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Figuring Out Where To Start When So Much Needs Your Attention Now - 027

adhd podcast Jul 24, 2017

Welcome to the twenty-seventh episode of Harness Your ADHD Power, a podcast show I created to explore the many facets of adult life with ADHD and how you can learn to harness your personal ADHD power to become unstoppable.

I’m going to approach this topic of triaging all the urgent and important things in your lives with some introductory information and then move into my traditional format with stories, action steps and a favorite quote, as always.  This might go a little longer than my usual episodes because there’s so much to cover, so pace yourself.

What’s very important to note here is that there are going to be plenty of what I call “pre-skills” that you are going to need to learn in order to do those things that you want and need to do.  The “pre-skills” you will need are going to be very unique to you, as everyone’s missing different pieces of the puzzle so to speak.

As I’m mentioned in another episode, a lot of the self-help books have “assumed” that we know how to do certain things that we do not, and because we don’t know how to do those things first, we are not able to do what the task at hand is in the self-help book.  To me that’s the missing “pre-skill.”

If you can’t see the difference in urgency or value of 12 things on your plate, then how can you prioritize them?  If you don’t understand how to create a sequence and move from thing to thing, how can you put together a day’s worth of tasks and follow through on them?  If you are filled with self-doubt when it comes to making decisions, how can you move forward and decide what’s best for you, if you don’t trust your decisions?  

What I can tell you is that one of the reasons I created my innovative online program, ADDventures in Achievement, is exactly for this reason.  I know just how complex this challenge is, as well as the many other challenges that those of you with focus, follow through and self-management issues face, and I wanted to create a safe and productive space where we could work together, both as a community group as well as 1:1, to ensure that each and every one of you gets what you need to sort out your own unique set of circumstances as well as the solutions to them.

In this episode, I’m going to be taking a deeper look at Figuring Out Where To Start When So Much Needs Your Attention NOW and help you to find your starting point.  Yes, there will be a starting point for each of you once you get clear on where you really are starting from in your life currently.  And your starting point may not be where you said it was or wish it were; but it will truly be your starting point.  Skipping over important pieces and trying to step up sooner than is true for you will not serve you and will only further sabotage your efforts for a better life.  You’re just going to have to start where you are.  Really, where else can you start other than there?

Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and newfound freedom in your life!

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

 

Full Episode Transcript HYAP Podcast Episode #027
Figuring Out Where To Start When So Much Needs Your Attention NOW!
Monday, July 24, 2017

Today is Episode 27 with Dr B

Hey ADDers! So glad you could join me for today’s podcast episode. Responsive to the needs of my listeners, I’m going to focus on a message I recently received: “Many of my members often have multiple ADHD issues to address like exercise, nutrition, organization and they just feel overwhelmed and don’t really know where to start, so they end up not doing anything! How do you triage this situation?” I know this is an area of need because it’s a pretty complex challenge and I want to help as much as I can via this episode.

There are lots and lots of individual pieces to be considered. The fact that many of you may have been struggling with this challenge for years is understandable; it really is. When there are so many things that need to be addressed and they are all really important and need to happen now, how do you triage, prioritize or handle getting it all done and integrated into the life you are seeking?

I’m going to approach this topic of triaging all the urgent and important things in your lives with some introductory information and then move into my traditional format with stories, action steps and a favorite quote, as always. This might go a little longer than my usual episodes because there’s so much to cover, so pace your self.

What are some of these issues of urgency that need to be triaged and worked into your life in such a way that you don’t get overwhelmed or just quit because it’s just too much to consider, work out or bear? Here’s my relatively short list broken out into two main categories, without all the details yet:

· The health & well-being of your mind and body
o Sleep
o Nutrition
o Hydration
o Exercise/physical activity
o Social life
o Hobbies
o Meditation
o Mindfulness
o Downtime
o Emotional regulation optimization
o Mind function optimization

· The pre-skills and life skills to manifest and maintain your best life
o Organic organization
o Prioritization
o Decision-making abilities
o Keeping your word to yourself
o Closing all exits
o Eliminating choosing again
o 24/48 hour rule
o Focus
o Follow through
o Self-management
o Relationship with time
o Transitions
o Planning
o Scheduling
o Sequencing
o Socializing
o Communication
o Seeing the path to your goals
o Navigating last minute changes
o Boundaries
o Curfew
o Success habits
o Celebrating wins
o Maturity
o And all the “pre-skills” you need to know before you can effectively learn to do any one of the above skills or tasks

The list could go on and on, but it would only further overwhelm you, and that is definitely not my intention! So take a breath…

What’s very important to note here is that there are going to be plenty of what I call “pre-skills” that you are going to need to learn in order to do those things that you want and need to do. The “pre-skills” you will need are going to be very unique to you, as everyone’s missing different pieces of the puzzle so to speak.

