The Experiment of You: 8 Easy Steps

If you’ve followed chipur you know how much I believe in the power of changing our patterns of thought. And how we can’t simply rely on coping techniques. HOWEVER , I’m going to run one by you that’ll come in handy.

Next to statistics, the class I despised most in grad school was research design and methodology. But in spite of myself, I managed to retain something of significance. And I believe it’ll be helpful to us.

As we attempt to endure what’s on our plate – especially if we’re in the midst of a particularly tough time – I’m going to suggest we look upon it as an experiment.

Yes, The Experiment of You will be designed, conducted, and provide a nice bit of perspective and learning.

Now, I’m not going to adhere to every principle of formal research design and methodology – remember, I couldn’t stand the class. However, I want to walk you through some very important steps, which I’ve tweaked just a bit…

  1. What is your current status within the realm of your selected subject matter? You’ve elected to focus upon the massive waves of anxiety you’ve been experiencing over the past week. On board are panic attacks, tics, pacing, and intense worry and dread.
  2. What is it you want to accomplish? Naturally, you want relief; however, what is it you want to learn about your situation to better manage the next tsunami – better yet, keep it from occurring?
  3. What do you expect to accomplish? Great question, don’t you think? Well, indeed, what do you believe the outcome of your experiment will be?
  4. What time frame are you proposing? How long will the experiment last? And this is key because it can really help you take management of your situation.
  5. How will you record your findings? Perhaps you like to journal either on your computer or by hand. You could even use a tape recorder or some sort of computer audio recording. Whatever it is, you need to record everything for current and ongoing reference.
  6. How will you summarize your findings? Not only is this important at the end of the experiment, but it would be very helpful to do a wrap for each day.
  7. How will you apply your findings? Take a look at your recorded material. What did you learn? What will you change?
  8. What will you propose for future research? After examining your findings, what needs more work?

I think this is such a powerful technique for so many reasons. Primary among them…

  • It introduces a rational approach to an irrational and emotional situation
  • It provides structure during a very scattered time
  • It demands accountability
  • It transfers focus from distress to management
  • If you’re not careful, the experiment could even be entertaining – and fun

Okay, the grad school thing paid-off, and I’ve managed to justify those extra hours of study for my research class. Again, I believe the The Experiment of You is so very strong!

But, tell us all – what do you think? A comment (or two) would be just great…

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