Creating Change In Your Life

Back in the late 1970s, two researchers developed a model for evaluating those suffering through addiction in their journey toward health. The Transtheoretical Model, or more colloquially, Prochaska’s Stages of Change, went on to help social workers and therapists treat those suffering with transformational diagnoses for decades. As it turns out, the Stages of Change model works pretty well for us, too, as we think about our relationship to ADHD.

This week on the show, Nikki introduces the Stages of Change with an eye on ADHD, and how you can use it to train yourself to better adapt to the world around you.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Pete Wright: Hello, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast on Rash Pixel FM. I’m Pete Wright and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete.

Pete Wright: How are you? You’re back. You’re feeling good?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. I just attended the 2019 CHADD ADHD ACO conference.

Pete Wright: Somebody asked me, “What does that stand for?” And I said, “It’s the CHADD conference.” I can’t-

Nikki Kinzer: That’s really all I got to say.

Pete Wright: No idea.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s the ADHD conference. It is not one. It’s three organizations combined into one conference, and it’s all about ADHD. It is that conference to go to, it’s for coaches, psychologists, doctors, educators, people with ADHD, adults with ADHD, kids, teenagers with ADHD. There’s a lot of stuff.

Pete Wright: Yeah. I think that’s fantastic. I debt carry deep shame and regret that I did not go this year, and I am absolutely going to attend this year.

Nikki Kinzer: Me too. Please, because I can’t tell you how many times is Pete here? Where’s Pete? Why din’t Pete come?

Pete Wright: Did they say-

Nikki Kinzer: They see me and they expect to see you.

Pete Wright: Yeah, right. Oh, look, it’s this time. Here’s ADHD podcast twins. Did they announce where it’s going to be next year?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, Dallas, Texas.

Pete Wright: Dallas, Texas.

Nikki Kinzer: Dallas Texas.

Pete Wright: That’s halfway closer to me then than [crosstalk 00:01:36].

Nikki Kinzer: It is, it is. Yes, 2020 Dallas, Texas. I will definitely talk more in a couple shows. I’m going to talk more about some of my takeaways with the conference, but one thing I do want to say right now is that it is such a supportive group of people and it really is just really, it’s so neat to be able to see people talking to each other and sharing their experiences and not feeling ashamed or embarrassed about that. People would speak up in different sessions and really share some vulnerable things, and people would get up and give that person a hug.

Nikki Kinzer: I will talk a little bit about my daughter here in the next few weeks. After I asked my question about my daughter, I had three different people come up to me and give me support and ask questions and just help me. I mean, it’s just a wonderful place to be. Yes, it’s expensive because you have to fly there, you have to pay for the conference. But if it is close to your home and you are able to do it, I highly recommend going at least once because it really is a neat experience.

Pete Wright: I can’t wait. I can’t wait. Plus, I got family in Dallas.

Nikki Kinzer: There you go.

Pete Wright: Of course, in Dallas, it’s like… The size of Dallas now, I feel like me here in Portland, I’m really just in North Dallas.

Nikki Kinzer: I don’t know what you mean by that but-

Pete Wright: It’s just an exceptionally large city, right? I mean, it’s just taking over, just in terms of raw space, it’s taking over the world. So anyhow, I can’t wait to go next year. It’s going to be super fun, and it’ll be a fresh change from the East coast. Really cold.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: All right. We are going to be talking about the steps to create change in your life today. But before we do that, head over to takecontroladhd.com to get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released.. And, of course, you can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontroladhd.

Pete Wright: If this show has ever touched you or helped you make change in your life in the way you live with your ADHD, we invite you to join us over at patrion.com/theadhd podcast. For a few dollars a month, you can support the show, you can support the work we’re already doing. Plus, you get access to a few great perks like early access to the show by subscribing to your very own personal ADHD podcast, RSS feed, you get access to workshops, you get access to downloads depending on the level that you’d join us to support the show. We appreciate you.

Pete Wright: Make smart financial decisions first, but once you do that, head over to patrion.com/theadhd podcast, throw us a few bucks and help us continue to grow and make the show thrive. Thanks to those who’ve chosen to join us already. Thanks to those of you who are just considering it. Nikki Kinzer, how do you create change in your life?