As I’m mentioned in another episode, a lot of the self-help books have “assumed” that we know how to do certain things that we do not, and because we don’t know how to do those things first, we are not able to do what the task at hand is in the self-help book. To me that’s the missing “pre-skill.”

If you can’t see the difference in urgency or value of 12 things on your plate, then how can you prioritize them? If you don’t understand how to create a sequence and move from thing to thing, how can you put together a day’s worth of tasks and follow through on them? If you are filled with self-doubt when it comes to making decisions, how can you move forward and decide what’s best for you, if you don’t trust your decisions?

What I can tell you is that one of the reasons I created my innovative online program, ADDventures in Achievement, is exactly for this reason. I know just how complex this challenge is, as well as the many other challenges that those of you with focus, follow through and self-management issues face, and I wanted to create a safe and productive space where we could work together, both as a community group as well as 1:1, to ensure that each and every one of you gets what you need to sort out your own unique set of circumstances as well as the solutions to them. More on that later…

So let me take you on a little journey inside the mind of Dr B, so I can externalize for you how I think and process all of these moving parts. I imagine this is going to be new for many of you, so take your time with what I am going to share. Perhaps even listen to this episode a little bit at a time or plan to go back through it after you listen the first time; whatever is going to best serve you. It’s very important for you to be gentle and kind with yourself because this is a BIG chunk that we are addressing today and there’s a lot to learn and then take action on.

And, there is no way that you can take action on all of this at the same time; let’s get real here. I know you might be thinking or saying that you need to get to all of it right now because it has all be waiting for so long; perhaps years and just can’t wait any longer. I get it. And, again there is just no way to tackle all of it at the same time. There needs to be a triaging of the issues and a sequence of flow that is created to move from thing to thing in a logical order that builds upon the one before and integrates well so that you don’t miss something important and leave gaps.

Let’s start with the foundation, which I consider your sleep. I like to use Duplos, which are like large Legos to have a visual when I’m constructing my life or helping others to do theirs. I build a platform of 7 days, and the base for all 7 days are eight red Duplos, which symbolizes the 8 hours of sleep I need; sometimes 7 works but at the rate of engagement in life I currently expend, I really do need the 8. So I use red Duplos and lay out 8 of them for the base of my day. This is a non-negotiable. This means that I do not allow myself to steal from these 8 hours if I am running short on time and need some extra time to get things done. I have made my sleep sacred and a non-negotiable. No matter what I think I am gaining by stealing from my sleep, I am wrong. I am creating a sleep deficit that will need to be paid back and am actually performing in a slower and less effective manner. And if I do commit to keep my 8 hours of sleep sacred, then I don’t have a 24 hour day anyways, I have a 16 hour day to work with, which is how I view it.

But let’s roll back to sleep here. It’s all well and good for me to say that you need 8 hours of sleep and you need to keep it sacred and not steal from it no matter what. Super. But how do you do that when you feel that you need that time for others things? Or perhaps you aren’t able to turn off your brain and go to sleep when the time comes? What are you supposed to do then? Well, that’s where the idea of “pre-skills” comes in. What is it that you need to learn or master so that you will be able to go to sleep at the time that you have scheduled yourself for sleep? Do you need to learn to meditate to slow your mind down and shift gears into that more restful mind state? Do you need to declutter your bedroom, clear off your bed, remove electronics from your sleeping space, make sure you have the transition time from anything stimulating to the time for sleep so you can go to sleep?

If restorative sleep is what you need in order for your mind and body to function optimally, and you can’t get yourself to sleep, then you will need to address the issues of not being able to get to sleep and whatever that’s about in order to actually solve your sleep issue. If you want additional information on sleep, listen to episode 011 for the insights I covered there.

And because there are most likely so many moving parts to your challenge, this is going to take some time. You can’t be impatient here with the challenges I am talking about today; you just can’t. I totally understand the sense of urgency you are feeling about all of them needing to be handled right now and that there is no time to waste. However, they have needed to be handled right away for a long time and haven’t been due to rushing or overwhelm or a host of other issues. So, let’s take the time to actually sort things out and solve the issues once and for all, so you can get the restorative sleep your mind and body require.

