I Haven’t Exercised for More Than 5 Minutes Since 2017

ADHD Strategies    March 1, 2019

Deep breath.

This blog is going to be a bit more personal. And, I know this isn’t going to work if I’m not completely honest.

I had a terrific start to 2019…I completely rocked January!  I cut sugar and white food out of my diet and I’m sleeping a good 8 hours each night.  But with the start of March, I need help with one of my other goals for 2019.  Specifically exercising.  So I’m reaching out to all of you…my tribe.

You see I know myself pretty well.  I know I don’t want to let you down.  You are one of my biggest motivators.  So, I figured I’d approach this as if you are my virtual accountability partner.  Starting with being honest with you and myself.  It doesn’t work otherwise.

So here goes.

I haven’t exercised purposefully in almost two years.  Gulp.

Despite my love of productivity and getting stuff done, I have yet to strap one of those steps monitoring Fitbits to my wrist. In complete honesty, I would be embarrassed to know how few steps I actually take during the day.  In truth, I’m feeling pretty disappointed with myself.

Sure, there was a polar vortex in early February here in the Pacific Northwest, which left inches of snow on the ground.  However, I knew when I moved here that normal weather in my beloved state of Washington is wet and cold and often windy.  You don’t need sun to take a walk.  And I have a great umbrella collection to choose from even if it does rain.

When I lived in California it was much easier to get inspired to go for a walk…that was until it was too hot.  And my two furry four-legged friends were always so happy and motivating when I pulled out their leashes.  But times change and I’m in-between wagging tails as motivators at the moment.

For the majority of the last two years, I have lived at the top of one of those infamous Seattle hillsides (think San Francisco).  Starting a walk going downhill is OK, but realizing that I would be scaling the same hill going up at the end of my walk paralyzed me.  Yet avoiding hills isn’t making it any better.

Moving this month has certainly convinced me of the need to work on my endurance and strength.  Climbing three flights of stairs to carry my belongings to my new abode has humbled me beyond words.  And I will admit that I am considering putting off the 10,000 steps goal even longer, rationalizing that my body needs to recover.

And yet I know that before I could say “AttentionDeficitHyperactivityDisorder”…March will be here…and I will still not have made any progress towards my fitness goal.  And I really want to explore my new town!

I know what this means.  It means that I need to take a spoonful of my own advice.  My exercise goal right now is too big.  It’s a problem of mine at times.  Setting big hairy audacious goals.  I usually meet them head on.  But this is different.

10,00 steps a day…everyday…feels too big.  Even once a week to start with feels pretty big.  I need to make it smaller…break it down…take only a bite…or a few steps.

I’ve done this before.  When my youngest daughter was born, I knew that the only way to keep up with my four children was to be in shape.  At that time I was either walking or on a stair climber for an hour a day.  Three years ago, my oldest daughter got married and I wanted her to be proud of me when I walked her down the aisle.  Again, I walked, building up my endurance to over 3 miles a day.

The thing I always forget is that I need to start small.  So I am going back to my roots.  I am going to start with exercising 10 minutes a day…for 40 days and go from there.

There can be real magic in a ten-minute goal.  I can do just about anything for ten minutes.  And ten minutes a day adds up in a way that is truly amazing.  At the end of 40 days that would be 400 minutes or 6 hour and 6ish minutes of exercise I wouldn’t have otherwise done.  And who knows, maybe I will go beyond that minimum goal, and it’ll add up to even more.

I’m also going to allow myself to be generous with what exercise means as I start out.  Exercise means literally any movement I wouldn’t have otherwise done.  Since I currently could spend easily 10 hours a day in my office working, just about anything that involves moving for health counts.

Forty days is April 9th.

I’m hoping you’ll help keep me to my word.  I’ll let you know how it’s going in my next newsletter…how I’m doing.  If you want to give it a go with me, you can add that into the comment section below.

Let’s do this!

TAGS:      7 Comments

I Hope You…Express Your Amazing ADHD Self!

Adults with ADHD    January 26, 2019

ADHDOver time, people with ADHD have learned to suppress some of the most fun aspects of their individuality.

Most of us start as children without any inhibition of expressing our uniqueness.  We dress up in flamboyant costumes and parade around the neighborhood.  Sing at the top of our lungs to our favorite songs.  Color outside the lines…on the paper, on the ground, on the walls.  Make up and tell vivid imaginative stories.  Run fast, jump high, and dance with abandon. We proudly express our offbeat traits and preferences with the world as children.  And then we grow up.

As we age, cultural and societal norms creep in that unintentionally confine and marginalize our authentic expression.  Instead of living our lives enriched by our quirky creative impulses, we begin to seek out more acceptable outlets and often take great pains to downplay those amazing eccentricities often deemed odd by others.  We may not even realize that we are limiting ourselves in this way.  And so over time, we learn to suppress some of the most fun, unique and lovable aspects of our ADHD selves.

So how do we rediscover and embrace these now buried or forgotten parts of ourselves?