Nikki Kinzer: Silence.

Pete Wright: What is that?

Nikki Kinzer: It is hard. Life changing. So how do you create change in your life? That’s, gosh, what a great big question that is. When people come to coaching, that’s what they’re looking for, right? They’re looking for change, they’re looking for something to be a little bit different in their life. A lot of my work is helping those people create new habits, finding strategies and systems and things like that work for them. Because the goal is not to be a neurotypical, the goal is to bind things that work with your ADHD brain.

Nikki Kinzer: What we’ve learned in the last several years, or what I’ve learned in the last several years in my practice is that any kind of change is not easy. And we’re not just talking about the big change of, stop smoking, exercise, be healthy. Those are bigger changes, get to work on time. But any change, even just eating a healthier breakfast can be difficult to do. We are creatures of habit, whether they’re good habits or bad habits. That’s sort of what we tend to fall into. And in order to have a change take place in our lives, we have to be ready to take on a challenge because change doesn’t just happen because we want it to happen.

Pete Wright: I don’t know Nikki Kinzer, I think pretty hard.

Nikki Kinzer: And is there anything changing for you?

Pete Wright: Well, I just kind of feel like maybe I haven’t thought hard or long enough so that I better just keep on keeping on. Is that not the right strategy? Is that not the right strategy?

Nikki Kinzer: Well, I have to tell you there’s good and bad in that strategy. The first part though, that’s really good and really positive is that you keep thinking about it-

Pete Wright: Oh, good. All right. So I’m doing something, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Because it’s still in you’re not just giving up on it. You’re like, "No, this is still important. So there’s some really good about that. Where we kind of fall or where we get stuck is that, that’s all we’re doing is thinking about it. So we’re not taking that… We’re not going into that next stage, which requires us to actually start changing, and that’s the action piece.

Pete Wright: Well, so today you want to introduce us to a model, the Prochaska’s stages of change, and walk us through-

Nikki Kinzer: Have you heard of this?

Pete Wright: No, I’ve never. I’m actually really feeling lucky that I was able to read the name out loud and not screw it up. The Prochaska’s stages of change. That’s fantastic. Where did you hear about it? Is this fresh from the CHADD conference or are you a regular student?

Nikki Kinzer: No, this is not. It’s interesting because it’s not fresh from the CHADD conference. This was actually introduced to me by a client, gosh, a few years back, she was in my group coaching, in a coaching group. She was talking about motivational interviewing and she was talking about these different stages of change because of the work that she was in. And she said, you may be interested in checking this out because it actually may be really relevant to the work that you do.

Nikki Kinzer: So I checked it out and I was like, yeah, it kind of makes sense. There’s these five stages and this model of how we change. But where it really came really full force was that I was doing some research on coaching college students, and in two of the books that I was reading, they both talked about this particular model.

Nikki Kinzer: I thought that’s really interesting that it’s very connected with students. But I think that it goes far beyond that. And so, the whole reason that I want to talk about this is that I think it gives us an understanding of where we may be in what stage of change so that we can kind of understand ourselves better and knowing what’s happening, why we’re getting stuck. So just to give you a little bit of background, this was developed back in the late 1970s, and it was originally tended to help individuals who are trying to change addictive behaviors.

Nikki Kinzer: The study that they did first, the first study they did was on people who smoked. What they were particularly or specifically looking for was who are the people who could quit on their own verse who were those who required further treatment. And there is a cycle of stages that they saw that people were going through and understanding… They knew that change doesn’t happen quickly. People are going to be in these different stages for different periods of time. So, that’s what the basis of the experiment was.

Nikki Kinzer: But what’s happened is now people take this model of change and they use it to explain and facilitate changes in many different kinds of routine behaviors. And that’s where it really can fall into a benefit for ADHD for people who are looking, again, not even just for ADHD, but any kind of routine or change that they want in their life, they can understand themselves a little bit better with this model.

