Mindset is defined as “a particular way of thinking: a person’s attitude or set of opinions about something”. One of life’s challenges is when you are”changing your mindset”. Let me give you an example.
What do you see when you look at this cavern picture?
A new perspective? An Opportunity? Grace, life, a challenge, freedom, beauty or peace? Do you feel anxious, nervous, worry about the unknown or are you excited and have thoughts of “I Can”?
This picture challenges you to consider another way to look at something. Is it new, changing or unknown? It challenges your opinion about something. It challenges your mindset.
How does your mindset impact your life? Is there a habit in your life you would like to change? It will require a change of mindset to be successful.
For a habit to change, we need to think differently. You need to a new system.
Changing A Habit – Change Your System
We need to create a system to help us succeed in developing our new habit. Here are 5 simple ways to change your mindset to create the change you want in your life.
- Tell yourself “I can’t do this YET”
- Commit to a process. Write down the plan (Daily routine, Schedule). Focus on practice.
- Give yourself permission to release the need for immediate results. Put attention to triggers. Plan how you will manage the triggers. Log your daily efforts. Look at long term. Be Realistic.
- Get Feedback: Journaling
- Tweak and adjust your plan or process when needed. Continue to focus on what you’re doing.
Is Changing Your Habit Worth It?
What is the one habit you want to change so you can achieve your #1 goal to realize what you want different in your life? Would it be worth 20 minutes a day to figure out what you have to do different, and then do it?
Research says that in order to create a habit, the first 21 days are of the most value. “It requires a minimum of 21 days for an old image to dissolve and a new one to form” (Phillippa Lally study “How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world”).
Emphasis on “minimum 21 days” to create a new habit
Notice the end results happening every day. When you follow your plan daily, you’ll see changes. Know if you were not able to follow the plan today, it’s okay. Get back on track immediately. Notice your positive self-talk. Missing one opportunity will not impact the habit forming process. Being inconsistent by not following the plan will negatively impact creating the new habit.
Goals get you started with your planning and your system is how you’ll realize progress to your new habit.
Six Points To Changing Your Mindset
Here are six points to help you change your mindset and gain clarity on your new habit.
Name what you want
Name the Habit you want to change?
What’s your priority?
Is there anyone you want to talk to this about?
What are the benefits for acquiring this habit?
What challenges will you encounter?
Reach For Your Goals
By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Carr, LPC, NCC from ResourcED Student Support Services
This post speaks to my parents of teenagers with ADHD, who often initiate counseling because they’re at the end of their metaphorical rope trying to help their kiddo get back on track, stay on track, follow the rules etc. With or without an ADHD diagnosis, teenagers can test every nerve in your body that you never knew you had! Goal setting is often where I start with my clients to help us hash out where their strengths and struggles lie. While the concepts for goal building are pretty general, the examples given are taken from past clients with ADHD. The list can ultimately be used to create goals for anyone. Let’s collectively take a deep breath and keep the following in mind:
1. Set and maintain realistic, achievable goals.
To start, putting goals in order of urgency. For example, it may be more important that your teenager improves his/her failing grade in math vs. making his/her bed. As to not overwhelm, work on one or two goals at a time. Create a list of goals with a few thoughts in mind;
- Is the goal specific enough? For example: Attend weekly math tutoring session after school vs. raise math class grade.
- Is the goal within your teen’s abilities? Start small and build toward a goal to test this out. For example a starting goal can be: After school each Thursday, throw away all items (papers, gum wrappers, broken pens etc) from your backpack. Building into a goal like: Throw away all unneeded items from backpack, re-organize left over items into correct folders, pencil holders, desk drawers etc.
2. Allow room for mistakes
It takes about 21 days to form a habit. There are going to be slip ups, and that’s ok. Notice where things fell off track and help them problem solve.
3. Listen to their input and allow them to have a say
During sessions, I usually let my teens write their own goals…with guidance. I have found that they are more likely to take them seriously if they had a hand in their creation.
4. Outsource the reminders
It has been my experience that the more I, as their counselor, and you, as their parent, can empower your teenager to be independent, the more willing they are to work towards achieving set goals. If your teen requires reminders to stay on top of their goals, or to complete certain tasks, don’t take this on yourself…outsource it. Use Google alerts, iPhone reminders, sticky notes on the mirror, whatever it takes.
5. Check in on progress/struggle often
How’s it going? I know, I know, they’ll probably be annoyed with you “budding in” and asking questions. Usually I allow my clients who are insistent that they can achieve the set goals on their own without input from others to test it out. Again, it takes about 21 days to make a behavior a habit, and even longer if you are trying to replace an already established habit. So if there is still struggle or resistance with a set goal, revisit it, does it need to be broken down into a smaller task? Would an automatic reminder (through their cell phone or calendar) help?
