Learn to Manage Your ADD; Enrich Your Relationship

ADHD Relationship TroubleIf you’re in a relationship and you have ADHD, Saint Valentine’s Day may not always be a fun day.  In fact, romance can be hard to come by any day of the year.  Your ADHD might be getting in the way of both of you thriving in the relationship.

My husband, Duane and I have always been very open about how his ADHD almost destroyed our marriage.  Today, we have an amazing relationship, but Duane and I used to have many fights.  I often felt I had three children instead of two; and that first child was very temperamental.

What was the most difficult wasn’t what he did, but the fact that I couldn’t rely on him to help me with anything life threw at us: financial problems, car accidents, illness, demotions, professional problems, and worst, relationship issues.  I felt exhausted most of the time because of everything I had to do: managing the budget, taking care of paperwork, dealing with the children’s schoolwork and day care, meal planning, school planning, car and home repairs and the list goes on.

Eventually I stopped fighting about it and became resigned that life with Duane was always going to be a burden. I’m glad things have changed and that our relationship has become one of love (which it always was) and support where both of us thrive.

When One is Hurting, Both Are Hurting

Whether it’s ADHD causing the struggle in your relationship or not, one thing is certain, when one of you is suffering, the other is suffering too.  My father is deaf, so when he watches TV, it’s loud, so loud that when we visit, we can hear the TV blaring from the corner of their street (their house is about 10 houses in!)  My father’s loud TV was making my mother, who’s a calm person who enjoys peace and quiet, absolutely miserable.

Finding a Solution for One Spouse, is a Gift for the Other

One Christmas, Duane and I gave my Dad a headset that connects to the television.  As a result, my father could control the volume of the TV through his earphones and suddenly, the household became quiet again; both Mom and Dad were happy.  My father’s deafness made my mother miserable until we found a solution for him.  She often tells me that it was one of the best gifts she ever received; and it wasn’t even her gift!

The same is true of ADHD, whether you’re an adult with ADHD or the spouse of an ADHDer, if you are struggling, both of you are hurting.  And when the spouse with ADHD learns how to manage life better, both of you (and your children, family, friends and co-workers) live a better life.

When Duane spoke to me about hiring a coach, I admit I was sceptical.  After all, we had spent a lot of money on numerous well-known Time Management Programs and even special programs for Goal Setting and even Financial Planning, but nothing worked.  What finally made me take a leap of faith was the belief that if we didn’t do anything, nothing would ever change and we would both be doomed, along with our children, to a mediocre (at best) life.  That may seem harsh, but we were in “survival mode,” and when you’re focused on simply surviving, it’s impossible to reach any level of self-realization.

It was only when Duane sought help with an ADHD coach that I stopped hurting.  As he learned new skills such planning, time management, focusing etc., he became a better partner for me and our relationship flourished.

If you have ADHD and you are struggling because of it, forget the flowers and the candy and consider getting help to manage your ADHD.  It’s not selfish… it will be a gift for your spouse as well.  And if your spouse has ADHD, make getting help your gift to them and your spouse will return the gift to you many times over.

New Book for Adults with ADHD Now Available!

“With Time to Spare”

By Linda Walker

With Time to Spare: the Ultimate Guide to Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs, Adults with ADHD and other Creative GeniusesYes, you heard that right! There’s a new book out for adults with ADHD, and it’s been getting rave reviews! Linda Anderson, a Master Certified ADHD Coach and the Past-President of ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) loved it! David Giwerc, President of ADDCA (ADD Coach Academy), an ADHDer himself, and a leader in the field of adults with ADHD and one of the founders of ADHD Awareness Week in the U.S. raves about it! Why, even Canadians like it! 😉

Our own Rick Green, writer, comedian, actor and star of the hit documentary, “ADHD and Loving It!?” liked it so much, he’s enrolled in the The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses Group Coaching program that the book is based on. Dr. Annick Vincent, one of the foremost recognized ADHD experts in Quebec, who appeared with me last week on the Montreal television talk show, “Les Kiwis et les Hommes” told me she couldn’t stop talking about it at last month’s CHADD (Children with Attention Deficit Disorders) conference (because, of course, children with ADHD have parents with ADHD!)

