I want to share an idea that has been helping me immensely. It’s called The MODEL. I learned it from Brooke Castillo.

I’m practicing this in different areas of my life and loving my results.

The MODEL has 5 Parts

  • Circumstance – Any neutral, factual thing.
  • Thought – A one sentence thought about your circumstance.
  • Feeling – A feeling you get because of the thought.
  • Action – The response to your feeling with any action, reaction, or non-action.
  • Results – The results of your actions or non-actions. The results always prove your thought.

Here is an example of an unintentional model:

  • Circumstance: 20 things on the To Do list.
  • Thought: “I have so much to get done. I’m never going to catch up.”
  • Feeling: Overwhelmed.
  • Action: Procrastinate.
  • Results: Don’t get things done. (This proves that you have so much to do and you’ll never catch up.)

Now look at an intentional example of the model:

  • Circumstance: 20 things on the To Do List.
  • Thought: “I have 30 minutes. I have time to get two tasks done.”
  • Feeling: Motivation.
  • Action: Set timer and get two things done.
  • Results: Two things crossed off your To Do list. Getting things done.

By being aware, and then choosing to change your thought, you change your result.

Here is another example of an unintentional model:

  • Circumstance: 10 piles of stuff on your counter top.
  • Thought: “I’m terrible at making decisions.”
  • Feeling: Defeated.
  • Action: Don’t try to go through stuff because you know you’re terrible.
  • Results: Piles of stuff increasing. No decisions because you are terrible at making them.

An intentional model for this example would be:

  • Circumstance: 10 piles of stuff on your counter top.
  • Thought: “I’m not good at organizing, YET, and I’m not going to stop until I learn.”
  • Feeling: Hope. Determination.
  • Action: Go through 2 piles of stuff.
  • Results: Only 8 piles of stuff left. You may have made mistakes but you feel proud that you are trying to learn and that you are not giving up.

Learning this MODEL has blown my mind!

I want to be super vulnerable and share a simple example in my own life that was causing a lot of problems for myself (and my husband):

  • Circumstance: Husband chews food.
  • Thought: “I can’t stand him. He’s chews with his mouth open on purpose to bug me. I’ve asked him a thousand times to stop doing that.”
  • Feeling: Irritated.
  • Action: Get mad and don’t enjoy dinner with husband.
  • Results: Can’t stand him. Relationship gets worse. Feel like he doesn’t care to learn how to be a better human that chews with his mouth shut.

When I learned this concept – that it wasn’t my husband’s chewing that bugged me but it was my THOUGHT about his chewing that bugged me – I was blown away!

I knew it was me that had to change but I didn’t know how and didn’t realize all I had to do was change my thought.

Changing my thought isn’t easy.

My old thoughts are embedded in my brain and run, on what seems like, an automatic loop. It has taken awareness, patience, and practice. Also, gentleness and compassion towards myself as I learn and practice intentionally choosing a different thought.

Now, I use an intentional model like this:

  • C: Husband chews food.
  • T: (I started with the thought – “I’m irritated and that’s okay.”) Now I try to think about what I love: “I love that he has always appreciated my cooking.” Or, “I always want to show up with love.”
  • F: Gratitude. Love.
  • A: Enjoy dinner.
  • R: Improved relationship. Grateful that I have a good husband who’s easy to please. Grateful that I can be a loving person.

Your Turn

Pick a problem in your life.

  • If it is a thought put it in the thought line and fill out the rest of the model.
  • When it is a feeling put it in the feeling line and fill out the rest of the model.
  • Finally, if it is a result put it in the result line and fill out the rest of the model.

Once you have the model filled in try to create an intentional model. You can start from the bottom or the top or the thought.

Keys to Remember

  • Your circumstance must be neutral. It must be able to be proven in a court of law. Notice I didn’t put that my husband chews like a cow or my husband annoys me. That is a thought. It has opinions in it. Take all the judgments and thoughts out and just put the facts. For example: I weigh 200 pounds. She spoke to me. His grade was an F.
  • The thought is one sentence that you think about the circumstance.
  • Feelings are one word created by your thoughts. An emotion. A feeling in your body.
  • You can start a model with any line – C, T, F, A, or R.
  • The result always proves the thought.

Just For Fun, Try This

Put “An organized home I love!” in the R line.

Ask yourself, “What actions would I need to take to have an organized home I love?” Fill the A line with your answers.

Then, ask yourself, “What would I need to feel to create those actions?” Fill in the F line.

Then, ask yourself, “What thought would I need to think to create that feeling in me?” Fill in the T line.

The thought is the most challenging part for me. Try on some different thoughts and see how they make you feel. Write the thought that gives you the feeling you want in the T line.

You can fill in the C line with your neutral, factual circumstance: House with piles of stuff. Husband buys collectables. 600 square foot home. Paper piles.

More Information

You can visit Brooke Castillo, founder of The Model, on her website, The Life Coach School.

If you have questions or want help with this, contact me here.