Pete Wright: To run through the five stages, stage one, pre-contemplation, stage two, contemplation, stage three, preparation, stage four, action, and stage five, maintenance. I am looking at these and I feel like the pre-contemplation, contemplation thing is where I would, at my worst, get stuck. I’m glad to see that they’ve separated these out. How does that work? Let’s walk through pre-contemplation.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. Well, in this stage, you are not ready for change. So what’s happening here is that you’re not even seeing that there’s a problem. Now, somebody else from the outside, a parent, or a boss, or a spouse might see that there might be an issue, but you don’t see it. So other people may see it but you don’t. And so, you can kind of almost say this would almost be like a denial type of situation. It is very difficult to have a conversation with someone who’s in this stage because what’s going to happen is they’re going to immediately become defensive. And so, they’re not going to want to have this conversation. So trying to give somebody advice or trying to convince them to do something different isn’t going to work. It’s just not going to work.

Nikki Kinzer: What the research says is that they’re not emotionally ready to have this conversation at this point. The best thing for somebody to do, it’s just to ask them questions and listen to the answers, and if anything, empathize, but don’t agree. So if I am a mother and I see that my child is struggling with something and they’re not seen it, the best thing I can do is just ask them questions and listen to them and say, “Yeah, I understand. That’s really hard for you.” But I’m not going to necessarily say it’s the teacher’s fault that you got an F.

Pete Wright: Right, right, which is an easy and natural response.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. So it’s a little tricky, but this is definitely kind of more of that, I would say denial stage.

Pete Wright: So then that moves us into the contemplation stage, and at this point we’re a little bit more ready to hear some tough talk.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. At this point, we’re much more aware. We recognize that, okay, you know what, maybe this is a problem. Maybe I do actually have something to do with this. And they can actually see the pros and the cons of their behavior, not just the cons or pros, right? They can see kind of both sides of it, but they’re still not necessarily convinced it’s worth the change. Because as we’re going to talk about, in order for change to happen, you have to take some kind of action. And when you’re in this stage, you’re not really convinced it’s worth it yet because you still may be thinking, well, it’s never worked before. I have done this before. I’ve tried this strategy, I tried the planner. It doesn’t work. So I’m still not convinced it’s really going to be worth my time. I have this limiting belief that maybe I still can’t change or I can’t do this.

Nikki Kinzer: There might be a fear of failure, there might be a fear of being embarrassed. That, oh, here I tried it, but I didn’t work again. There’s also this fear of success. What if I do well? Then that’s the expectation I have going forward. And that’s a pretty hefty expectation, right? So, that could be very scary.

Pete Wright: There’s huge opportunity here because this is, at least, it sounds to me that at this point we’re taking responsibility, right? It may be hard, we may have a lot of limiting beliefs and negative self talk about it, but at least we recognize that there is a problem and that we have a responsible part in it.It’s not just-

Nikki Kinzer: Yes and no.

Pete Wright: It’s just outsourcing blame.

Nikki Kinzer: You’re not outsourcing the blame. But you also could be getting stuck in your own limiting beliefs and blaming yourself and still staying stuck. So you may take some responsibility, but it could be a shameful type of responsibilities, and that’s keeping you stuck. So it’s a real touchy thing because, especially with ADHD, because with so many people with ADHD, they already have that poor self esteem or that they already are looking at themselves in a way that is so unhealthy and they may be taking on too much responsibility because now instead of looking at it as just the ADHD symptoms, they’re thinking they’re bad, they’re the wrong. So it’s a very touchy-

Pete Wright: It’s like the pendulum swings all the way the other way.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right. But the good thing about this stage though is the people that are in this stage are ready to have at least a conversation about it, right?

Pete Wright: Yeah. Well, I think that’s what I was getting at. At least you can show up, at least you’re sitting at the table.

Nikki Kinzer: You can show up. Yep. And you can have a conversation with someone and that person on the other side, like let’s say that parent, can now start asking not just questions, but can start challenging the questions a little bit more. Like, well, if you see that as an issue, what do you think we could do about that? Or what are some ideas that you have? What have you tried? What went wrong? So you can start asking a little bit more deeper questions to kind of get them to think about what the solutions might be in the future or what the road is to that.