And then there’s your nutrition. If you are a busy person as most people are, with or without ADHD, you probably feel that you don’t have the time to make yourself healthy meals, or eat slowly, or drink an adequate amount of fresh water to both hydrate your system as well as flush out the toxins that accumulate there day by day. Well, you can either spend the time making the healthy meals for yourself or spend your time at doctors’ offices in the future because eating fast foods for a lifetime isn’t sustainable health and well being for your mind and body. And as a side note, being dehydrated is related to many different health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, gut health, and others.

Of course you are aware of your need for exercise or physical activity; we all are. Again, it comes back to managing yourself in the amount of time you have to work with, which is only 16 hours/day since 8 hours are sacred and protected for your sleep. In fact, those 16 hours/day need to allocated in such a way that they can accommodate all of the things that need to happen in your life, including the transitions and buffers of time. Most of the adults I work with don’t have a lot of time during the workweek to handle much more than their work, self-care and a few personal life or family tasks. Other than that, most of what they need to do is worked into the weekend schedule.

If you have children, you might not be able to do your exercising first thing in the morning or you might not be a morning person no matter what. However, you might not be a morning person because you have the habit of staying up way too late in the evenings, making it near impossible for you to get up early in the morning.

Everything that you want or need in your life is going to cost you in time, effort and energy. You can say that you should workout 5 times a week, but if you don’t have the time to allocate to a 5 days a week workout schedule, then you might just have to go with 2 days a week for now. And to save time in the meal preparation and cooking arena, you might need to invest in a slower cooker and make your meals that way, perhaps twice a week, so that you can eat well and balanced and save the time of all the daily meal preparation. You will still need to learn to plan and schedule your meals, marketing and preparation, however, the amount of time it will take each time can be less.

In order for me to see my life clearly and put things in perspective, I needed a framework or structure to hang all the details on. I chose the NLP (neuro-linguistic psychology) model created by Robert Dilts of neurological levels. I’ll describe it for you from the bottom up:

· Environment – the external context I operate in with all it constraints and opportunities (my “where”)
· Behaviors – the specific actions or reactions of what I do or have done (my “what”)
· Capabilities – the strategies and states I have access to; my maps and plans (my “how”)
· Belief system – the values and meanings that I give to things; my mission (my “why”)
· Identity – the statement I make about who I am; what I have permission and motivation (good enough reason) to do (my “who”)
· Spirit – the vision and purpose of my life; the greater meaning (for “whom” and for “what”)


When most people are working on making changes, they typically start at the bottom of this hierarchy. They struggle to make the changes to their environment, behaviors and capabilities and pretty much remain in that struggle. It’s like they are trying to add on or tack on something that isn’t “part of them;” rather it’s outside of them and they are trying to connect and attach to it.

I have found greater success in starting at the top and working my way down. I’ll tell you why. If I start with spirit, my bigger vision and purpose and for whom and for what I am doing what I am doing, and I let that flow into my identity, or who I say that “I am” it easily impacts my identity in a positive way. And if I continue with this flow or sequence into my belief system of “why” I will be doing what I will be doing, I know that it is because of my greater vision and purpose and a deep understanding of who I truly am; which is a human being, not a human doing. It’s essence and purity. Knowing this, allows me to see what beliefs will be needed to live this life. These beliefs will flow into the plans, strategies and states that I work with to create and maintain my life, my behaviors will reflect in actions and reactions all that came before them, and my environment will be transformed and maintained in that state because of all that came before. This becomes the ultimate respect for myself because I know who I am and what I need to do in order to honor that which I am.

It is from that place that I have had the most success in making changes to my life and myself. I allow for less options or choices because so many of them no longer fit the life I envision for myself.

So back to the original question about HOW can you manage to triage your life in the condition it currently is in and make the necessary changes without becoming overwhelmed and just not even starting?

You are going to need to choose one area to focus on first, and make the amount of the area small enough to be achievable by you. For example, sleep, if you aren’t getting 8 hours every night at the moment, shoot for two nights a week to get your 8 hours and then work up to three nights, four nights and so on. Continue until you have gotten to at least 5 nights a week of consistently getting 8 hours of sleep and being able to sustain that habit consistently. Then decide what the next item is that you will tackle which might be better nutrition. If all your meals are fast foods right now, again perhaps shoot for two days a week where you eat healthy, home cooked meals, and then work up to three days, four days and so on. Be sure that you are still maintaining your 8 hours of sleep at least 5 nights per week while you are adding on the healthier meals. If you slip up with your sleep in order to keep up with your meals, then drop back a day with your meals and re-establish your sleep to a solid consistency before adding more days of healthy eating.

