having a first conscious look to experience them in action. We also begin to look at how things we can choose to do can affect what and how the Monkey behaves. Which leads us to appreciate that communication, however vague at this stage,  is possible. It’s a key first step and these first exercises in the early weeks, begin to give us the knowledge, tools and ability which will be required to make the changes we want to see later in the programme.

There’s a certain amount of setup in this first week to get off to a good start and this page is here to help you do this.

To get your challenge off the ground quickly, we suggest you do some planning and organising. we refer to this as Exercise 14  which is all about arranging your schedule and creating the space to get the job done. There’s some hints on how to do this later.

Starter score

Whatever you do if you have not yet taken the survey to get a before score, do it today.  This will help you to have an objective view of the changes you are achieving and it will help you power through any slow moments in the twelve week challenge.

You can take the Relationship Survey and get your  starter  score here: Misaligned Monkey Relationship Survey

Facebook group

If you haven’t yet – join our Challenge group to pick up hints tips from others, share your scores and experiences with us on the Misaligned Monkey Challenge Facebook Page.

It’s early days and we would appreciate your help in making this aspect of the challenge work.

Week one suggested timetable 


Week 1 Day Exercise Planning and organising
  1 Exercise13: Relationship Survey Exercise 14: Week 1 and Challenge as a whole – Background listening and reading
  2 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
  3 Exercise 2 The Power of a Focus
  4 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
  5 Exercise 2 The Power of a Focus
  6 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
7 Exercise13: Relationship Survey Exercise 14: Plan / prepare for next week

You can download a full copy of the 12 week timetable here  timetable

This weeks’ Exercises 

This weeks recordings here:

Downloads are right click and download file


There are overviews / objectives for these exercises below.

YOIf you have read the Misaligned Monkey you will know how important expectations are –  download a Challenge Expectations Audio recorded for you here


You now have all you need to get going but there are a few other things that will help you:

Understanding the Challenge Format:

It might help you to see how it all fits together and be clear on what to expect –

Regular emails will provide you with links to a weekly page like this with the resources to help you have a successful challenge experience.

Each week follows a similar format:

On days 1 -6 we suggest you complete specific exercises using the audio sessions to guide you effectively through each session. These exercises loosely follow those in the book. They have been recorded specifically for this challenge to build your skills sequentially and to help you complete each sessions objectives. Even if you know about or have experience with these formats and processes before we suggest you  complete each exercise fully attuned to its purpose and intent. Each daily 30-minute slot usually consists of a couple of minutes preparation, the exercise itself and then a couple of minutes to review and make any notes you need. Objectives for each exercise are included on your weekly resources page – see below for this week.

On day 7 we complete the Relationship Survey (Exercise 13) to get a new score and  we review what we have accomplished and then check our plan for the next week (Exercise 14). We also listen to any of the bonus recordings suggested.

Our timetable is a suggestion but we fully expect that you will modify or change it to suit your circumstances if you need to.


You know that your expectations of this challenge will drive your results. As a minimum, it’s important to accept the possibility of a better relationship with your Monkey and have an open mind before you start. Remember the VW vans ? nIn the early weeks you need to have your radar up to ensure you don’t miss early the signs of winning.

Ideally start to work on the basis that you can make a significant change to the nature and value of your relationship with your Monkey within 12 short weeks.

Underlying Assumptions

For this challenge we adopt five new assumptions covered in more detail in our book The Misaligned Monkey.  

These assumptions  shift our mindset so that we can use the new techniques and methods outlined in the challenge and The Misaligned Monkey book or Audio to make the relationship work. It’s good to keep these ideas in mind as your read on

  1. The Monkey is really trying to help.
  2. The Monkey doesn’t know how to help.
  3. The Monkey can be reasoned with and will respond if we learn how to work with them.
  4. Forming a partnership with our Monkeys will positively affect the nature, timing and impact of the interruptions.
  5. We can turn the existing distractions into a positive force to help us.
You can download an Expectation Audio recorded for you here

Refresh Concepts

If it’s some time since you read the book then refresh using the key Monkey Concepts  recording –

*DownLoad = open right click or Listen now as you read on –

There’s also more background here:



  1. If we gave you everything upfront it’s too much – so we send you links for what you need when you need it, week by week.

  2. It helps  to set up a Misaligned Monkey folder on your desk top –  down load all the files into one safe place.

  3. The time table we suggest represents our best practice and will give you the results you seek. Stick closely to this if you can.
  4. If life gets I then way – just make a start and then keep going
  5. Don’t blink – after the first couple of weeks habit will take over and carry you though to the end –
  6. The 12 weeks will be over before you know it….


The recommended 12 week timetable is available Challenge Course timetable 2022

Private score result forms 

Download a Survey Score excel file  Survey Results Record

Download as PDF   Survey Results PDF



Down load* this weeks practical exercises here:

*DownLoad = right click

Standard Weekly exercises

Ongoing Work

As you progress through the first few weeks it’s worth you just noticing the nature of any interruption or distraction that pulls you away from your intended focus or activity.