This new book, With Time to Spare: the Ultimate Guide to Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs, Adults with ADHD and other Creative Geniuses, is now available on Amazon.com.

Oh, did you notice something else? Did you notice the author’s name? That’s right! I wrote this! I sat down in January 2010 and began to write the book that had been waiting to be written. I’ve been working on it for over a year, and I packed it full of valuable, practical, difference-making advice for adults with ADHD taken right from the trenches of my own life with a husband and adult daughter with ADHD, and proven time after time in real life with my ADHD clients.

I was committed to writing a book that would both inspire and guide my readers, and after months of writing and countless edits, I had it tested by several readers with ADHD or entrepreneurial ADD. I was thrilled when the verdict came back with a resounding “YES!”

So I am proud to announce that With Time to Spare is now available in paperback at Amazon.com and in Kindle version at Amazon.com, Amazon France, Amazon UK, and even in Italy and in Spain. (Sorry Canada! We’re struggling to make it available in my home country).

To your Focus, Action, Success,

Linda Walker

Preventive Medicine for ADHD

stressedSometimes, I feel like an ambulance driver; I seem to meet my clients for the first time in a crisis situation. Over the years, I’ve noticed, and recent scientific studies have confirmed my observations, that burnout occurs almost six times more often in adults with ADHD than in the general population. I can believe that, since many of my clients contact me because they’ve had a burnout in the past, they are on sick leave from a burnout or they feel they are on the verge of burning out. While it’s gratifying to be a “lifesaver,” (marriage saver, job saver or sanity saver, depending on the crisis!) I thought some preventive medicine might make a nice change!

Ever Wonder Why You Hear Sirens All the Time?
Considering how un-ADHD-friendly modern life can be, with the constant interruptions of cell phones, text messages, emails and less-than-monk-like cubicle farm neighbors, I’m not surprised most ADHD adults struggle to stay focused on one thing long enough to make any headway. A lack of proactive thinking in many organizations has people playing “fire fighter,” rushing from emergency to emergency, putting out fires that could have been prevented.

At the end of the day, despite working a full 8 hours (8 hours? Ha!), your To-Do list is longer than when you started and tasks you scheduled but never had a chance to complete because of the constant interruptions are now added to the pile of last-minute crises that will ensure this situation will repeat next week, next month and next year! What can you do but take work home or stay late trying to complete things at the last minute?

If It Happened Before, It’ll Probably Happen Again
If this is your reality, you are probably overwhelmed and dissatisfied with your work. If it continues like this for any length of time, statistically, you’re headed for a burnout! Many people throw up their hands and walk away, quitting, being fired or going on sick leave, but until they put preventive strategies in place, the typically situation repeats itself when they return to work!

Seven Burnout Prevention Strategies
These 7 strategies will improve your work satisfaction, reduce overwhelm and stress, prevent burnout and help you gain control of your life:

  1. Take extreme self-care – exercise every day, get 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye; you’ll need plenty of sleep to stay energized and focused.
  2. Strategically “schedule” your interruptions; protect your high-energy periods to ensure peak performance.
  3. Schedule the right types of tasks at the right time of the day to ensure you optimize your time and stay energized.
  4. Develop the habit of checking and answering emails during off-peak, less productive time.
  5. Create systems to deal with repetitive but complicated activities that tend to cause crises.
  6. Take a 20 to 30-minute rejuvenation break when it will do you the most good, when you are mentally and physically wiped. Soldiering on instead only makes it worse.
  7. Schedule activities or appointments to force you to get out of the office at the end of the work day.

The strategies are simple, but like most simple things, they aren’t always easy to implement. Starting an exercise program is always easier if you have an incentive and you can use some of the same effective techniques to implement your anti-burnout strategies; partner with a buddy, join a class or hire a personal trainer. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

The Buddy System
It’s fun to go to the gym with a buddy, so you’re more likely to show up, but you know they’ll let you off easy so you don’t always get the maximum benefit from your investment.

