Duh! But it was a triumphant moment when the light dawned and I figured out the solution to the problem, after finally realizing that it was a problem. I don't think people without ADD realize what life is like for us. This next example is a little complicated. I have an answering machine in my office. When someone calls I don't want a session interrupted or to have my patient overhear something that might be confidential, so I turn the volume all the way down when I'm seeing a patient. Later, I turn the volume up to listen to my messages, but I often forget to turn it back down again. Then when my next patient is in the middle of something we hear, "Hello, Dr. Puryear, ---", and I have to leap out of my chair and turn the volume down fast. Very disruptive, kind of embarrassing and not fair to the patients. So I kept telling myself to remember to turn the volume down, and to check that it's down before I start a session. Do you think that worked? Did I mention that I have ADD? So I found a new solution. I have a rhinoceros doll in the office (that's another story). I started putting it on top of the answering machine when it was turned down and moving it off when it was turned up. Then I could just glance at the machine and see if the volume was up or down. That should've worked, but I often forgot to move the doll. So that was an improvement, but not good enough. Then I made a rule: I'm not allowed to turn the volume up to listen until after I move the doll to the very end of the desk, where it really sticks out.

If the rhino is at the end of the desk, then I know that I need to turn the volume down and move him back before I start a session. I glance at the desk to check before each session but I don't really have to because the rhino sticks out; he's hard to miss. That has solved the problem ninety-nine per cent. Does the scene below look familiar? Everyone has moments when they try to do too much at once and feel overwhelmed. By planning ahead and keeping a few common sense ideas in mind, you can often find new, more manageable ways to do daily life activities. Most people learned work habits at a young age. Think about how old you were when you first learned how to do chores, like doing the dishes or working at a desk. These habits made sense at the time, but your body has changed since then. It can be hard to think of a new way to do a task you didn't have to think about before. The question, "What relevance does this practice have to preventing depressive relapse, depression, or anxiety, and why we are here?" may sometimes be asked in inquiry as it highlights the movement from reflective observation to supporting participants to conceptualize what is being learned from their observations and to generalize them to life "off the cushion." It continues to hone an observational and curious stance to experience but supports an understanding of where the practice is leading, how it can serve us, and why we do it. This helps resolve discordance between old models of understanding experience related to negative moods states with new, disconfirming ideas and ways of being while building understanding, insight, and reasons for continuing to practice and apply the learning to real-world situations. People often keep on doing things the same way even when the old way no longer works well. This can happen because you do tasks on "autopilot" and rarely stop to think about it; it can also happen because old habits tend to feel comfortable, even if they are bad for you. In the same way, new things tend to feel stressful at first, even if they are good for you. The old woodcutter in the story was able to get more done by working differently than he might have in the past. In the same way, looking out for new, more efficient ways to work can offer great rewards. It can be very discouraging if you feel that your best efforts are not getting the results you expect. After a change in your abilities, it's important to change your "measuring scale" for success so that it honours the effort you put into activities now. For example, if your old standard for cleaning was tidying up the whole house, you may not feel successful even though you have worked just as hard to clean one room.

Feeling successful motivates you to keep trying, so set your standards for success carefully and realistically. Instead of working backwards from your old expectations, try starting fresh as you set your expectations for yourself going forward, respecting where you are today. I used to be such a perfectionist and put so much pressure on myself. I never thought I could feel successful again now that I live with so much pain and I face so many barriers. Now, I am starting to realize that at times when the pain is really intense, the fact that I managed to get up and out to an appointment is a really big accomplishment. Realizing this has helped me to feel better about the things I can still do. Reclaiming your health is more than just wanting it. Or desiring it. Or dreaming about it. Or wishing for it. Reclaiming your health is about having an I can-do and I must do winning attitude. You've got to take action. You've got to take back your authority. You've got to believe that your health belongs to you. You've got to see yourself healthier. You've got to feel and taste it. You've got to live it. You've got to trust yourself. You've got to make the commitment. And you've got to do the work.

When you do the work, your results will be waiting for you. I believe that to be successful everyone needs to start with three things: Know your why. Why do you really want to get healthy? Did you lose a friend to a preventable disease? Is your family genetics working against you? Do you want to achieve a goal that is hampered by poor health? Everyone has his or her why, and it is important to clearly understand what yours is. Knowing the primary reason for reclaiming your health is essential for you to plan and execute. If you don't know your why, you will be at a high risk of sabotaging your hard work. So take the time to educate, learn, and clarify your why. You may want to consult with a trusted healthcare professional to help you. Acknowledge your truth. It is essential for you to acknowledge and be truthful about where your health is now. Then truthfully ask where would you like to see yourself in six months or one year from now. Tie your truth of where you are now and where you want to be into practical, life-enhancing goals. For example, I want to increase my upper body strength so I can do more work around my house and garden. Or I want to increase my walking stamina so that I can tour Europe easier. Or I want to lose twenty pounds so I feel and look better for my son's graduation. Or I want to take a job with more traveling, and I want to develop the habits that will allow me to stay healthy when on the road. Develop and maintain a made-up mind.

You've got to take ownership of your life. Stop blaming everyone else and crummy past experiences. Stop looking for excuses. You've got to be tired of being depressed, stressed out, overweight, financially strained, overwhelmed, unhappy; feeling crummy; and having a life that is spiraling out of control. You need to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. Once that happens, you are ready to develop a made-up-mind attitude by transforming your thoughts into an I can do, winning mindset. I believe it is harder to maintain a made-up mind than to develop one. Many of us wake up in the morning with a clear view of a new day. Or we have moments of clarity around occasions like birthdays or a new year. We are ready to start fresh and take ownership. But then our made-up mind turns to mush. So what strategies can you put in place to keep a good attitude? First, don't go it alone. Surround yourself with supporters. Second, acknowledge that you will slip but absolutely commit to beginning again. Don't give yourself a week. Start immediately when you recognize that you have lost your attitude. Third, go back to your why. Remember why you are on a path of self-care. Ideas can be realistic or unrealistic; it doesn't matter because the important thing at this stage is simply to imagine all sorts of possibilities.