Progress can sometimes be hard to spot, but keep in mind how great it feels to hear encouragement. Even a small positive push, Hey, I’ve noticed that you’ve been working hard to…., can go a long way.
Elizabeth is CEO of ResourcED Student Support Services, Empowering Detroit’s Future Leaders. For more about her, to see the original post or checkout Elizabeth’s bi-weekly blog, we encourage you to click on this link
A hill is just a hill
The parents of children with ADHD are all-too-familiar with phrases like “It’s boring” or “It’s too hard” or “I don’t like it.” As adults, these same children come to realize that society will unflinchingly demand certain tasks of us, and slightly modify their complaints to phrases such as “It’s so hard to get started” or “It‘s late and I can’t find the time” or “I’m not really motivated to complete it.”
Narrow Your Focus
With ADHD every molehill tends to become a mountain. A big aspect of learning to cope with ADHD is taking care to not magnify the workload that is actually before you. Otherwise you risk being told “That excuse only works once – now your job is on the line.”
Narrow your focus. A hill is just a hill. If you were already on top of it, you would be thinking how wonderful it would be to surrender to a childlike urge and roll down it. Visualize the joy that is waiting for you at the top. Revel in the breathless anticipation of launching yourself into the rewards that await you.
Climbing that hill might seem like an obstacle course; there are so many things to avoid! Distractions, negative thoughts, emotional diversions … so let’s talk about the strategies that will help you conquer your personal “IT.”
Activate the Brain
A difficult step for individuals with ADHD is engaging the brain so that it completes a task
Imagine making a cup of tea. You have to find a clean cup, choose the tea, and prepare the hot water (either by kettle, boiling it on the stove, or zapping it in the microwave). Once the hot water is ready, pour it in the cup, add the tea, sugar, lemon.
Yes, most people are lucky enough to handle routine tasks on “automatic pilot.” But you know you’re not most people. With ADHD and possible deficits in your Executive Functions, you won’t process information and follow steps like everybody else. Accept, forgive, allow for extra time, and be patient with yourself.
Knowing all the steps and organizing them is the key to managing an activity
You may visualize them as a list, clearly printed in black and white. Or you may think more like a mapmaker, planning your movements from one section of the kitchen counter to the next. Experiment and determine how your thoughts “move”- do they go down a list, climb up a ladder, or move in a sideways shuffle?
Whatever works, incorporate that into your game plan. You’re not lazy or unmotivated. You just want a cup of tea before your toast and eggs get cold. It’s not too much to ask of a waiter in a restaurant. And it’s just that. Sometimes you have to be your own waiter. And, here, a delicious breakfast is going to be your tip. (Amazing how a task worth doing to YOUR satisfaction stops being a hill.)
Avant-Garde has a free worksheet in our Resources and Downloads called, Activating The Brain to help you with this strategy.
What’s needed? A structure that provides a routine that is repeatable. How do you build this foundation? Understand which ADHD symptoms manifest in your actions. Know how to take charge and manage your symptoms when they arise.
Taking charge means:
- being accepting of who you are
- understanding the weaknesses in your Executive Functions
- identifying your support system
- making a commitment to yourself
- creating an accountability system
- being persistent
New Behaviors. New Hills To Climb
Fortunately, there will be a moment in your life when either you or your child will no longer have to consciously “think” about the structure because it is ingrained so deeply that it has replaced the behaviors that seek to divide you.
Are You Conscious About What You’re Doing
Recently I’ve been very interested in reading and learning about “mindfulness“. How does understanding mindfulness help you reach your goals? I looked up the definition (just to make sure my first interpretation was correct), and one of the definitions is: “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations”. Is mindfulness about being conscious about what you are doing? Sounds simple, but it’s not. Is mindfulness knowing clearly when your emotions are either hot or cold, when you react without understanding or even thinking about our actions? Or could it mean being conscious of what you are doing?
People want to change. They want to improve their lives and set goals only to find life has taken over and detoured them from what they wanted.
I ask myself what happens and how can we follow through?
Are you getting there?
What Derails You From Reaching Your Goals
My answer: Keep the picture in your head. Be aware and conscious of what you “want”. This can be anything. Be a better parent, a musician, an entrepreneur or the best husband or wife you can be. You decide. And make that image very clear.
Now, the next steps are harder. How do I achieve that goal? What do I need? What does a good parent or partner look like? How do I start my own business? Are there obstacles that can derail me from my goals?