You Middle of the Year Check-in 2018

It’s that time of year again. Time to do a personal check-in as we enter the last month of Summer.

August is an excellent month to do a check-in and see how things are going for you in different areas of your life. September will be here before you know it and our schedules will become filled again with activities, your kid’s activities, regular work routines, and school.

It’s important to review what had worked for you from January to the beginning of summer. Did you stick with the recreational activities you had signed up for? Did you spend too little or too much time socializing? Is your home still filled with clutter and looks like the after effects of a tornado? Did you lose the weight you swore you would?

Doing a seasonal check-in isn’t meant to be a time beating yourself up about what you didn’t get done or a time to create an unrealistic to-do/must-do list. It’s a time to acknowledge the things you were able to accomplish and work towards the things that have yet to be completed.

I’m thankful that I gave in at the end of last year and purchased the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets 2018. It has helped improved my ability to stay focused on my goals with a sense of compassion instead of aiming for perfection and beating myself up when I fall short. It is rooted in the grace that God has given us and the grace he calls us to have for ourselves and others.

The Powersheets are written in such a way that each month you are able to work towards your goals and break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly commitments. There are months where my sheets were only half filled and others that were completely empty. I was able to look back and see those times when life became difficult and overwhelming. At time stress, anxiety, fear, and the ever-present ADHD were at my side guiding me off track.

I was able to turns things around by accepting that life is not linear and therefore neither is the work we do in aiming to accomplish our goals and fulfill our responsibilities.

A personal check-in doesn’t have to be complex, but it does have to be honest. Answer the questions honestly, no one else has to see them except you. No one will know your responses and where your heart is at except you and God. He is there to help you search yourself. Remember that God knows we are not perfect, he is there to give us strength, and his Holy Spirit is there to provide us with the wisdom we need to grow and be our best selves.

Ask Yourself:

-What are some things that I have accomplished since the beginning of 2018?

-Have I shown an active and disciplined commitment to my goals and responsibilities?

-What are my different relationships like: Family, Spouse, Friends, Work, Church?

-Time management, how have I been doing in this area? What needs to change and what can I keep doing that seems to be working well?

-Learning: Did I make time to intentionally learn new things? e.g. how to use new features on your smartphone, enrolling in a class or workshop, taught yourself something new, tried a new recipe.
How did you response to this learning experience? E.g. Frustrated, happy, excited, angry, disappointment.

-ADHD management: how well have you been managing your ADHD symptoms? Have your symptoms increased, decreased, remained the same, or don’t know?
What are some changes you might need to make? E.g. Sleep less/more, alter diet or eating habits, stress reduction, let go of some activities and commitments, seek more support from others formal/informal, medication adjustment, less time on social media, find different time management tools and apps, etc.

-What is your spiritual life like? Have you been attending church/place of worship regularly? Have you been spending time outdoors in the sunshine and amidst nature? What’s your level of attitude of gratitude?
Are there spiritual activities that might be beneficial for you? E.g. meditation, mindfulness exercises, going a small group bible study, etc. If you are creative and artistic, have you been able to make time for creative outlets?

-Did I find myself developing new habits, were they helpful or do they need to be decreased or eliminated?

Remember, your mid year check-in is meant to be done with compassion and grace. It also doesn’t have to all be done in an afternoon or a day. Take a week if you feel the need to. Break the questions down by focusing on select areas of most importance. This might be your marriage, your work, school, or some other area of your life. If you feel overwhelmed, slow down.

Pray and ask God to guide you through your check-in and during your times of reflection.

 

 

 

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Adult ADHD and the Challenge of Change

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Change isn’t easy for most people, but when you include ADHD into the mix, change can be a major challenge.

Why do people fear, dislike, and avoid change while others welcome it? In pursuit of answers there are organizations that specialize in change theory and help organizations, non-profits, and government sectors deal with internal and external change. For people with ADHD/ADD there are ADD coaches, life coaches, psychologists, social workers, and your circle of knowledgeable friends and family.

Do you remember the popular Prayer of Jabez movement from the 2000s? My memory of that time was people boldly praying the verse from 1 Chronicles 4:10,

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.”

They didn’t ask for simple things like, ‘Lord, help me to be nice to my co-worker that I treat like garbage’ or ‘God please help me to understand my spouse with more compassion and empathy’; nope, there were people who were praying for a long list of material goods, a husband, pregnancy, and all sorts of personal wishes. While there is nothing wrong with asking God for something that is meaningful to you, the problems were that people didn’t seem to understand that when God “gives” or “blesses” you with something there is often change involved. If you want a child, then your life will change significantly when the child arrives. You want to change careers and start your own business, well, it’s important to understand that self-employment creates personal changes in income, insurance, and stability. When something significant comes into or out of our lives, it will include change. Sometimes that change is for the better, other times it is for the worst.

People prayed the Prayer of Jabez with a focus on “bless me indeed” and “enlarge my territory” but by passed the parts “Keep me from evil” and “that I may not cause pain!”. We are taught that change needs to benefit us 100% without consideration of how it might affect others. There will be times when we must make decisions and changes that will affect others, but as Jabez asked of God, don’t let evilness towards others and intentionally causing people pain be part of your plans for change.

When you have ADHD, change will need to include a lot of trust. Trust in your choices, trust in the future, and trust in your abilities; but most of all trust in God. Adult ADHD traits such as impatience, distraction, forgetfulness, ever changing priorities, anxiety, and moodiness not only affects our own journey of change, but it affects others as well. It is important to remember that as believers, change includes forgiveness, grace, mercy, all the fruits of the spirit, seeking wise counsel, and lots of prayer.

If you would like further information on change and Adult ADHD here are some further online resources:

Can Adults With ADHD Really Change?

Adults with ADHD Can Change Their Love-Hate Relationships

5 Warning Signs You Are Reaching Your ADHD Tipping Point

Change Management Models (not ADHD related)

What is Theory of Change?