A Group Coaching Program
Group coaching combined with training allows you to get all the benefit of the buddy system, except on a bigger scale, because you work with a small group of people who share similar challenges, develop friendships that last long after the class ends, and who encourage each other, but you also have an expert who guides you every step of the way, and pushes you to do just a little bit extra so you get the maximum benefit from your investment.

Work With a Personal Trainer
And just like at the gym, one-on-one time with a coach is expensive but effective. You schedule appointments at your convenience, work as hard and fast (or slow and easy) as you want, you get exactly the help you need when you need it and the results can be amazing.

Of course, in all cases, the results depend entirely on the investment (time, effort and money) you’re willing to make, but if you’re tired of being tired, sick of living on the precipice looking into the abyss of a total loss of control in your life, make changes now. A little prevention goes a long way.

The Maximum Productivity Makeover is a highly effective group coaching and training program in one. For more information on how it can work for you, click here.

Fear, ADHD, and Halloween

fearThe longer I coach, the more I question the need for Halloween and horror movies. Dressing up in costumes can be fun, but why do we treat fear as something unusual and exciting when, in reality, it is ever-present and paralyzing. I work with adults with ADHD, but I’ve found that regardless of ADHD, we’re already scared. All of us! Yes, me too!

Fear is very much a part of every decision we make. We fear failure. We fear being laughed at, not being taken seriously, not looking good or not fitting in; we even fear success! And we do everything possible to avoid facing these fears head on.

You don’t have to have ADHD to be scared; all creative geniuses have experienced a fear of failure. But, I think ADHDers are probably more familiar than most with how it feels to fail, and would agree that it is far from pleasant. The problem is, if you avoid any situation where failure is a possible outcome, you’re resigned to playing small, very small!

So what do you do with fear if you want to reach your full potential by playing full out? Let me share with you one of the strategies from the Conquer Procrastination module of The Maximum Productivity Makeover.

Be Aware of and Acknowledge Your Fear

The first step, once you’re aware of your fear, is to acknowledge it. That which you resist persists. And by the same token, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

Examine Your Fears

The second step is to examine the validity of your fear. You’re afraid because you’re imagining the worst possible outcome. How likely is it that the worst will happen? What are all the possible outcomes of trying something new? The outcomes could be: success, failure, or, most likely, something in between. Ask yourself, is anything less than success a failure? And is there a way you can minimize the risk of the worst happening?

Can You Bounce Back From the Worst?

The third step is to consider how you would bounce back if the worst did happen. If you fall from a 6-inch ledge outside a window on the tenth floor of a building, fear is justified. Fear is, after all, a self-preservation mechanism. Unfortunately, fear is either “on” or “off.” In the presence of life-threatening danger, you react in a way that will preserve your life. However, when there is a small, or even imagined, danger, you react the same way.

However, if “failing” at something new means that you might look foolish or that someone could laugh at you, you can easily bounce back. I have full confidence in you. No one ever died of embarrassment (although, truth be told, we might wish we had).

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Finally, after you realize that you can bounce back from whatever outcome you fear, and so, you realize “failure” really won’t be all that bad, especially compared to how much better life could be if you succeed, take your fear out for a drive… but keep it in the passenger seat. Acknowledge its existence, but don’t allow it to rule your life. In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway.

And one more thing about fear… Boo! Happy Halloween!

If fear is stopping you from achieving your greatest dreams, the Maximum Productivity Makeover starts in January 2012. Register and reduce the risk of failure.

I Need A Hero

adhd-heroYeah, I know, the Bonnie Tyler song is a little bit sappy. But it’s appropriate, because we all need heroes in life, people who inspire us, people whose victories we can celebrate as if, in some small way, they are our own.

Following the call for ADHD Heroes at the end of March, a group of volunteers stepped forward, inspired to help make a difference in the lives of people with ADHD and their families. Having worked alongside them, I realize that they are also ADHD Heroes and it’s been a privilege to spend time with them.