Be sure to pay attention to troubleshooting whatever happens that causes you to slip and not be able to sustain the new patterns. You must solve whatever the problems are early on rather than just allowing it to deteriorate, if you want to establish new ways and maintain them. This is not a temporary fix; this is a huge lifestyle change that requires a lot of you to make it work in the beginning and not much after you establish it consistently. In fact, it becomes as easy to sustain the new ways once they are done properly as the old poor habits you used to have.

The most important behavior pattern to work with is maintenance. As you might well be aware of in the weight loss area, losing weight is not the issue; it’s keeping the weight off for good. In order to do that, you have to be able to maintain whatever behavior patterns you have established that allowed you to release the weight in the first place. That’s why when I was teaching weight reduction years ago, I always started with maintenance. I figured that if people could learn to maintain any new behaviors, then they would have it made. Decide on the maintenance plan and practice maintenance. Then take steps to modify the behaviors, such as reduce weight or clutter and then maintain the reduction of weight or clutter. Once it is maintained consistently, then reduce weight or clutter again, and then maintain it. If you master your maintenance, then you can always step up to reduction at any point with weight or clutter and reduce some and then maintain that new level. You must always go to maintenance and sustain it to ensure your long-term success.

So, let’s say that your life is a wreck and you want to live a healthier, more organized and effective life. That’s awesome! What’s very important to know about yourself from the start is what you are willing to invest in creating and sustaining the life you want. How much time, effort and energy are you willing to invest to have what you want? And will the amount of time, effort and energy you are willing to invest get you that life and allow you to sustain it? If yes, then let’s go get it! If no, then you need to reconsider the life you want and perhaps downsize it or you’re going to have to upgrade what you are willing to invest in time, effort and energy in order to have that life. There are no discounts on the life you want; they cost what they cost to have and sustain. Be sure that you are willing to afford the life you want before you go after it.

And I get it; I do. Years ago when I got to the place where I needed to and decided to remodel my life, I had to get very clear about the cost to me and what I was willing to invest. In certain areas of my life, I brought too much in that cost me too much in time, effort and energy and I couldn’t sustain it. So I learned. I learned from that experience what I could afford to sustain long-term. This has made me much more selective about what I choose for my life. There might seem like there are so many options to choose from, with new ones showing up every day, however, once you are clear about your values, goals, and cost factors, there really aren’t so many options. A lot of them are eliminated very quickly because they don’t fit the criteria of your values, goals and cost factors. Having clearly defined criteria that I stick to makes all the difference in the world when it comes to making good decisions for myself.

And remember, this is not you trying to do away with old behaviors but rather upgrading or remodeling them. You want to take the talents and abilities that you already have and promote them to new jobs in your life structure. And be aware that you will encounter some grieving along the way even if you do everything as I’ve described. Grieving is about losses and letting go of what was in favor of what will be now. You have a relationship with what was and you are saying goodbye to that. Be sure to honor the role things have planned in your life previously and be grateful for what they did for you back then when you needed them to do so. What was once a temporary or quick solution had become a problem and needed to be resolved and transformed.

Anticipating that you, like many other adults with ADHD all over the world want a better life and are ready to do what it’s going to take to create that life is one of the reasons that I have created many different resources for you. Here’s what’s available so far:

· This podcast show, Harness Your ADHD Power, which currently releases two episodes per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

· The Harness Your ADHD Power Community on Facebook. With listeners in many parts of the world, I created a space were we can all come together to exchange ideas, talk about challenges and get answers as well. Please friend me on Facebook and then come and join our community with other like-minded adults making this journey.

· Live videos on my Facebook page, ADDventures in Achievement, because many of you enjoy watching videos as well as listening to podcasts. So three times per week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I go live and answer questions in an Ask Dr B format.

· ADDventures in Achievement. After 30+ years of working 1:1 with adults with ADHD and hearing from many who wanted to work with me that they couldn’t afford to do so for any meaningful period of time, I worked out a solution. Because the program includes lots of 1:1 work, I limit enrollment to ensure the success of all current students. New enrollment opens in August, so hop on the Waitlist if you want to receive additional information.


