In this time of great unrest and uncertainty, it can be a lifesaver to hire a life coach who can offer support and guidance, and maybe even an idea or a strategy or two. But not everyone can afford one.

Not to worry. You can coach yourself.

Sure, it’s not going to be the same as being accountable to someone else or receiving outside support or encouragement. But, using the three techniques below, it will be pretty close. And it will be exponentially better to coach yourself than do nothing at all. In fact, with a little self-motivation, there is an excellent chance you will experience a breakthrough, with lots of interesting insights and new ideas thrown in the mix.

Self-coaching is perfect when you need to solve a problem, accomplish a goal, make a decision, gain some clarity, etc. But before you begin, there are a few steps to help you get the most out of this. First, set aside a minimum of one to two hours per week (more if you can). The more you invest, the more you’ll get out of it.

Second, set an intention clearly stating what you’d like to get out of your self-coaching sessions. Third, set an end date when you’d like to accomplish your intention. Finally, celebrate your success. Repeat this sequence using the following self-coaching techniques as needed.

1. Q&A Writing

This is a fabulous technique to help you become more self-aware, but unlike regular journal writing, this isn’t about pouring your thoughts and feelings onto the page. Q&A writing helps you to access your own inner wisdom.

At the top of a blank piece of lined paper, write down a question that you’d like answered. On the next line begin writing the answer without any censorship or filtering. (Tip: To make it simple to read, you may use two different colors of ink. If typing on the computer, you may use bolding or italics or different colors.)

This technique isn’t about struggling and straining to think about or figure out the answer. Rather, it’s an intuitive process in which you just allow the answer to come. You’re not just asking your intellect for the answer, you’re asking all aspects of you.

It is free-flow, stream-of-consciousness writing that is done in a relaxed and trusting manner, without trying to control it or edit what comes onto the page. It is more of a writing meditation. The results can be quite profound. It’s like talking with a wise teacher.

2. Appointments with Yourself

Most of us are great about writing down our appointments with others, but very few of us write down or even make appointments with ourselves. This technique may appear overly obvious and simple; however, it can be life-changing, especially when you want to master a skill, accomplish a big goal or make a major change in your life.

For this technique to work well, it’s ideal to either work with an online calendar such as Google calendar or a physical planner. Sunday evening is an ideal time to work on your schedule for the coming week.

As you look at each of the days of your week, see if there are spots where you can add some appointments with yourself to work on a project, learn a new skill, exercise, do something that brings you joy, etc. When you add yourself to the equation of your own life, you will feel much more empowered and have a healthier relationship with time.

3. Baby Steps Become Leaps

You may have heard of breaking down big projects into small chunks or doing things in increments. This technique is slightly different in that it offers you a sense of accomplishment and forward movement in even the smallest step. It involves baby steps, which, when added up, become big leaps.

The process happens by asking one daily question: What is one small step I can take today that will help me more forward with __________ (you fill in the blank…my relationship, my creative project, my business, living my dreams)? The answer might be to do some research, send an email, make a phone call, make an appointment with myself and so on. Over time, you will see the momentum take hold and you will notice great progress forward.

None of these techniques take much time, but a willingness and commitment to doing them will offer you much of the same benefits you would receive from working with a life coach. Plus, you will cultivate a much better relationship with yourself in the process.