The ADHD Heroes project’s mission is to inspire and to help foster hope and courage for people living with Attention Deficit Disorder. We’ve already begun finding and capturing the exciting and untold stories of real live heroes, regular adults with ADHD who’ve achieved success in areas of their lives despite or because of their ADHD, and soon we’ll be able to share them with you and the world.

I’ve been so inspired by the courage these heroes show when they “come out” and reveal their ADHD to the world, given the unwarranted stigma still surrounding ADHD. Meeting and speaking with these amazing heroes is one of the best rewards I get participating in this project.

Marc Asselin, one of our heroes, is leading the charge on the ADHD Heroes Web site, so we will soon be able to sharing their stores with you as well. I am eagerly looking forward to announcing the Web site launch.

The Branding of a Hero

Superman wore a red, white and blue outfit (and tights, but somehow he made them look dangerous!) and had a secret identity as newspaper reporter, Clark Kent. Peter Parker, also a journalist (is there a pattern here?) was bitten by a radioactive spider and donned a mask and tight-fitting spandex, presumably to make it easier as Spiderman to swing from the spider webs he shot from his wrists. A hero is not just declared a hero; a successful hero becomes a brand, a recognizable identity that may include a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan.

We’ve created a team to help design the “brand” for the project. This has been challenging since none of us are branding experts (I’m not sure those long debates over whether the ADHD Hero should wear a cape were really productive!) Of course, we’re looking for volunteers willing to work cheap (anywhere between zero and free would be fine!), so if you are a branding expert or have a passion and talent for graphics, logos, and “image,” we’d love to count you as one of our heroes. Simply complete the form below…

You’re Not a Branding Expert? No Problem!

Even if you’re not a branding expert or a graphic artist, we are still looking for more ADHD Heroes who are willing to help us with interviews, videotaping of interviews (and possibly a seamstress, depending on how the debate about the cape turns out!), or if you’re an ADHDer who has experienced success in one or more areas of your life, because of or in spite of your ADHD, and you’d be willing to share your experience and pass along to a struggling ADHDer (someone who is now where you’ve been) what it took to achieve success.

What’s In It For You?

All our heroes have the opportunity to be featured, if you would like, in our Contributors’ page, with mention of your bio/expertise, where you’ve helped in the project and we’ll include links to your Web site. (This is an excellent way for an up-and-coming expert “anything” to begin to make a name for him or herself!) If you don’t have a Web site or prefer to remain anonymous, nothing beats the reward you get from that amazing feeling of pride you have knowing you’ve helped a worthy cause, and you can count on our undying admiration and gratitude.

We’ve already got promises of media attention around our launch, so we’d love to move even faster than we are, and we’d really love to have your help with this wonderful project. Will you step and be the hero we all need?

Related posts:
Wanted: ADHD Heros

Wanted: ADHD Heros

ADHD Hero

I’m developing a global community project called We All Need a Hero.

The objectives of this project are to inspire, give hope and courage to teens and adults with ADHD.

What compels me to start this project?

Experts estimate that between 4 and 8% of adults have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). As the wife and mother of ADHDers and an ADHD Coach for more than 6 years, I know how devastating ADHD can be when you don’t know how to manage it.

  • Adults with ADHD struggle – in their professional lives they are less productive and are much more likely to lose their jobs;
  • In the personal lives, they are twice as likely to end up in a divorce or worse, resign themselves to never being in a loving relationship;
  • In their financial lives, they are 4 times more likely to struggle with serious financial problems.
  • And the list goes on.

They spend so much of their lives trying to recover from failures and feeling defective that they don’t have time, energy or the belief in themselves to transform their lives and reach their full potential.

As a result, not only does this impacts their family, their colleagues, the companies they work for, but we, as a society, lose the contribution these Creative Geniuses could make in the world. Unfortunately, the stigma and judgment surrounding adult ADHD keeps many of them “in the closet” and unable to receive the help they need.