Pete Wright: Well, and this leads us directly into stage three, preparation.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: Now we’re at a point where it’s easier to have those more penetrative conversations.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. This is the client who’s calling me to be coached. When you are asking for help, whether it’s through a coach, a therapist, a teacher, a parent, whatever, a support group, whoever you’re reaching out for help for, you’re in the preparation stage, you’ve already acknowledged what’s going on. You already know that it’s time for change, you’re motivated, and you believe that it’s possible. And so, some of those old beliefs are being challenged now, you’re embracing the change. Now, I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying that all of a sudden a switch flipped on and you think, oh, I can conquer the world. We know it’s not that easy. But you’re motivated. You have that internal why of why you know this is important for you to do it.

Nikki Kinzer: Now, this to me is where you can really start adopting that growth mindset. So we’ve talked about mixed, I’m sorry, we’ve talked about fixe mindset and growth mindset. We can put in the notes with our last conversation about that. But this is really a good place to put the growth mindset where you can see this as opportunity. You can learn from your mistakes, you’re okay with failure because you know that that’s moving you forward. If it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you expect it to, it’s okay. So we’re starting to really kind of open ourselves up here. We’re gathering the information that we need and we’re starting to make a plan. So when you go to coaching, that’s what we’re doing. We’re figuring out what’s going on, we’re figuring out what you want, what your goals are. And we’re starting to really start to develop that plan of what may work for you.

Nikki Kinzer: But this is also where we have to break down that plan into small steps because we have to be really careful and we… Pete and I, you and I have talked about this so much that we can’t just change everything at once. So we need to be able to take one or two pieces of what that major goal is and be able to break that down and focus on that. And that’s where you’re doing that on this preparation. I would encourage everyone who’s in this preparation stage is to have some kind of support and help. You don’t have to do this alone, and I encourage you not to do it alone.

Pete Wright: At this point, you get the sense that… Well, I guess it’s a question at this point, do you find that you have let go of baggage of past failures? Is that one of the characteristics of preparation that you’re… the act of being ready to move on represents the act of letting go of failure and moving on to a new potential success?

Nikki Kinzer: I think it’s the first step. I don’t think that it would be realistic for us to say that those thoughts or beliefs won’t come back up. I think you are, what I’m hearing you say and what I do agree with is I think it’s the first step of starting to let that stuff go. It’s beginning to see that I am not a bad person because I have ADHD. I don’t need to be fixed. What I need is to figure out how to work with this so that I can get what I need to get done, but I don’t need to do it like everybody else does.

Pete Wright: Okay. So how, and I think this is a massive challenge for so many of us with ADHD, how do you get out of preparation? How do you get out of that mode of just standing on a starting block ready to go and never really transitioning into step four, action.

Nikki Kinzer: It is a challenge, and that’s again why I want to really highlight how important it is to not do this by yourself and to really do it with a coach, with a therapist, with a mentor, with an accountability partner, with somebody that you can talk to and you can go through this process with, because what you’re doing is you’re practicing. Let’s just keep this to a basic thing going back to students. If I have a college student who I’m working with and they’re working on a morning routine because they are late to class every day, so where are they at? They’re at this action step where they have to practice the routine. In the preparation, we have already timed out the morning, we’ve already kind of figured out what has to be done, when they have to leave, what bus they’re taking. We’ve already worked all that out in the preparation. Now it’s time for them to practice.

Nikki Kinzer: And so, what happens is when you’re working with somebody or you have somebody you can talk to about it, it gives them that just a little bit of, not just accountability in a bad way, it’s an accountability of, “Hey, look what I did today. I got there on time. I can do this.” And if you have a bad day, it’s like, “Well, this is what happened, and now I’m more aware of what happened so that I can stop it next time.”

Nikki Kinzer: So the action doesn’t have to be a scary place. It’s a place for practice. And one of the things that ADDers have a problem with is that it’s very black and white thinking. They think that if I didn’t do this the second, third, and fourth day, that it’s never going to work. And what we have to really try to do is step away from that black and white thinking and be okay that it only worked for the first day. But you know what? You get to try it again today. And it doesn’t mean that it didn’t work. You can keep being in this action step for as long as you need to be. Just keep practicing, keep tweaking. It’s always a constant work in progress, but rely on your support

