Creating Lasting Change, When You Have ADHD
Last month, members of our ADHD support group shared their personal stories of success. As I listened, it became clear to me that when people received good treatment for ADHD, they moved ahead. They were no longer buried under the traits of ADHD. Instead of living their “ADHD,” they were living their lives: improving relationships, changing jobs, going back to school, and more. As they stepped forward, they wanted more from life.
Most of us make New Year’s resolutions, wanting something to be different in our lives. How do people with ADHD approach change, and what does it look like?
According to one popular theory, change is a gradual process that involves several stages over time. This differs from viewing change as one-time event, such as stopping smoking or overeating. Based on over two decades of research, (Prochaska and Velicer, 1997) the transtheoretical model found that individuals created change by moving through a series of stages. The right support in each stage was vital to the change process.
Five Stages of Change
Precontemplation: In this stage, we can’t see what the problem is. Everything seems hopeless, and we might doubt our ability to change.
Contemplation: In the contemplation stage, we know that we are stuck, but we’re not sure we want to do what’s necessary for change. We see the pros but also the cons. Knowing the destination, we don’t have the readiness to go there.
Preparation: In the preparation phase, we have a plan in place and are making the final adjustments necessary to change behaviors, but we’re not completely on board with change.
Action: Once we are in action, we are working our plan with structures in place that allow us to succeed and to move toward our goals.
Maintenance: In this final stage, we check that we’re where we need to be and learn how to press the ‘reset’ button.
Obstacles to Change
Why is change so hard for people with ADHD? There are many reasons. You might be staggering under the symptoms of untreated ADHD. Or you face executive skills challenges, such as being able to get started, plan, organize, or manage time. You might be newly diagnosed with ADHD and not even be aware of the role that ADHD has played in your struggles.
You may have tried to move ahead, but you really weren’t sure what type of help that you actually needed. Even if you know what help is needed, there can be the challenge of finding a provider in your area. Needless to say, the road to lasting change can be rocky.
Most of us want to succeed and do well in life. If we haven’t succeeded, why not? What has gotten in the way?
An ADHD coach can help you in sorting out the pieces of the puzzle, walking alongside you as you create the life you really want. Are you ready to start moving ahead? Call today for your complimentary session!