Making Today Count is intended for community based groups. Often people in the community are caught between a rock and a hard place. The traditional model for getting help to get started in a new direction or to discover how to handle a specific situation puts people into a holding pattern. This tool has been created to help people with short term help.

The use of Making Today Count is freely available to you. If you choose to duplicate any or all of this material please site the appropriate source.

How to use Making Today Count:

1. Each person uses the form: Making Today Count. The new window is the form that will be used in the actual coaching session.

2. Each person wanting to contract will be asked to work with a partner. The procedure is as follows:

• Each person contracting starts by saying this is my life. In so doing there is a seed planted about self-ownership and accountability to oneself. This is recognized by putting your name on the form.

• A contracting partner is chosen. This does not have to be the same person each time. It is important to remember that saying what a person may want is often different than what someone else may understand. Place the partners name on the form.

• The contracting person then identifies the task or goal to be worked on. If the goal/task was not previously accomplished then Making Today Count says start over. The person creating the contract states what it is they want to work on. The partner’s task is to help clarify what this task is and what the words may mean to others. Because the partners task is not prescriptive an equal player perspective is nurtured. Dialog happens on multiple levels, learning, comprehension and communication are talking the contract through. What is it that needs to be done NOW is the focus. For a person in crisis or transition the NOW is significant. This is not about tomorrow, next week, or six weeks from now. As a person continues to contract the NOW time line changes. Depending on the success of the individual each person will move out of a crisis mode into a longer term planning mode.

• Once the task is identified the person is asked to describe what will be accomplished. As people learn to contract they are asked to include more and more detail to describe the desired accomplishment.

• Each contract is then identified in a category. The categories are as follows: Personal, educational, vocational, community building, making a donation to the charity of one’s choice.

• Notice that the contracting program will stretch a person to understand tangible commitments to oneself and to others.
Once each person identifies what it is they want to work on and the realm or category of concern is identified, up to seven steps are then listed. Each step is pertinent to the identified task. Listing helps people focus. It also helps to identify if the desired task is manageable or accomplishable.

• After the task is understood the subject of the bonus* is talked about. The categories for the bonuses are as follows:

I will do something for myself, I will invest in myself OR
I will do something for and with someone else,I will invest in relationships OR
I will give an anonymous gift, money, work, help etc. to invest in society OR
I will do a community volunteer act to invest in my supportive community OR
I will make a donation to the charity of my choice.

• The next thing needed to be done is to enter a security number.

• Each person is asked to print off a copy of their own contract and then to submit the contract.

3. If staff, or individuals want further training or insights the submitted contract is then available based on a predetermined process to guarantee release of information. The ID number at the top of the contract is the actual number of times the contracting process has been used and submitted over the last eight years.

*The contract and bonus process began by using a contract and then giving people $15 as a bonus for creating the contract. For some organizations this was to difficult. For some it was controversial, for others they just didn’t have the resources. Because of these issues the bonus process is reflected in Making Today Count as asking the person to do something for oneself that will nurture self esteem. Additionally, the use of a cash bonus is now being identified internationally as a cash transfer program.