Two simple steps:

  1. Ask yourself — What would I do if I knew that no one would judge my choices or actions?
  2. Visualize how this would look in your life. Do this without self-judgment and without the judgment from others.  When you give yourself permission to imagine this, you better understand and appreciate the forgotten expressions that are an important part of who you are.

Maybe you secretly dream of replacing your current, conservative clothing with a changing array of costumes…or at least wearing clothes that reflect your personality.  Perhaps you envision yourself driving a car that you have painted with murals or inspirational sayings spreading positive energy.  Or you see yourself hugging the trees in a local park thanking them for their shade.  What about singing joyously as you grocery shop?  Taking up an exciting hobby like fire spinning or skydiving?

Do you see yourself breaking out in dance or expressing yourself with a fun hair color?  Lying on the grass one afternoon watching clouds shaped like animals float by?

Whatever the nature of your musings, ask yourself what is really stopping you from including these authentic expressions into your life.  Don’t be surprised if your creative ADHD imagination takes you in unexpected directions.  And, when it does…embrace it!  Set the intention to incorporate at least one of them into your everyday being.

Life as we know it is so short.  Making the most of it is a matter of being ourselves even though we know we will inevitably encounter people who disapprove of our choices or misunderstand our self-expression.

But remember, disapproval doesn’t make it or you wrong.  Far from it.

When you express yourself like no one is watching (or judging), you will discover that there are others with ADHD who appreciate you because you are willing to let go.  When you do this you help others know it is okay for them to do it too.

Living with ADHD means that no one else in the world is exactly like you. You are born with your own unique way of expressing yourself. Isn’t it time to embrace this and recommit yourself to the celebration of your individuality?

Viva la difference!

What are some ways you’re going to express your amazing self?

I’d love to know.

TAGS:      Leave a comment

Goals that Work for People with ADHD

ADHD Strategies    January 1, 2019

Guess what? 2019 is here!

goals people with ADHD

Welcome to a new year!

Whether you absolutely crushed 2018, or you struggled to accomplish any of your goals, I want to help make 2019 the best year of your life.

Although I try not to tell others what to do, I do get a lot of questions from people in our ADHD tribe about how I get so much done.  So, I decided to go a bit outside of my personal rule of not giving unsolicited advice and tell you what works for me, hoping it might work for you also.

WHAT WORKS

So how can you make 2019 the best year of your life? How can you keep working on your goals, stay on track and end up a year from now knowing you did your best?

The answer? By being true to yourself and pursuing your dreams and goals.

Let me say that again…by being true to YOURSELF and pursuing YOUR dreams and goals.

The key to this is “YOUR”. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, and don’t try to follow the dreams, outcomes, goals of others.

The concept might seem simple enough, but it’s a struggle that a lot of us living with ADHD share.

WHY IT’S SO HARD WITH ADHD

Why? Because a lot of the goals or “to do’s” that we aim for in life are actually the ideas and beliefs of others. Others without as much understanding of ADHD.

When we have ADHD, over time it is easy to stop trusting ourselves. Instead we start looking outside of ourselves for what must be best. At times this might work. But, if you continue to struggle with not meeting the goals you set year after year, consider this: Are you living a life where you are pursuing the things that are meaningful and important to you? Or, instead, are you are paying more attention to what’s “out there”, than what is inside and true for yourself?

Try this. Think about your goals for a minute.

Do you really want to be more organized? Have a structured systematic plan? Walk 10,000 steps a day? Alphabetize your receipts? Balance your finances down to the last penny? Have a clean kitchen everyday?

If you do…really do…great! You will rock it in 2019!!

However, what if you don’t? And how will you know the difference?

DO THIS INSTEAD

For a moment, get quiet and honest with yourself. Now consider which ones of those resolutions resonate with your heart or soul? Try taking a deep breath slowly in and out, pause, say the goal out loud and consider how it lands for a moment.

WHERE YOUR SUCCESS IS

The goals that are yours will feel like they are coming from deep inside. You may even notice that when you are speaking them out loud, your voice is calm, settled and solid. If they are not meaningful to you, they will be accompanied by a “should”. For instance, I really (should) get my finances in order. I really (should) start walking. I really (should) have a system for washing dishes every night.

Goals that are true for you will feel more like a “want”. For instance: I want to enjoy a less chaotic or cluttered environment. I want to enjoy living in a body that is strong and healthy. I want to be prepared for tomorrow by leaving my kitchen clean at night.

WHY IT MATTERS

It starts with being aware and honest with yourself about what is important to you. Then you can design the goals, steps and outcomes to make those changes. Creating new habits with this foundation will have more likelihood of success. AND you’ll have more energy and satisfaction to keep going.

Trying to make changes based on what others want or expect you to be will always be difficult. It drains our energy and is uninspiring because it is not who we are. It’s so much easier to be ourselves. Growing and moving towards being your best self, based on what’s important to you with ADHD, will be easier with much more chance of success.

And lest you forget…in the end the world gets to enjoy your unique amazingness. J

So, as 2019 begins I encourage you to set goals for yourself. Just make sure that those goals you set are ones that are important to YOU.