Use Harada’s method to coach yourself to win

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A sports coach serves in multiple roles, and even more when coaching high schoolers. Keep the origin of Takashi Harada’s approach in mind — he developed a coaching method while working as a track coach for the worst performing school in Japan. But that doesn’t make it irrelevant to adults in recovery.

Harada encouraged his athletes to set strong goals that represented new levels of performance in school, at home and on the field. He also built in guaranteed success by having a three-tier structure. In addition to the ultimate goal, there is a sure-to-meet and an interim goal. The…

The process of making one view compatible with another

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I arrived into 12-step with full willingness to concede the first step. My life was unmanageable. Those next two steps stomped the brakes. To come to terms with God of My Understanding, I had to reconcile the God of My Upbringing. That meant recognizing the latter was a convenient representation crafted by my mother. Growing up, God was an invisible third parent who could inflict punishment into eternity when she was tired of doing it herself in the present.

On Sundays, the smiling adults talked about a supposed loving God the Father. I knew my earthly father was an unhappy…

Guardrails provide structure

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Years ago, I planned a girls’ weekend to California. It included seeing Yosemite National Park with two friends, and visiting another near Sacramento. Three of us left the park at dusk and drove in the dark up Highway 49. Twists, turns, curves, darkness, and too few guardrails separated us from the side of a mountain. While I love the sentiment of Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In,” what I love even more is not careening over a cliff in the middle of the night. Guardrails serve a purpose.

The Harada Method, created by Takashi Harada to improve the performance of…

Break your goals into sixty-four bite sized tasks

A 3x3 grid from a wire fence illustrates the Harada Open Window 64 layout
A 3x3 grid from a wire fence illustrates the Harada Open Window 64 layout
Photo by Clara Rayes on Unsplash

This is the time of year when everyone, it seems, is talking about goals, plans, habits — to start, stop, keep — and the pressure is on. I should exercise more. I should lose 5 pounds — or more. I should stop eating out all the time and learn to cook. I need to get out of debt. I need to spend more time with my kids. I need a new job. I need a life. I need to quit drinking, smoking, playing video games all night, eating cookies, eating meat…

With Januarys and other mile markers like significant birthdays…

Life got messy. Clean it up with this little-known method.

Caution. Cleaning in progress.
Caution. Cleaning in progress.
Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash

Years ago — a lot of them — I got interested in Productivity, with a capital ‘P.’ Not to get more done in less time so much as to learn “hacks” to get a minimum, convincing amount of work done in spite of morning handovers and afternoon fixations on the next drink.

I listened to Mike Vardy, Erik Fisher, discovered David Allen, reread Covey’s 7 Habits, the 8th Habit…people geek out on this stuff, so surely someone would have already solved this problem. Eventually, Norman Bodek, the “Godfather of Lean in America,” translated the work of Takashi Harada. …

Free your mind

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If you were a high school junior in New York State during the 1980s, there’s a good chance an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance was required reading.

My dutiful butt was in the chair, but my mind was wandering the halls and humming jazz music, until I heard the phrase “a foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of little minds.”

Shazam! Did some dead guy just give me permission to throw off routines and disciplines? I believed he did. Ah, youth…

Fools rush in

Admittedly, it was too many years before I heard all the words. “A foolish consistency….” Not all consistency is…


Oh, hi. I’m Christine and I’m an alcoholic in recovery. Well, I prefer “upcycling.” There’s not much behind me I want to recover. Be where your feet are.

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