No matter how you choose to have me serve your needs, whether via videos, podcasts or my innovative program, it is an honor to accompany you on your journey and make a difference in the quality of your life.

So back to triaging the important issues of your life and getting positive results. There’s a lot to be learned, and you can learn, if you are willing to be a student of your own life. I refer to it as “being a student of your own life” because you are going to have to do the legwork to really discover a lot of things about yourself so I can help you to solve the challenges you are facing. I believe there are answers and solutions to all of the challenges that we as adults with ADHD face, if we just have all the information or facts that are needed to sort out the challenges. It’s like being a detective and investigating your own life.

Think about it, where were you supposed to learn how to triage the important issues of your life and get positive results? Who was supposed to teach you? This is NOT your fault!! There is a huge gap in what we’ve all needed to learn how to do in order to live a happier and more successful life. And if now is when you learn how, then now is the time. As I’ve said before, you still have a responsibility here – or the ability to take action on your own behalf, no matter how long the problems have existed. The cost doesn’t go down the longer you wait to address the issues, or the older you get, so you may as well get to it now.

Over the course of my 66 years now, I’ve experienced many different challenges, and needed to overcome them if I was going to live the life that was anything close to what I hoped for, and I also needed to overcome them if I was going to shed some light and guide others, perhaps like you, out of your stuckness, into the life you’ve been wanting forever. My phrase for that journey is moving from stuck to unstoppable.

As I’ve said so many times before, I’m a work in progress, just like you. I still have things to figure out so I can keep moving forward; it’s just part of the adventure of life. The difference now is that I don’t blame myself or circumstances or anything. I get solutions-oriented in my thinking and start figuring out HOW I am going to get something done; not give in to the thoughts that there’s no way that it can happen. That’s just my mind telling me a lie.

Remember, I wasn’t born knowing what pre-skills I was missing or about the systems and structures I needed to put in place to move myself from stuck to unstoppable, and neither were you, so as long as you are “teachable”, and willing to be a student of your own life, you can learn just like I did.

We’re getting closer to today’s 3 important points, with relevant stories, an action step, and a favorite quote of mine. Let’s keep going…

I want you to remember that you are NOT what you do or don’t do; you are more than that. WE are NOT defective or less than as people – as human beings; we’re just wired differently and the difference is actually pretty cool once you have a different perspective and the tools you need for your own success. In this case, it’s whatever YOU discover are the missing pre-skills, and then learning those skills so you can start succeeding and feel good about doing so (otherwise, why bother?)

How much time do we have? Not much. So let’s get to it.

In this episode, I’m going to be taking a deeper look at Figuring Out Where To Start When So Much Needs Your Attention NOW and help you to find your starting point. Yes, there will be a starting point for each of you once you get clear on where you really are starting from in your life currently. And your starting point may not be where you said it was or wish it were; but it will truly be your starting point. Skipping over important pieces and trying to step up sooner than is true for you will not serve you and will only further sabotage your efforts for a better life. You’re just going to have to start where you are. Really, where else can you start other than there?

And as you listen to today’s stories, please listen with an ear for “pre-skills;” those skills that you would need to master before you could do what is being suggested in the stories and actions steps today. It’s really important to note that so you can set yourself up for success by attending to your pre-skills first. Whatever has to come “before” you can do what you really want to do is your pre-skill. I know it may sound like I am just adding more work on top of what you already have to do and perhaps I am. But what I’m adding is what is necessary and ignoring it will only set you back or make it impossible for you to succeed.

Remember that this is a process, so please don’t let yourself off the hook here with taking action once, not getting the results you hoped for, and stopping there. Seriously!! Did you learn to make friends or trim your nails with just one attempt? I know I didn’t, so keep going!! You’re learning to do, not just standing up and doing, like you’ve known how all your life. Get real here!!

Today’s 3 important points are:
1. Figuring out where you actually are starting
2. Deciding which area of your life is going to be remodeled first
3. Practicing and mastering maintenance to keep your gains for a lifetime

Now back to being an adult with ADHD in today’s world.