Read More about each of this week’s exercises below –

Recommended Week one timetable 

Week 1 Day Exercise Planning and organising
  1 Exercise13: Relationship Survey Exercise 14: Week 1 and Challenge as a whole – Background listening and reading
  2 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
  3 Exercise 2 The Power of a Focus
  4 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
  5 Exercise 2 The Power of a Focus
  6 Exercise 1: Meet your Monkey
7 Exercise13: Relationship Survey Exercise 14: Plan / prepare for next week
Download timetable PDF 12 week timetable

Standard weekly exercises –

We do these two exercises every week :

Exercise 13 is the Misaligned Monkey Relationship Survey which you can complete on line. In week one we take this day seven as we will every week but in addition in week one, we also take the survey on the first day. This gives you a starting score before the completion of any of the exercises and so this gives us a more accurate before and after result when you compare it to the final score on the final day.

Exercise 14 is simply the opportunity to plan your challenge experience. We know that taking a moment to make things a little easier / organise or plan when and how you will get things done will make the challenge far more user friendly. So on the first day take the time to plan and organise for both the whole challenge and for this first week.

On day seven of each week Exercise 14 is simply about planning and organising for the following week.

This involves thinking about how it’s going to work for you.

If you can its worth having a regular time each day and even a regular place or situation in which you complete the exercises. Whether it’s in your bedroom or on the bus makes no difference it’s just somewhere that you find works for you.

It’s also worth making sure you can access to the relevant recordings and have headphones and the time and space to spend 25 or 30 minutes minutes or so on you.

There’s also a link below about making change easy / completing the Challenge.

This Weeks exercises –

These are the exercises specific to this week and you will receive downloads for these each week.

Exercise 1 Meet Your Monkey – over view

If you are not sure what this Monkey thing is really all about, as a start, let’s complete an exercise that lets us meet the Monkey.

We can’t tell, but it’s likely that everyone’s experience of the Monkey is different. We know we all process internally using different modalities. Some of us think in pictures or feelings or words or sounds or even smells. Sometimes the communication is physical: a pain, tension or even pleasure. Monkeys can use any of these to get our attention so when we say thoughts or voice, we generically refer to whatever you experience as the Monkeys touch. I get feelings or hunches others see pictures and we can use the first exercise for you to meet your Monkey and see how this contact happens for you.

We can start to identify your Monkey’s ‘voice’ by sitting quietly with an intention to think of nothing. If you have tried this before you know how hard it can be.

In the book we suggest a quiet, comfortable place to sit where you will not be disturbed and then simply concentrate on having a quiet, empty mind for ten minutes.

As you sit with your intention to have a quiet mind, you open yourself to the Monkey’s contact.

Mostly likely random thoughts fill your head, a mix of things designed to interest you or to get you to give up sitting quietly and go and do something else.

The exercise is for only a few minutes but most of us struggle to last. See how you get on, at this stage the more you can see your Monkey as they are now the better.

Typically, we sit, either too aware of the stream of thoughts that disturb our silence or we find ourselves lost in thought only to realise what has happened when the timer goes off ends and calls us back into the room. This is ok, we want to experience this consciously so we know what is really happening.

So what is happening? Who is responsible?

We know it is not you doing the interrupting because your intention is to sit in silence. So, something else disturbs what you are trying to do.

The something else and the voice you hear in your head is your Monkey. Remember your Monkey may also use images, urges and feelings to disturb your intention.

Exercise 1 Objectives

The objective of this exercise is for you to get first-hand experience of your Monkey so we know what we are talking about.

We ask you to do this exercise on days 1, 4 and 6 of week one. By the end of these exercises, you should:

1 Know what we mean by your Monkey

2 Be able to recognise their activity

3 Be aware that you can remain detached and just notice or that equally you can get lost in the stream of thoughts.

4. Start to think about options and choices you may have if you want them.

Make any notes that seem relevant to you. 

Exercise 2 The Power of a Focus – overview

For this next exercise, we are going to explore the idea that there are things we can do can change our experience of our Monkeys. We do this gently to start with using a focus

investigate the effect of a focus, in this case using our breath, and notice how this impacts the Monkey’s communications.

There is a short post on the site introducing the idea of using breathing techniques for other purposes with some links to further reading if this idea is interesting to you.

Once we begin to see that we can do things that alters the interaction we can have with our Monkey then we are in a good place to start to make the changes we want to happen. This exercise lets us begin to do this.

Your intention is to sit with a quiet mind but you will focus on your breathing. When thoughts appear, redirect your focus back to your breathing.

At the end of the exercise spend a moment experiencing how you feel, what you feel and where you feel it. Compare the Monkey experience this time with the experience you had in the previous exercise. Consider what happened and make any notes that seem relevant to you.

Most people find initially redirecting their focus away from the thought flow difficult. It might feel like the Monkey responds to our attempts to focus elsewhere as a challenge, working even harder to distract us from our intent. If this is what happens its good for you to just notice it and know that its working. Using even these first simple exercises, we are beginning to understand what is really happening here and any experience provides us clues on the reality of the situation and will help us later as we take more control.

Exercise 2 Objectives

The objective of this exercise is for you to practice remaining steadfast in your intention and returning your focus to your breathing whenever you notice that you have been distracted.

We ask you to do this second exercise on days 2 and 5 of week one. By the end of these exercises, you should:

1 Be able to notice the effect a focus has on the interaction with your Monkey

2 Begin to suspect that what you do can alter what the Monkey does or how they appear to you.

Make any notes that seem relevant to you.

Make sure you take the time to refresh Monkey Concepts it will help you get better results faster –

Useful Links


This week there are also refresher / background recordings

Some reading here: