Punch Your Day: A Technique that Changes Outcomes - Christine Kane

When you record a song in the studio, you record onto tracks.

For instance, when you sing the final lead vocal on a song, you typically sing along with the instruments that have already been recorded.

You might sing the whole track. Maybe you do it almost perfectly.

But maybe there are a few parts where you went flat, or got a scratchy throat.

Recording technology is so amazing that you can go back to those sections and “punch” the part.

The engineer finds the place. You both listen in.  And then you start singing along into the mic.  At the right moment, the engineer punches the part.  Voila!  Your new vocal part replaces the old vocal track in that one section.


So there was a time in my life when I was working hard to shift my typical reactions throughout my day. I was expanding in big ways – but the “old stuff” would come up in my moments of unawareness and completely throw me off course.

As Iyanla Vanzant so brilliantly points out:

“The New-You is willing to confront challenges and wants to do so in a spiritually grounded way. When, however, the New-You is backed up to a wall, it will, out of habit, borrow from the Old-You. The instant the borrowing occurs, the New-You is rendered dead – even if it is only for a moment. The challenge is that when the New-You is brought back into focus, there is probably a pile of Old-You crap that needs to be cleaned up.”

I went through years of this Old-You, New-You back and forth.  And I remember feeling as if there was simply no way to get a hold of those old patterns and habits and beliefs that would strike out of nowhere!

It was then I remembered the recording studio.

I asked myself, “What if I used that same technology on me?  What if I punched my day?”

It worked wonders. It actually seemed to add to my present-moment awareness levels the more I practiced it!

How to Punch Your Day

Your own inner technology is so advanced that you can actually mimic the recording studio, and change the outcomes of your day.

This is a great way to create new habits, be kind to yourself, and clear any blocks or default patterns soon after they happen.

At the end of each day, sit quietly for about five minutes.  (It may take longer, but start small at first.)

Then move through your day in your mind beginning from the moment you woke up, all the way through to this moment right now.

Ask yourself, “Is there anything I would’ve liked to do differently?” Or “How could I have been more empowered or centered?”  Or even, “In a perfect world, what would’ve happened here?”

Then, become the engineer.

Imagine the more empowered response or action in any given moment.  Then, punch in the new response or new habit, and replace the old one with it.

For instance, let’s say as you review your day in your mind, you remember a phone call you made at lunchtime.  The phone call was your first attempt at inquiring about a job you want.  The person on the other end was unpleasant. When the call ended, you were nervous and freaked out.

Instead of going back to the work on your desk, you went to Boston Market and got a huge plate of macaroni and cheese, and you called three friends and related the whole story for them.

When you punch your day, you can change this Old-You pattern.

You can get off the phone call, and see yourself being happy.   You can see yourself getting right back to work – trusting that the Universe has something great in store for you, and trusting that your intention is guiding the way.  Maybe you even get an email from an old co-worker telling you about an even better job that’s out there.

OR, you can head the entire thing off by not making the call until you are less exhausted and scattered.  You choose to wait to make the call for another day when you’re more focused.

There are many ways to approach it.  None of them are right or wrong.  You’ll know which option you want to choose.

Sometimes it’s fun to just change the entire situation, and get the job interview or the acceptance letter or whatever.

Sometimes, as a bonus, I used to add in little extras. Like when I’d get my mail, I’d imagine a few extra royalty checks for me, just to make things fun! It always made me smile. Try it.  (Royalty checks rock!)

This doesn’t have to take long.  But try it for a week and see what a difference it makes!

  • Vince

    I like the song punching metaphor. The same process is somewhat similar in football where if you make a mistake, a coach tells you to have a bad memory. I like your approach because not only are you putting the bad memory out of your mind, you are also replacing it with an empowering one. Great stuff. Vince Palko’s Success Express

  • Bonnie

    I’ve read similar ideas before, but not using the analogy of music recording. It’s very helpful. In the past couple of days I’ve been in situations where I caught myself about to respond in a particular way (not the ideal way) and thanks to this post I’ve stopped short, thinking, “”Uh oh, if I say (or do) this, it will be something I’ll want to “punch” later on.” And so I was able to act/react to the situations in a better way. Thank you!!!

  • jess

    This technique is also recommended in a book I have for my kids (mindpower for children, I think it’s called) where they recommend going ove rthe day with them and “erasing” any bad experiences and memories of that day by helping them visualize how they would have LIKED it to go (and how it therefore WILL go like that next time).

    As always, it’s “work”. My seven year old doesn’t seem ready to go over all these things and take the time to punch her day. She’d rather have me read Junie B. Jones. And I have to be careful to not prefer to watch Housewives of Orange County instead of punching my day. The times that I DO apply this method, I find I have much more peace with the situation, as well as hope for the future.

    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy your blog. Don’t know how I ever stumbled upon it, but I’m ever so grateful.

  • Christine Kane

    Angela – you need to update from internet explorer 6 to something newer than 2006! (Try getfirefox.com!) IE6 doesn’t work well with the WordPress updates! Thanks!

  • Angela

    Hi Christine
    I love your blog posts but I’m having trouble reading them at the moment – since you put the free gift box ad on the right hand side of your page, everything seems to run into your posts so I can’t read them clearly! I don’t know whether this is my computer and browser or your web page layout? Whatever, I’ll continue to check in and read older posts and hope that the page layout changes eventually so I can read the newer posts! 🙂

  • Jenny Gillespie

    I’m so happy I found your blog and articles. They buoy me forward and help me get centered during stressful workdays. I love how you fuse music/songwriting ideas with spiritual/life-purpose themes….as a songwriter/musician who considers herself on a spiritual path, it’s just a really nice combination to encounter. Thank you for what you do!

  • M. Jean

    Such a great, timely post. Thank you! I read this a few hours after a horrible call with my parents. I’m 40ish, Mom is 70ish, and she’s turned into a permanently enraged, hateful, brutally cruel (usually to me) follower of extreme political radio. So you can imagine the 30 minutes of hate-ranting, interspersed with cutting comments to me and laughter. She’s nuts. But she used to be fun nuts, I preferred that marginally. But, rather than doing what I would do a few months ago, fighting her on every point (and I can never win anything so that’s pointless) and grieving the loss of the relationship (and the shame that this is my parent) I’ve decided to be compassionate and kind to me. I am my own person, I’m not a bitter, hateful monster, I will have a happy and productive life, and I’ll learn to master heartbroken toleration. Not perfect but sure is better than the alternative. I feel fine today – life is tragically imperfect but I won’t let that ruin everything possible and good.

  • Christine Kane

    Hi MB! If you were registered for the call – you should’ve gotten an email with the phone call link in it. Check your inbox — it would’ve arrived last wednesday.

  • mb

    Christine, in your email you mentioned people listening several times to the teleseminar audio. I was not able to attend (schedule conflict). Could you, or did you somewhere, post the audio of it? I’d love to be able to listen.

  • Giulietta Nardone

    Hey Christine,

    Your best line above? Be kind to yourself. That’s what your message all boils down to and the way to stop beating ourselves up. Why not butter ourselves up? Treat ourselves like the sparkling gems we are?


    Dare to be different! Dare to be you.

  • LaVeda H. Mason


    I did something like this after the [unnecessary, looong story] C-Section that I had with my son…

    I had a very vivid dream months later, where I was reliving the situation again, but this time, I held my ground, and stood up and had my baby the way that I usually do.

    When I woke up, most of the anger and emotional pain were gone… I felt as though I had ‘birthed’ my baby the way that I normally do.

    It never occurred to me to do this with other situations!

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on this!! It’s always great to have [new… to me] tools…. 🙂

  • Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    This technique sounds perfect for those of us (meaning: me) who ruminate over things and get stuck in spin cycles of guilt. I think “punching” in a better outcome for whatever minor thing I’m beating myself up over could save a lot of time and mental energy.

    I also think I might try this technique in the morning, when I envision everything that could happen that day. I tend to be a bit cranky first thing in the morning, and put that kind of a spin on the day to come. But I think I’ll start making an effort to “punch” my anticipated day when I’m in that crankiest of mindsets.

    Kudos, Christine!

  • jeannie

    i get caught up in rewinding the whole experience to ad nauseam. so yeah, this is great, rewind just once, then punch it! great!

  • Mary Miller

    I truly believe “The Universe Is Your Dog” just saved my upcoming show from being axed. It felt so good to calmly approach the situation,thank you:)

  • Sue

    This is SUCH a better idea than lying there at night churning about how that incident went, or the phone call, or the missed opportunity. As usual, great post to help us move forward, not in circles. Thx! 🙂

  • Diane

    BRAVO Christine!

  • Gayle

    Great ideas! Thanks

  • Jackie K.

    Ah! This reminds me of my lottery ticket technique to stop obsessing over my embarassing moments. I imagine the scene that’s bothering me as a scratch off lottery ticket – then mentally scratch away the embarassing part to reveal a preferred version underneath. Similar to punching in your day!

  • Andrea

    I will put this idea to work right away. The offered comments are so encouraging (as well as the original post!). I have the habit of going over my day but it winds into worry and should haves or could haves. I certainly can use my busy imagination in this positive healthy way.
    It is like rehearsing for the play you are about to star in.

  • Lisa Call

    I’ve been doing this for about a year (since the master your life class – I think that’s what you are calling it). It is amazing. Still much new-you old-you stuff going on but it’s such a great way to deal with it – not sitting around worrying – but doing something positive about it.

    You have the best ideas!

  • Tracy

    Hi Christine,
    What a great post. I definitely try to reframe things when I go into old modes, but often get stuck in a negative view about it. I love the idea of visualizing the ideal outcome. It seems like a much faster way to release things and move on, instead of mentally reenacting my not-so-artful reaction and beating myself up about it; which I have been known to do on occasion:-) It would be so much nicer to close the interaction on a positive, forward thinking note. I’ll put this tool to work today. Thanks!-Tracy

  • pati

    Thank you, Christine. I like this approach — going into action mode — much better than sitting there in a state of shock.


  • Mary Miller

    Oh Christine! I so needed this post. I went into major reactor mode this afternoon when I recieved a call from a club I book comedy for, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in WWCKD (What Would Christine Kane Do?)mode. I knew reacting was not serving me, I have now “punched in” my creator, and trust the Universe to deliver the best possible outcome. “Punching In” when recording a song is a pretty magical tool, and I love the idea of transfering that same magic to everyday situations. Thank you!!!

  • J

    Christine, Always a timely post for my day…how do you do it? You blog uplifts me and empowers me. Thank you!