I believe that everyone has a contribution to make in this world and when even one person can’t reach his or her full potential, the world misses out on possibly an important contribution.

If Nothing Changes

If ADHD in adults continues to be stigmatized, more people will continue to hide their problem, keeping them from getting the help they need and never reaching their full potential.

What Will Change Things?

We as a society need to de-stigmatize ADHD. We need to recognize that adults with ADHD have strengths – such as creativity, a stronger tolerance to risk, etc. – that if developed, can lead to success. We know this because there are many successful adults with ADHD. These models of success can become ADHD Heroes, inspiring teens and adults with ADHD to come out of the shadows and provide the hope and encouragement for ADHDers to believe they are capable of having a full and powerful life.

The project:

I am looking for ADHD Heroes to help me build, as a first step, a Web site with videos and articles of interviews with successful adults with ADHD – ADHDers who’ve had success in some area of their lives.

I’m in search of adults and families with ADHD who would like to contribute to this project and make a difference. We need all kinds of help:

  • Select the team members;
  • Build and design the site (WordPress blog);
  • Reach people through social media (set up a Facebook page, etc);
  • Access technology for videos, webcam, etc;
  • Support us with technology for video;
  • Reach ADHD Heroes who are willing to talk about their road to success,;
  • Communicate this project and bring attention to it as we finish;
  • Interview and write articles of ADHD Heroes;
  • Successful ADHD Heroes who are willing to share the secrets to their success in a short video interview (preferred) or be interviewed;
  • Etc. I’m sure there are things I haven’t thought of yet.

To join us you must be a teen or adult with ADHD or member of an ADHD family. No one will be remunerated for this work, not even me. This project aims to pull us – the community of adults and families with ADHD – together to help us dispel the myth that ADHDers can’t amount to much and see the real contribution ADHDers can make in the world.

If you would like to join me in this project, let me know what skill set or strengths you bring and the role you’d like to play in the form below.

I hope you’ll join our team.

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Related posts:
Playing Full Out
HyperSmash

ADHD and Work Satisfaction!

work-satisfaction-adhdI’m going to do something I rarely do. I’m going to ask you to close your eyes for a moment. No! Not yet! You won’t be able to read the rest if you already have your eyes closed. 🙂
(You can listen instead by clicking the link below)

I want you to imagine it’s the end of the workday and you’re getting ready to head home to begin the second (and maybe best!) part of your day. Now SMILE!

You are smiling because, not only are you finishing on time and are about to spend a few hours with your loved ones, but you also have energy to really enjoy your evening.

You feel satisfied with your day since you managed to complete the things you had planned to do with ease and you were able to meet your commitments to your team, your clients, your boss and most importantly, to yourself.

Listen as your clients / colleagues / boss tell you how amazed they are as how effective and efficient you have become. “Wow great job!,” “You are so on top of things,” “We can always count on you” and “You saved the day!”

As you hear these comments, you push out your chest with pride, realizing you have definitely come a long way, baby. Your smile widens and you truly feel like you make a real contribution to others. You’re at the top of your game.

What’s amazing is that every day this same scenario repeats itself. You consistently achieve your professional and personal goals.

Now open your eyes. Is this what you are going through every day? If not, what are you going to do about it?

How can you gain work satisfaction?

1) Start by determining what you want to accomplish in a day. Keep it to 3 to 5 items that will make a significant difference for you.
2) Reduce the “noise” around you – stop email notifications, stop colleagues who come to interrupt you, put a sign on your cubicle if you have to, send calls to voicemail.
3) Focus on only the items that you planned to accomplish in the day.
4) Enjoy!

Is Valentine’s Day a 3-Hour Fight Followed by 3 Days of Icy Silence

Duane-LindaMost people celebrate St-Valentine’s Day because they’re in love. But some people wonder what there is to celebrate! If you’ve ever felt like that, we understand. Duane and I have wondered what the fuss was about, and yes, that was while we were married!