Pete Wright: Right. And so far as you’re living through the first three stages of change with every micro task that you take on, i`t’s so easy to get caught in the little negative self talk, the little bits of language that that can stop any one of the next steps in your plan that you’ve been breaking down. I think that’s really, it sounds to me what I’m taking away from this is just how important it is to use this as a process to keep it as a mental model and a practical model for getting over these humps.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. Because we know that a habit, a routine isn’t going to be consistent all the time. So I want my clients to know that what you can be sure of is you will be inconsistent. This is not a black and white step. It’s not that you do it or you don’t do it. There is a lot of in between. And so, it definitely is… you know how we talk about accommodations, and you’re so good, Pete, at talking about the different accommodations that you have to make sure your workflow goes smoothly in your home. You’ve talked about your laundry and all of that. This is where the accommodations are put in place so that you can do these actions, you can do these things because you have these accommodations in place.

Nikki Kinzer: But this is what happens. There’s this in between thing that happens to between action and maintenance, and that’s relapsing.

Pete Wright: Well, that’s kind of what we’re talking about, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: If you find yourself getting stuck-

Nikki Kinzer: It is. This is going to happen and it can also happen after even the maintenance stage. So you could be doing this for a year and still relapse after maintenance. So relapsing is exactly what we’ve been talking about, it’s exactly what you think it would be. It’s sliding back into those habits, those behaviors. This happens to me so often when it comes to health stuff. I’ll be really good with my diet and then all of a sudden it just creeps up that I’m back into my old habits. We all do this. It’s so natural. It can happen quickly or it can happen gradually. It just depends on the context of what your behavior is that you’re trying to change.

Nikki Kinzer: So what do you do? This is what I want to talk about next because I want to talk about what happens when you relapse. I’m pretty confident in saying that most ADHDers are going to beat themselves up over this, and I’m going to asking you-

Pete Wright: Yeah, a little bit.

Nikki Kinzer: … that you don’t.

Pete Wright: You think you’re really going out on a limb on that one?

Nikki Kinzer: I think I’m going out on a limb, but I’m pretty sure that I’m going to catch the limb, and I’m going to hang on. I’m going to ask you not to beat yourself up over this. Be kind and gracious to yourself just like you would if you were treating or you were talking to somebody else in your life. You would not beat up your daughter, or your son, or your husband, or your wife, or your partner because something happened. And so, don’t beat yourself up over it. Again, you do not need to be fixed. You are not broken. And the more you can separate yourself from, that’s when my ADHD got in the way verse I’m a great person, right? ADHD doesn’t define you. So when these things happen, when these things relapse, that’s what we want to keep remembering, is don’t beat yourself up over it.

Nikki Kinzer: Rely on your support systems to help you. Again, I can’t emphasize enough that you’re not in this journey by yourself. So if you relapse and you feel really bad about it and you need that little help of getting motivated again, reach out to those people that support you and reconnect with your why. Why did you do this in the first place? Why did you want this change to happen?

Nikki Kinzer: And sometimes it’s just taking a few minutes to reflect and look back at your journal notes or whatever you’ve done to prep for this, and go back and look at why this was important to you. And sometimes just getting that reconnection can get you to make that first step again.

Nikki Kinzer: Something else that I want to talk about is prioritizing taking care of yourself. We talk about, oh, it’s so important for self care, and it comes out of my mouth so easily, but we know it’s easy. But something that I’ve learned, and this was definitely from the conference, is that you have to prioritize taking care of yourself when you have ADHD because so much of that is going to affect how loud your ADHD is that next day. So sleep, nutrition, exercise, especially, those are things that you really want to prioritize and put into your life.

Pete Wright: You know what I think, and I think we all know how great ADHDers are with money. I mean, in general-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, yeah.

Pete Wright: … if you know anything about ADHDers, is they’re financial savvy, but there is a thing that I have taken as financial advice and it has actually permeated every other part of my life, which is a pay yourself first, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: When you get paid, there is a reason at your job, they give you the opportunity to take out a retirement contribution and put that away so that you don’t ever see it. Because again, ADHDers and money, mm, perfect. I think about that bit of advice, pay yourself first. How does that apply everywhere else in your life? I think self care is the big one for me. Pay myself first, it means that when I’m cranking that second cup of coffee at 9:30 at night, I’m not paying myself first.