It’s almost story time but first, YOU need a WIN. You need to remember and acknowledge and celebrate at least one thing that is good about you or has gone right for you today, just one thing. Perhaps you’ve reached your bottom and are ready to turn your life around; that’s a WIN. Or maybe you’ve talked to a few close friends about the changes you want to make so someone other than you will know what you are about to embark on; certainly a WIN. Or maybe you started a new ritual at night of forgiving yourself for any mistakes or wrong-doings, so you could get a good night’s sleep and start fresh the next day; that’s a great WIN. Or perhaps you’ve started a new morning ritual of deciding what you will stand for that day and then look for the evidence of it throughout your day; that’s definitely a WIN. Whatever you choose is up to you; however, I want you to choose something right now and celebrate it – either a loud or to yourself. I want you to have a WIN and acknowledge that at least one thing has gone right in your day, is right about you, even if you are feeling defeated because you have so far to go and you just don’t if you can make it. Those feelings don’t take away from the fact that at least one thing has gone right today or is right with you. You are a precious child of the universe; and are called a “human being” not a “human doing” for good reason. You don’t have to earn your value; you were born with it. You’re value comes from “who” you are; not what you do. Got it? I hope so because you’re going to keep hearing me say it, because it’s so important to your self-esteem and quality of life.

There are a lot of different reasons why you might not have learned about pre-skills and other important skills and have been suffering for so much of your life, even if you’ve sought help, and I’m going to share three stories with you today as well as talk about your responsibility in this (that’s right - response-ability or your ability to respond) – since you’re not off the hook here. I hope at least one of these stories will resonate with you and be of benefit. So let’s keep going.


Shifting gears to our first story…


Story

· Trish was like most women (and men) with ADHD that I know. She knew about her challenges with getting starting, following through, finishing things, staying on task and she just wanted to make a better life for herself. That didn’t seem like the wrong goal.

· The question is whether or not what she knew is all that was going on or was there more.

· After a little exploration, it was clear that it wasn’t going to be a simple as just addressing those seemingly obvious challenges. There were lots of “pre-skills” that Trish was missing that were the bigger issue of why she hadn’t been successful up to now in achieving her goal of a better life.

· She hadn’t been starting where she actually was; she was trying to start where she thought she was, and it wasn’t the full picture.

· So, as humbling as it was to step back even further on the path, Trish did so because she was advised that unless she was willing to start where she actually was starting from, she would never get what she was looking to achieve.

· Trish learned that she wasn’t getting started because she couldn’t see the path to her goal or the steps that she needed to take for that specific goal to be achieved. That she didn’t follow through because she didn’t know how to sustain her energy and interest in the middle of a task and so she quit instead of knowing how to recharge for the rest of the task to be achieved. She wasn’t finishing because she was a perfectionist and was continually making improvements on what she had already done; she just couldn’t see that she had actually finished and it was good enough to stop, so she just kept going. And as for staying on task, everything seemed like it took so long for her to get to and then make any headway at all with, that she just wanted to bail over and over again because she lost interest after such a long period of time at things that took way too long for her.

· Now that Trish had come face to face with herself and the truth of her situation, she had a decision to make. Was she going to start from where she was really at or keep telling herself that she was further along than she really was?

· As humbling as it was for Trish to face, she made the decision to fully embrace where she was really starting, based on the thorough inventory assessment she had done. It was quite an eye opener for her. She wondered why no one had ever pointed these things out to her before. She understood why she was continually failing to achieve her goals because she wasn’t as equipped as she had believed herself to be.

· With the real story on her side, she was ready to look at what it was going to take now to really go after her goals and achieve them.

· She was actually hopeful that she would achieve her goals this time and have a more successful outcome because she was working with the full and true picture now; not a half story or lies.


Background facts:
· We all have blind spots when it comes to seeing everything we need to see about our situation. We are “in it” and often have a hard time gaining the necessary perspective as well as the depth of focus on all the really important issues, not what superficially appears to be the issues.
· Looking to the obvious or surface issues isn’t enough to get you a good life. You need to go deeper.
· You need to be able to see the real issues or problems, not what most everyone would assume is the problem.
· I tend to view problems as “symptoms” of a situation. If you can’t get organized, I need to know what your organic organizational approach and skills are. I need to know how you think about organizing and what it means to you. I need to know what you want being organized to do for you; how you want it to serve you.
· I need to know what you believe about your ability to be successful and have what you are going after. If you don’t believe you deserve it or can achieve it, then you won’t. That would become a pre-step or pre-skill that needs to be addressed or you will fail.
· Mindset, beliefs, values, and attitude all flow into what actions you will or will not take.