When you hear about the challenges we faced, you’ll wonder why we’d want to remember them at all! And we would be more than happy to forget most of them, but recalling these challenges reminds us of how much better life is once you learn to overcome the many challenges that spring from the often-ignored third party, ADHD, in relationships.

Who would want to recall three-hour shouting matches followed by three days of icy silence? Unless we could also share how we’ve now learned to keep the communication channels open.

Fighting Stimulates the ADHD Brain

Your ADHD spouse likely enjoys fights because the big rush of adrenaline allows them to focus. It doesn’t help that they are likely carrying a lot of shame and guilt that makes any criticism or innocent comment feel like an attack. And as the non-ADHD spouse in our relationship, I can tell you that I was exhausted and resented carrying the entire burden of the household responsibilities.

I was so frustrated that Duane couldn’t remember what I’d asked him to do 15 minutes ago but he could quote me word-for-word on something I’d said five years ago… if it would help him win the argument! There was no way out!

How to Communicate When You Can’t Communicate

Of course, until you can communicate, you can’t even begin to address any other issues in your relationship. We couldn’t talk to each other because every conversation ended in a shouting match, but we desperately wanted to save our marriage because we still loved each other. Instead, we agreed to write to each other using rules you can apply in your own situation:

  1. Tell your spouse how you feel, not what he/she is doing wrong. For example, “When you commit to doing something and then don’t do it, it makes me feel as if I’m not important.”
  2. Write with the intent of being heard and understood, not with the intent of winning or being right.
  3. Beware of words like “always,” “never,” and “should.”
  4. Re-read and edit your writing, asking:
    a) Could my spouse interpret this as an attack? If the answer is yes, change how you say it.
    b) Am I saying this because I want to be right, or because I want to be heard? If the answer is, “I want to be right,” adjust it so that your intent is strictly to be heard.
  5. In each letter, state your love and reiterate your desire to understand and to be understood. Remember, the objective is always to improve your relationship.

Once you’ve finished your letter, don’t deliver it and then stand with your hand on your hips, tapping your foot while your spouse reads it. Give your spouse plenty of time to read it, mull it over and to respond in writing. The secret of this process is that it removes the lure of instant gratification and the adrenaline rush ADHDers get from a fight.

For Duane and I, this approach finally enabled us to communicate in a way that information was flowing in both directions. It wasn’t long before we realized that both of us were in pain, and that we both wanted exactly the same things… a better relationship in which we both could grow and feel fulfilled.

If you want to improve your relationship with an ADHD spouse, the good news is that it’s never too late to take steps (like this one) that will make a positive impact. You can have the partnership of your dreams, and even though it’s hard to believe when you’re in the middle of a shouting match, it’s rarely easier to start over than it is to rebuild the relationship you’re in, ADHD or not.

Related posts:
Taking Ownership of Your Life

Is Your Ecosystem Supporting Your Goals?

ADHD and Gender Roles

The Montreal Chapter of the LDAQ presents: Tax Credits, Government Programs

Tax Credits, Government Programs & More!

Financial Advice for Parents of Youth/Young Adults with ADHD, LD and/or Asperger’s Syndrome

On Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 7:30 p.m.

Speaker:

Nathan Leibowitz is an advisor with Assante Wealth Management. With an MBA in finance and an extensive tax background, he consults with Canadian individuals and businesses for their investment and tax planning needs. Nathan has been hosting workshops and presentations for the special needs community over the past number of years. Along with his team of lawyers, C.A.’s and insurance specialists, they have helped numerous families both receive more money from the government and ensure the long term needs of their loved ones are properly looked after. With the complex requirements of different governments and authorities, they help families efficiently navigate the process.

Topic: This presentation will address questions such as:

  • How do we maximize tax credits and deductions for our child/young adult?
  • What government programs are available for our family?
  • How to protect government benefits currently received?
  • Is the Registered Disabilty Savings Plan the best option for our child/teen?
  • How do the proposed budget changes affect our situation?
  • How to ensure properly structured wills and/or mandates?

