I introduced the Six Stages of Change in the previous article, Understanding and Managing Your ADD: Change Can Happen…. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you read it before continuing.
Then read on to continue learning about the Stages of Change.
Can You See
Choices. Everyday, we make choices. Depending on the circumstances, we are more or less conscious of the implications of our daily decisions.
Sometimes, we have no idea of what may follow from a seemingly inconsequential decision, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to take one train over another in the movie Sliding Doors.
It is true. Sometimes, we make choices in the moment, and we have no idea what could follow from that decision. We decide to go to a restaurant and end up meeting someone who impacts our personal or professional life. We decide to talk to someone on the train. We make these decisions in the moment, and they change our lives.
Seeing Is Believing
Other times, we may be able to “see” what could become of one decision or another.
Still, we may continue to choose to bump along in our life even when a particular aspect of our life is problematic. We are not ready to change.
If you are in Stage 1, the Precontemplation Stage, you may choose not to see that you may have ADD or, alternatively, that your ADD symptoms are problematic in your life. You can read more about this stage in Understanding and Managing Your ADD: Change Can Happen….
Stage 2: Contemplation Stage – Jumping the Denial Hurdle
Once you’ve jumped the “denial hurdle,” you are ready to enter the Contemplation Stage. You are willing to consider that your ADD symptoms are creating problems in your life and are willing to learn more about ADD.
In this stage, while you may still be ambivalent, and may procrastinate about making any change, you are also seriously considering taking action. You are dipping your toes in the water, getting ready to jump in…
Give yourself credit for taking this step. Even though it does not look action-oriented, in truth, there is a lot going on. It is just not obvious, as it is mostly internal work.
Stage 3: Preparation – Don’t Skip This
Then, in the Preparation Stage, you are ready to make a commitment to manage your ADD. You may say things like,
“I’ve got to change. I don’t want to keep going on like this. What can I do? Where can I get help?”
In this stage, you create a plan to effectively make changes in order to manage your ADD.
You may be tempted to skip this step. After all, you are tired of your ADD symptoms! You want a “fix” and you want it now!! Understandable.
But a commitment to change is not enough. Without a realistic plan and support system, your efforts may fall flat.
You know what happens then… Your commitment wavers because you do not see your efforts getting you anywhere. You decide it will never get better. You quit.
Take time to plan and find support.
Faster is not always better.
Questions to consider:
- Where do I want to focus first? Trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming.
- What kind of support do I need to make these changes? You may seek out the help of an ADD Coach, therapist, support group, friends and family.
- How can I change my environment to create the time and space I need to make these changes? If you have too much on your plate, it will be difficult to make the changes you want. You may decide to discontinue some of your activities or ask for help in following through on your current commitments.
Stage 4: Action – Putting the Pedal to the Metal
When you reach this stage, you are putting your plans into action. It can be an exciting time, as you experience success in managing your ADD. “Nothing succeeds like success.”
What do you need to do maintain your efforts to manage your ADD? Stay tuned for more about this next week.
Also, check out the information in my book, SMART Goals with the ADD Brain in Mind.
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
Trying to manage your ADD, like any change, takes time, planning and support.