So what can you do if you relate to Trish’s story? We have two more stories, before I get to some action steps. They’re coming…


Transitioning to our next story…


Story

· Kent, like Trish, had done a thorough inventory of his life and determined all the areas that were in need of his attention. There were so many areas: money management, late bills, sleep, food, drinking, exercise, clutter, paper overwhelm, and overall messiness to name just a few. Now he was faced with which one first and how to get started.

· There are many approaches that Kent could take depending on what motivates him. He could start with the easiest to do. Or the fastest to do. Or he could start with the most important and necessary. Or he could start with what fuels most all the other areas of his life that are in need of remodeling. The choice of which area to start with is going to be based on considerations of his needs.

· Kent decided that he would start with whatever would be the easiest and fastest for him because he really needed a quick win to get him moving. He was feeling pretty hopeless at this point and needed to see that he could actually achieve something fairly quickly that would make a difference in his life. The logic of his choice was solid. He chose to start with his late bills because he had just gotten paid, knew he had money in the bank and knew he could jump online to his accounts and get his bills current in about 30-40 minutes. That’s exactly what he did.

· Having claimed his fast and easy win, he felt a little better; enough to look at different criteria for what would come next. He decided that he could stop drinking for the next month fairly easily and that would save him money and help him to focus on his food and eating habits. He knew this was a pretty big issue for him, and that if he could make some steps forward to improve his eating habits and food intake that he would most likely feel a little better. And that the more he could do, the better he could feel.

· He knew that feeling a little better would help him with the rest of the mess in his life, and that not feeling any better fairly quickly would make it much harder to handle the messes he had to address.

Background facts:

· To decide where to start and what to do first, Kent had to determine what he needed quickly and then right after that, in order to keep himself going forward and feeling at least a little better.

· Many adults with ADHD are “feeling driven” and as such, they need to “feel” a certain way in order to take steps. The problem arrives when they don’t feel what they need to feel and the feeling is the cue or trigger to act. In those cases, they need to learn how to generate the feeling they need in order to take the action they know they need to take. Another pre-skill.

· Waiting to have a feeling can’t be an option or things will only happen when the feeling is there, which is random.

· It definitely takes the 3 P’s – patience, persistence and practice to master following through as well as generating the feelings you need when you need them so you can act when you need to.

So what can you do if you relate to Kent’s story? We have one more story, before I get to some action steps. They’re coming…


Transitioning to our next story…


Story

· Rosa was the queen of one-step forward and two-steps backward, over and over again.

· She didn’t know much about maintaining what she achieved because she was just so focused on achieving her goal and that’s it. That was her end point; there was nothing more.

· It’s like she achieved her goal, let out a sigh of relief and then relaxed and let go of what she had been doing, so everything went back to the way it was.

· She was great at achieving but that was about it because nothing stayed.

· She had created a beautiful garden in her backyard and inside her home, yet she hadn’t decided on how much time she was willing to invest in maintaining the gardens she created and so she didn’t even put maintaining them in her weekly schedule. Weeks would pass and she would notice that her gardens weren’t doing so well and try to nurse them back to health with a lot of effort on her part. Sometimes she succeeded and most times she didn’t and had to start again.

· Gardens need to be weeded but weeding wasn’t in the schedule as part of maintenance. Flowers need more water than sprinklers provide for them but hand watering wasn’t in the schedule as part of maintenance. Quarterly feeding was needed for her fruit trees and flowers, but feeding wasn’t in the schedule as part of maintenance.

· Rosa was getting more and more frustrated with herself every time she had to start over and replant or spend hours and hours on fixing the problems she had created by her lack of maintenance.

· She decided to start at the beginning and ask herself – assuming that her gardens were in good shape right now, how much time did she want to spend per week maintaining them?

· After considerable thought, she decided that one hour per week is all that she was willing to give to maintenance. The next step was to ask herself if everything that needed to be done for the maintenance of her gardens could be achieved in one hour per week, whether that meant rotation of tasks from week to week or all of them having to get done weekly.

· She figured that if she rotated weeks and spent the majority of her time on one garden and a little of the time on the second garden and rotated which garden would get the most time each week, she would see if she could maintain her two gardens well enough with this amount of time, effort and energy investment. She practiced this schedule for 4 weeks and assessed at the end of that time. She was satisfied with the results and condition of her gardens and felt she could continue to maintain them both according to the schedule.

· She would re-evaluate again in another 4 weeks to see if what she was seeing for the first month would last into the second month. Her re-evaluation in the second month showed similar results.