Everyone is welcome. A small donation from non-members of the chapter would be appreciated to help defray meeting and photocopying expenses. LDAQ publications and other material will be available for purchase before and after the meeting.

HÔPITAL MONTREAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Ampitheatre D-182, 2300 Tupper, Montreal

In case of snow storm please call 482-7196

Is Your Ecosystem Supporting Your Goals?

ensure your environment supports your adult adhd life“No man is an island.”

John Donne (1572-1631)

You are not an “island.” Your life is affected by your “ecosystem,” all the things and people you interact with. Your ecosystem is never neutral; it can help you or hinder you. Good news… you decide which it is!

Your “ecosystem” combines external factors such as your:

  • physical environment (your space and how it’s organized at home, in your car, your office),
  • family relationships (immediate and extended),
  • social network (relationships with friends, associates, acquaintances and even people you haven’t met yet if you tend to network with the same type of people consistently),
  • body (health, your appearance, etc.),
  • financial health, and
  • career.

Your ecosystem also includes internal environments such as your strengths, skills, capabilities, values, needs and beliefs. These elements are so intertwined that when one part is out of whack; your whole ecosystem system gets “sick.”

Achieving goals is far easier if your “ecosystem” supports you. When your environment conspires against you, you’re like “a fish out of water.”

Your Ecosystem Reflects Who You Are

If you’re a couch potato, you probably hang with other couch potatoes. You have big plans for the Super Bowl, and maybe even for the entire football season! You’re more likely to invest in a satellite TV than in a good suit. If you want to be a couch potato, you have created the perfect ecosystem to maintain your lifestyle.

But if you’d prefer to live a healthier life in pursuit of your passions (unless your passion is watching TV), you’ll want to change your ecosystem. A supportive ecosystem makes it possible to move forward instead of falling back into old habits, and yet we continue to struggle while leaving obstacles in our paths.

The Environment Always Wins

Neglecting the state of your ecosystem is “a mistake, big, huge” (Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman). If you’ve decided to become healthier by losing 30 pounds this year, you know what you need to do. You eat smaller portions and choose healthier foods, you drink more water, and you exercise. Congratulations! Weight loss is a foregone conclusion. Then your spouse brings home ice cream and you succumb to temptation (junk food in the store is much easier to resist than junk food in the kitchen!)

Perhaps you’ve decided to apply ADD-friendly strategies to manage your life in a way that works for you. If you haven’t prepared your spouse for the changes, they could inadvertently sabotage your efforts. But before you start pointing fingers, it isn’t always your spouse’s fault!

You just had a brilliant idea for a new product so you decide to start a business. As you plan the launch of your product, you realize you need more money that you have, and you’re already deep in debt. You end up spending all your energy trying to dodge creditors, and soon your business fails. Or perhaps you share your amazing idea with your friends and family (who’ve never owned businesses) and they all explain to you how business people are crooks, you’ll have no security, it will never work, and if it would work, it’ll certainly never work for you! More dreams are “murdered” by negative people in your ecosystem than ever die of natural causes.

Some Assembly Required

Achieving any dream or goal takes preparation and planning. Take some time to get your ducks in a row and your ecosystem in alignment with your objectives. To live a healthier lifestyle, seek your spouse’s support, participate in meal preparation and ban junk food from your pantry.

Before you start a business, establish relationships with other entrepreneurs. Get your finances in order and eliminate or at least reduce your debts. (Trading in that big-screen TV for a nice suit is a good step.) Yes, it takes time to synchronise your ecosystem with your ambitions, but once the supportive elements are in place, you’ll make significant progress far more quickly.

And if you’re a Creative Genius with ADHD and you’re tackling your ADHD head on, share your ADHD-friendly strategies with your family and especially with your spouse. Share with your spouse how ADHD affects your marriage and explain the strategies and how they’ll help. Adults with ADHD face plenty of challenges in their ecosystem. Getting your spouse on your side and improving your life as a couple is one of the best ways to reinforce your ecosystem and get ready to face those challenges.

Related posts:

Playing Full Out

ADHD Brainwashing First, Transformation Follows