Nikki Kinzer: No.

Pete Wright: If I’m paying myself first, then I’m not sitting on the screen at 12:30 in the morning writing that one last email. If I’m paying myself first, it means I’m actually practicing, conditioning myself to keep some regular hours and get up at the same time. It means I’m eating regular doses of protein and vegetables and I’m doing the right things for my body. It means I’m going out and I’m paying myself first by taking walks in the afternoon. That, it’s impossible to understate how hard it is for those of us who aren’t wired that way. I’m just chemically not wired that way. But it is, I’m paying myself first if I’m doing those things.

Nikki Kinzer: I love that. Well, and I think that especially goes to all of the parents out there that have kids still at home. It is so easy to have their needs come before yours. And in some situations, you do have to have that happen. But I do think that what you’re saying and what is really important is that you find that time and you do it without guilt. It’s important that you do it without guilt. And we’re not talking about four hours in the morning of me time. I mean, we are talking about a lot of time. It’s a matter of just making it happen and figure out when the right time is for you and when you need it. I mean, sometimes exercise maybe isn’t in the morning but it can be in the early afternoon or whatever. But yeah, I think it’s really like that. It’s very similar.

Pete Wright: There’s a reason they want you to put the oxygen mask on yourself-

Nikki Kinzer: First.

Pete Wright: … before you help the children and the elderly. There is a reason for that. You have to be in great condition in order to be in great condition for someone else.

Nikki Kinzer: So something I want to bring up here cause I think this relates to a lot of listeners. I have a client currently that I’m working with on protecting sleep. And if you were to look at these stages of change here at the very first stage, oh, my sleep is fine. I can get away with four hours of sleep. But now they’re realizing they’re in stage two and thinking, four hours really isn’t enough. I’m pretty cranky. I’m pretty sleep deprived, have that brain fog going on. Not feeling real good-

Pete Wright: People are noticing about me that I’m reactionary, that I’m not… Yeah, it’s, I’ve getting external signals now that I’m connecting with my lack of sleep, sure.

Nikki Kinzer: Something’s not right. And so, now I’m in preparation and I’m going to start this morning or, I’m sorry, evening routine to get to bed on time. I’m going to, all of these things. I had somebody asked me recently, “Well, what are the strategies to get better sleep?” They’re all the same strategies that we’ve always heard. Nothing’s changed, but it’s then going into stage four where you have to take action, right?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: So that now we know, okay, we probably need to look at the temperature of our rooms. We need to look at how dark it is. We need to start looking at are we meditating? How are we shutting down? Are we putting our electronics away? That’s the biggest thing that people aren’t doing. So if you’ve got that iPhone or iPad, you’re probably going to stay awake. So that is where you have to start taking some responsibility that if you want this change to happen, then you do need to try and practice some of these strategies, even if you don’t like it.

Pete Wright: Move the charging station out of your room. Go ahead. Leave it in an office in the living room. You don’t need to bring it to bed. And you know what else, like take the transition as slowly as you want. If you want to keep reading on your iPad, great.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: Sit on the couch, sit in a chair, sit at the kitchen table and read until you’re exhausted, then leave it there and go to bed. That is a great way to make this transition easy on yourself. You can have the all the same behavior with only one tiny change, and that is the walk to bed when you’re actually ready to sleep.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Well, and I’ve had other people too, another quick change. I know we’re kind of going off subject here, but I’m sure there’s a lot of people curious. I’ve had people who have one specific book like real book, but that’s what they read when they go to bed.

Pete Wright: The bedtime book.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s a bedtime book. That’s another way to get away from the electronics because the book isn’t going to get you into Facebook and the news and everything else. So anyway, that’s kind of giving you guys an example too, a little bit of how this can work even just with sleep and other things like that.

Nikki Kinzer: The relapse. So we talked about that. I think tweaking the plan if you need to, if you keep relapsing then maybe something isn’t right in the plan. So definitely be taking a look at that. The last thing I want to say, it’s so important, it’s just don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on this. We know the why is important. So keep trying again, keep doing it again and just don’t give up on it cause you’re worth it. It’s important.

Pete Wright: All right, so the last step is maintenance.