· Rosa was satisfied that she had the right schedule for maintenance and could stick with the plan moving forward.

Background Facts:

· Most people don’t think about maintenance first and what they are willing to maintain before they go after what they want that they will need to maintain after they get it.

· Considering the cost in time, effort and energy for maintenance first, is an important step to take. Once you’ve decided what you are willing to maintain, then practice living that way and maintaining whatever you’ve committed to maintain. See how you do and if the cost works for you.

· If it does and you can maintain what you agreed to maintain without slipping or derailing, then gradually shaping your life into what you want and practicing maintaining it section by section is the best way to go to ensure you can and will maintain it.

· It’s the success with maintenance that you are after, not just the success with achieving your goals.

Action Step:

· It is your response-ability to get the information and training you need; in other words – your “ability to respond” to your needs and meet them

· The good news about learning the truth about where you are in your life right now and what’s actually going on is that it can help you to move forward with greater certainty, no matter what age you are, if you are willing to be a student of your own life and open-minded about what you need to learn.

· It takes courage to look at the truth of your life and accept what you find. Acceptance isn’t resignation; it’s starting with what is and moving forward from there.

· The truth of what you find is always going to be about you, the “human doing” – how you’ve been doing your life, not about you the “human being”, which is the essence and value of you as your birthright and has nothing to do with what you’ve done or not done.


· If you relate to Trish’s story, your action step has three parts:

o Focus – on getting to the truth of where you are really starting from and how your life actually is

o Follow Through – and stay courageous in the face of what the actual reality of your life presents itself as

o Self-Management – of your feelings about being more messed up or further behind that you were willing to admit previously and have compassion for yourself for just how difficult it’s been to come to the moment of truth about your life and what needs doing


· If you relate to Kent’s story, your action step has three parts:

o Focus – on determining the feeling you need to experience first in order to stay committed to your goals

o Follow Through – and what you’ve decided will give you the feeling you need as quickly as possible in order to reinforce and associate your success and good feelings together

o Self-Management – of choosing again feelings where you want to put something off and not do it when you said you would


· If you relate to Rosa’s story, your action step has three parts:

o Focus – on how much time you are willing to give to maintenance before you go after your goals.

o Follow Through – and practice your maintenance plan to see if it actually works in real life, not just in theory or planning.

o Self-Management – of your feelings for when you might not feel like doing the maintenance you agreed to do, and be able to generate the feelings you need to act when you need to act.


A Favorite Quote:
John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “Can you allow today to be the start of something new for you, not just by words but by actions as well?” I hope so. It’s totally worth it!!


Remember, your needs matter to me. If I am going to help make a real difference in your lives, I need to hear from you and need to know what your challenges are; what you are struggling with. If you want me to know, you have a couple of options by hopping over to my website:

1. Take the quick little 6-question survey; it should only take you a few minutes to respond. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDGTHT8

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3. Get on the Waitlist for ADDventures in Achievement to learn more about the program and how it might meet your needs. https://www.addventuresinachievement.com/forms/26966

Whether you’re learning from my podcast episodes or live videos or working with me directly, you are in my world and I’m here to serve your needs. So be sure to reach out and get your needs met. It’s up to you to take action here so things can change for you.

I appreciate you showing up to listen today and in the future. New episodes are released on Mondays and Thursdays. As a subscriber, the newest episode will be in your feed by 1 am Pacific time, plus you won’t miss out on any “extra episodes” I create; certainly a good reason to subscribe. Perhaps make a date with yourself to listen to each podcast episode, so you hear your questions answered if you’ve asked any for the Ask Dr B format or just enjoy all the episodes, where I’ll be talking about such compelling topics as making the path and steps to your goals visible, maintaining the life you create, and how to improve your communication with others.

So, if you enjoyed today’s episode or any of the other episodes, please share this podcast show with your friends and family, as well as rate the show. If you’d like to do a little more, write a thoughtful review on iTunes so I know I’m meeting your needs. It doesn’t have to be anything lengthy; just a line or two of how the podcast is helping you, if it is. I love hearing from you and learning how the podcast show is benefiting you and those you care about. It means a lot to me to know you life is getting a little bit better every time we get together.

If you want to participate in the survey, ask me a question, get on the Waitlist, or just download your Show Notes you can do all of that on my website, as well as learn about other resources and services, that is…if that’s of interest to you. Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…

 

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