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It's as though you and your thoughts have melded together and become one. For example: think to yourself I am an orange.' When you did this you may have then thoughtI'm an orange ... er ... right ... OK then ...' It's a thought you had, but you didn't automatically believe it. (Did you?) My friend, Tom, has a similar tool, a list of one. He calls it the "What's next?" tool. When he starts a project, and while he's doing it, he asks, "What's next?" Then when he finishes the project, he knows what to do next. He's not going to wander off into a timewaster, get captured by a distraction, or become bogged down in indecision; he already knows "what's next". You'll read more about Tom and his story and his strategies in section X. We can have a plan for what we are going to next, to help us avoid distractions and stay on track. Somehow we can file this in the back of our mind so we're not thinking about it until we need it. All my shirts have pockets, which always contain my appointment book and my index cards. You might develop a different system; this is what works for me. I had developed these strategies and habits years before I realized that I had ADD. I didn't know that I was coping with ADD; I just knew that these things made my life go better. My index cards are colored and there is a system. I am still training myself to follow it better, so that it will be even more effective. The red, orange and yellow cards are for to-do. The blue card is "memory", with information that I need available: phone numbers, names I forget, bible verses, sayings, etc.

The white cards have everything else: a song I'm memorizing, some music theory I'm learning, some Spanish conjugation and vocabulary that I can pull out and study, etc. It's a collection of things in general, usually things I'm working on. I just added a new card, purple, so that at any moment I can jot down an idea for the book and won't be tempted to clutter up the red card with it. When you do what matters, you move towards the people and things that are important to you. Doing what matters will be different for each person, as the people and activities that matter to one person may not be very important to another. Values are principles by which you live, and they represent what is most important to you in life, what gives life a sense of meaning and purpose. Values are very personal; there is no right or wrong set of values. You may hold some values that are more important to you than others (for example, you might value family more than travel, or vice versa). Values can also change over time (for example, a major change in health can make you change your priorities). Some common examples include: family, health, career, creativity, honesty, faith and kindness. Values are all about who is important and what is important to you. When people go through a life change, like an injury or illness, they can face inner struggles with pain and difficult memories, moods and thoughts. It is natural to want to avoid these unpleasant experiences, and a certain amount of avoiding is healthy. However, some of the actions you take to avoid pain may also take you further from your values. It is important to make sure you do things regularly that move you even a little bit closer to the things and people that are most important to you. You are the expert on your values, and you are the only one who knows the reasons behind your decisions. That makes working with values a very personal journey. When you know your values, it can help to guide your choices about what to focus on and what to let go. It can help you to make difficult decisions when you cannot reasonably do everything you feel you should. It can also give your life a sense of meaning and purpose despite the difficult things that happen along the way.

Life sometimes gets in the way of even the best non-procrastinator; that's just the way life is. list, which is your roadmap. I recall a great piece of advice a friend once gave me, Plan your work--and work your plan. I still follow that advice to this day. Lastly, here's a table that contains a comparison of two different scenarios. Which scenario do you prefer? How Can You Expect To Feel Good? Why Wouldn't You Feel Great? You didn't complete any tasks for yourself last night after you came home from work, where you do for others. Last night after coming home from work where you do for others, you got a few chores out of the way. Now you'll have more free time over the weekend. You stayed up far too late last night, which made you feel like you're not in charge of your own life. You got to bed at a reasonable hour last night, because the tasks you completed during the evening made you feel like you had earned a pleasant night's rest. It is challenging to understand why change can be so difficult, especially when it is to our benefit. Dr. Ralph Ryback, a contributor to Psychology Today News, describes it well: As creatures of habit, we often have difficulty incorporating new changes into our routines, no matter how beneficial they are for us, because we tend to do the things that make us feel good, secure and comfortable. Even when we are motivated and make reasonable efforts to change, why is it that we are still so resistant to changing our behavior, even when these changes are healthy or beneficial to us?4 He explains that our inertia works against us in achieving our goals. Surprisingly, inertia is an overlooked concept when it comes to understanding our inherent complex resistance to losing weight or beginning a new exercise routine. Inertia helps to describe why our bodies tend to act against us when we try to begin a new diet or an exercise routine.5 Often, inertia and reluctance to change cross generations. But it doesn't have to keep on going.

I'd like to share some stories of clients who broke the cycle of generational poor health through self-care. Sarah's self-care challenges began in her early teens. She was born into a hardworking American family that believed you work hard, play hard, but never waste food. Because of her family's beliefs, everyone in her family was morbidly overweight. Her family had also accepted that being overweight was not a big deal and nutrition was not a top priority or concern. They centered their lives on the belief that family love is to be celebrated around the idea of eat, drink, and be happy. However, when you have thoughts like I'm hopeless' youfuse' with those thoughts; you let them define who and what you are. But you don't have to let them define you or your reality. Especially as they're not helpful! Diffusion involves separating yourself from negative thoughts. Instead of getting caught up, struggling or getting fused with your thoughts, you notice them and let them go. Imagine, for example, a sheriff in an old Western town who notices an outlaw strolling down the main street. The sheriff acknowledges the outlaw and then calmly and firmly encourages him to keep walking, right on out of town. That's you, acknowledging those negative thoughts and then calmly telling them to keep moving along out of your mind. Instead of challenging your negative thoughts, you simply acknowledge and release them. If and when they come back, look them in the eye like that sheriff and tell them what they need to do - keep moving along. With diffusion, you experience your thoughts as nothing more than an ever-changing stream of words, sounds and pictures. You don't analyse them or dwell on them and you don't challenge them by asking, for example, Am I sure that what I'm thinking is true?' andWhat evidence do I have for how I'm thinking about this situation?' Instead, you notice the negative thoughts and let them go so you can move on to more helpful ways of thinking, responding and behaving. Just realizing that your mind is thinking negative thoughts means you have already begun to de-fuse from those thoughts; separated yourself a little bit from them. Writing them down can separate you from them too - instead of letting negative thoughts swirl around in your mind, you can see your thoughts as just letters and words on paper.

On my desk to the right are two erasable white boards, a large one and a small one. They're actually not important, but I like them. I have no real system for using them. I can write in something I want to remember, like to do my Spanish course first before I start something else, or else I will procrastinate on it - "Sp 1st!" I can put down things I need to do, maybe large things not broken down into steps yet -"Taxes coming!", or something I want to do fairly soon but not urgent enough for the red card - "clean desk". That's something I might do when there's a bit of time free and I see it on the white board. On the back of the white boards I put a list of my most needed numbers and computer passwords, so they're handy. As I said, I have no real system for using the white boards. They're in my view there on my desk and just useful for anything at all that I might want to put there to catch my attention. I can use all the help I can get. So I'm surrounded by lists in my office. They're right there, in my face and under my hand; that's the way I like it. The red card is the master list, the one that overrules the others, but it's good to have the more flexible working list handy when I'm in my office, which is where I do most of the work that is on the lists. Other lists serve as memory and reminders. Works for me. It can be very stressful when you do not live by your values. This can happen when: Two of your values conflict with each other. For example, you value both career and health, but find that work takes a toll on your health. Your values conflict with other peoples' values. For example, you value financial security, but your spouse values travel (which can be costly). Barriers get in the way of living out your values, such as lack of time, health or mobility limitations.