Nikki Kinzer: Hallelujah. Woo hoo. We have a new behavior with the habits.

Pete Wright: We’ve arrived.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s a habit.

Pete Wright: And you’re never going to fail. Don’t worry about it. You’re great. You’ve achieved it. You grabbed the brass ring.

Nikki Kinzer: We’re great. Well, we know that that’s… They’re still going to be relapses, but that’s okay because this is what I loved when I was researching this. Even with the relapses, it’s a behavior that you can sustain and you intend to maintain going forward. And I love that. Let’s say that again. It’s a behavior you can sustain and intend to maintain going forward. Even with the relapses, you know that this is your lifestyle, this is your thing, this is your jam, and you’re going to continue it regardless.

Pete Wright: I love the language here, and I feel like it’s sort of putting into different words one of the things that I say all the time. When I’m my best, and that language, the implication for that for me is that I intend to do the things that have been successful in the past, even if I’m not able to do them right now.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right.

Pete Wright: And it doesn’t mean that they are failed and I know that I’m a better person and I’m better at interacting with the world around me when I’m in this mode.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, absolutely.

Pete Wright: I really liked that.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, and with that, you have a higher level of awareness when you do go off track and you can shift those priorities back. And the beliefs really start changing because they become more serving. Because then what you’re saying to yourself is, “I can try again tomorrow. I know I can do this. I did it last week. I can do it again.” But you see how different that is than say, “Well, I didn’t do it last week. I shouldn’t do it again. Or I shouldn’t try.” This is a much more positive way. It’s like, I know I can. I’ve done this before, and I’m going to do it again tomorrow, or next week, or whatever.

Nikki Kinzer: So your beliefs aren’t limited anymore. They really are more opened beliefs. So I want to just briefly talk a little bit about why this model is beneficial to think about if you resonate with it. I think it definitely helps us support one another. So you can kind of understand more about what stage a person is currently in or what stage you are currently in. I think any kind of awareness around what we’re feeling and going through can be very helpful. It can help us be more supportive, more patient with people. It can help us be more optimistic and more committed to the process as well.

Nikki Kinzer: I think, myself as a coach and as a parent, I think it’s important that we meet our clients and meet our children, or whoever you’re working with in this type of context that we meet them where they’re at and then we’ll have a better or a bigger impact. So if I have a client and I know that they’re just in stage two, they’re kind of talking about it, they kind of know that this is an issue, but not sure, I can meet them there. I’m not going to go straight to action planning.

Pete Wright: Yeah, right.

Nikki Kinzer: Same thing with my daughter, I’m not going to go straight to, okay, well this is how you use your planner. We’re going to talk more. We have other things to talk about first.

Pete Wright: I mean, that example is perfect, right? When you’re tying to teach kids to plan, this is a different sort of context than I’m going to give you a tool that will change all this, assuming you know how to do it all and are ready to do it and that you care as much as I do, and you really care as much-

Nikki Kinzer: No.

Pete Wright: … as I do-

Nikki Kinzer: No, no.

Pete Wright: … about those sorts of things.

Nikki Kinzer: No. So a better understanding of ourselves, better understanding of the people that are around us and something just to leave the listeners with think about maybe identify a goal or habit that you’re currently working on and just think about what stage are you in on this process? What’s going on, what are the feelings and things that you’re experiencing and what’s going to help you get to that next stage.

Nikki Kinzer: Pete, I do want to reiterate what you said. It’s okay to be in the stage for a while. You don’t need to be in a hurry to get to the next stage. So I don’t want to put that question out there it’s like you’ve got to hurry up and get there. It’s just a thought of how do you get unstuck.

Pete Wright: This is a model, not a plan.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right.

Pete Wright: It’s a way to help you think about… to use language that has come up recently, it’s a way to help you think about a different part of the elephant, and hopefully, it gives you some insight into other parts as well. This has been fantastic. What a great bit of insight here, Nikki. This is going to be a good a library episode. I think I learned a lot today. Thank you for introducing us all to it.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, absolutely. My pleasure.

Pete Wright: Thank you, everybody, for downloading and listening to this show. We appreciate your time and your attention. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you all next time right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.