Exercise & Health

Have Your Carrots and Pie, Too

Here’s one simple and effective strategy that I use for achieving balance in my ADHD life – a little ‘should,’ and little ‘want,’ and repeat.

ADHD is a world of extremes. Some days we can’t seem to do anything productive. Other days we only allow ourselves to work on the things we should, at the expense of everything else. Life becomes a drudgery.

There has to be a balance somewhere. But how to achieve it?

Try alternating your “shoulds” and “wants”. Whenever you accomplish the not-so-interesting work you set out to do, reward yourself by doing something fun. Then choose another item from your “should” list. And so on.

As long as you limit the duration of the fun stuff, you’ll probably get more done that way. Rewards are a great way to motivate yourself.

A variation on this theme works if you’re trying to eat more healthy foods. For example, I was dying for some apple pie the other day. So I ate some carrots. Then I ate the pie. No, not the whole pie! Just a small piece. I ate less of it because I was full from the carrots. And I ate the carrots because I knew they were the gateway to the pie.

A balanced life is like lasagna. It’s all about layering. If all the noodles were on the bottom, and all the sauce was on the top, it wouldn’t be very tasty.

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