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Zebra Stripes for ADHD

A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, No. 26

Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach

Showing Up for Success

The story so far:
Joey's grandfather,  Papa,  a.k.a. Miltie to his peers, seemed to be
perpetually angry. Since returning home from the outside world his
explosive interactions had created a lot of resentment with the local

Last month Thomas Tortoise, the Professional Organizer on his
round-the-world-organizing-tour, introduced Papa to Tortoise One Minute
Organizing for his brain.
(http://www.coachingkeytoadd.com/newsletter/newsletter-no25.html )


Joey and his friends were at the water hole for the early morning wake
up bath.

"Hey Joey, you know, I think Papa has cooled off a bit. Have you
noticed?" Koko said to Joey as they were splashing around. 

"It does seem to be a while since I heard him explode, but I wasn't
sure, " replied Joey.

"Hey, Joey", Mama Tamu, the hippopotamus called from her morning mud
bath, "Do you know what Papa said to me the other day? He said 'Hey
Sweetie-pie, move your fat pillows and make room for me in the pond'.
If anybody else had said that, I would have trampled them, but coming
from Papa it sure felt like a compliment. I was so surprised that I
said ' Why, Thank you Papa! No one ever called me Sweetie Pie before,' 
and we laughed and laughed.

Joey greeted Thomas Tortoise as he came slowly down the path, "Good
morning Thomas. Is your tour doing well?" 

"Yes, yes. It's going very well. Now, how is Papa getting on with
organizing his brain?"

At that moment, Papa arrived at a gallop.

"You're all talking about me. My ears are burning." said Papa. 

"Well yes we are," said Mr. Rumbo, "and I'd like to tell you how much I
enjoyed our little conversation the other day about the value of the
rare grasses you are trying to preserve.  I will endeavor to avoid
walking on them in the future, and would appreciate it if you will let
me know where they are. I will pass on the information to my friends."

Papa looked embarrassed and he coughed a bit.

"Papa, tell me then. How is your brain organizing going?" said Thomas.
"Have you been showing up for one minute a day?"

Papa scratched the ground with his hoof and shuffled rather shyly from
side to side. 

"Well, um, I guess I did. At first, you know, I thought one minute a
day thinking nice thoughts about people?? That's nuts. What will that
do? But each morning when I woke up I saw your chart which I had stuck
to a tree and that reminded me so every day I tried to think a nice
thought and then I could check off the box for that day.

After a few days I began to feel good about checking those boxes so I
even looked forward to thinking nice thoughts. And then one of those
thoughts was 'maybe Mama Tamu isn't really being rude when she wallows
in the lake. And there's room for both of us if I just ask her to move
over a bit.' And another thought was 'maybe Mr. Rumbo doesn't know how
rare and nutritious these grasses are. I should tell him why they are
so important.' and one thing led to another and well today's thought
was 'these folks are a pretty nice crowd and I'm really happy to be
home.' so Thank you all for putting up with me."

"Three cheers for Papa! Hip Hip Hooray!"

Showing up is the real key to success. And one minute goals make showing up SO easy.

How many New Year's resolutions have you made and immediately forgotten, whether it's losing weight, getting organized, or being on time. You set yourself a mammoth goal and within a week, max, the gremlins have got you: too tired, not today, can't go to the gym now.

Set yourself one minute goals like one minute walking in place in front of the TV or one minute reviewing a handful of papers from the top of the pile. If this seems too difficult make your goal even smaller, like one minute THINKING about walking in place or one minute THINKING about how the room will be when the piles are all gone.

Then show up everyday or at least five of seven, set a timer for one minute, do your thing and give yourself a gold star on the calendar or a big check mark in your agenda.

How on earth is one minute a day ever going to help?

Here's why it works.

We are creatures of habit. We know that what we use or think about grows. The way we do things like eating, exercising , organizing is wired in the brain by years of repetitive behavior. When you try to change these major habits the brain rebels because it has no wiring for the new program.

One minute a day is small enough so the brain's defensive system isn't activated, but it starts the process of laying down a new program for how to behave. Showing up every day strengthens the new program drop by drop until the brain has a working program. It takes two to three months to establish new habits.

The gold star or a check mark on the Task list provides a little tingle to boost moral and give encouragement for the next one minute.

I'm very pleased with the progress I've made in clearing out two rooms. There are still decisions to be made, but little by little they are being made.

Go on try it. Show up for just one minute a day and see for yourself

For more About Sarah Jane

Do you need a safe place to talk?   email me today for a free coaching session.

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