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Guest Lisa Feinberg on Accountability and Goals
Coach-in-training, and member of the first ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability group, Lisa Feinberg talks about her experiences and struggles she met in trying to accomplish her goals. Trying to address her distracting Facebook habits, Lisa wrote about her challenges in an essay posted on Facebook. Looking to perform better at her work while moving towards eventually starting her own coaching practice, Lisa has made use of a number of strategies taught though the accountability group, as well as ones she developed herself. With stories, strategies, and suggestions, Lisa and host Eric Tivers cover a lot of ground related to accountability and moving to accomplish one’s goals.
About Lisa Feinberg:
Lisa has worked as a nurse in the past and is now in the middle of training to become an ADHD coach.
Diagnosed with ADHD in her late 30s, she’s always been described as someone who is “chronically late”.
To stay fit and focused, she runs three to four miles most days of the week; the running helps manage her ADHD by releasing extra energy early in the morning.
During the Coaching and Accountability Group, Lisa tracked her goal of flossing her teeth at night.
Using both a chore chart and habit-tracking smartphone application to track completion of her goal, she found more use out of the physical chart than the application.
Communicating with others and seeing them succeed in tracking their goals made the thought of tracking more palatable and approachable than before.
Lisa and Eric are motivated by different circumstances: Lisa is motivated by maintaining a streak of tracking successes, while Eric is motivated by the larger picture of making overall progress and meeting attainable benchmarks.
Eric: Aim sometimes to accomplish simple yes/no goals when beginning the process of tracking.
“Facebook on Purpose”:
Lisa posted an essay on Facebook detailing her struggles with over-using the website.
Unlike many other bad habits, Facebook usage has a lot of general utility, making it harder for her to avoid being on the website in the first place. Despite initially visiting the site for a simple purpose, she often becomes easily distracted.
Through controlling her Facebook use, Lisa seeks to Improve the quality of her life, have more time to have fun, do things that are important to her, engage in more conversations with those around her, read more books, have higher quality exercise, maintain greater focus, and more.
Lisa gave herself a date – January 14th – after which she will no longer browse Facebook outside of her allotted times.
The accountability group helped her to figure out her strategy and know what specific actions to track, like how many times she checks Facebook per day and how long she goes in between instances of checking the website.
She wants to be able control her Facebook habits without help from assistive software like Anti-social or Freedom because she feels she receives more power though controlling it herself.
Eric: Sometimes, when we decide to simply “try harder” to fix a problem, we have to instead learn how to “try differently”. It would be nice if we could be able to fix these problems on our own, but it’s even nicer that a tool exists that really can help people.
After initially waiting nine months to begin using the program Freedom, Eric then wished he hadn’t waited.
Eric suggests Lisa print her essay so that she has it available to look at and read while at her desk.
While using Facebook may feel rewarding or exciting at times, it’s important to ask oneself about which is more exciting: Facebook or scheduling your first client, finishing your website, and accomplishing personal goals?
Lisa plans to use visual cues as a way to remind her of her goals. For instance, creating a collage of scenes that remind her of what it would be like to have her business running, website published, first client booked, etc. Motivational writings might be included.
Eric: writing down our plans for the future as if they’ve already happened could be a good motivator.
Lisa was initially terrified of giving a presentation in the ADHD reWired accountability group.
In retrospect, she feels the task of giving the presentation was awesome and she was happy she went through with it, as it provided a good opportunity to focus.
Compared to how worked up she had been beforehand, the act of actually presenting felt relatively easy and straight forward.
“From Surviving to High-fiving”
The presentation was about how Lisa was able to increase her productivity at work.
With her work very oriented around conversations and service while being a work-at-home job, it is very self-directed.
Lisa began by segmenting her tasks down into smaller steps that are easier to accomplish.
In the morning, she turns on her computer and sets up her working environment before her morning routine so that she can begin working immediately.
She posts motivational Post-It notes on her monitor with inspirational quotes.
Setting a timer has helped Lisa increase her sense of urgency while working; if she’s really resisting work, she’ll set the timer for three minutes. Similarly, she has used the “pomodoro method” of working in intervals of about 25 minutes.
To help her maintain focus following a mental or physical transition (e.g. walking to the kitchen for a glass of water), she writes down what she just finished doing, what she plans to do during the transition period, and what she’s going to begin working on again once she returns, before setting a timer for the length of time the transition will last.
Eric: Writing down what you’ve just finished doing can allow you a moment to pause and bookmark your status before continuing forward.
Initially Lisa wanted to focus on her coaching business when entering the coaching group, but later adapted in the work-related issues.
Because of its accountability partners and the accessibility of its members, the coaching and accountability group allowed Lisa to stay focused on her goals throughout.
Eric: I also learned a lot from hosting the first coaching group. I’m improving the process and establishing more of a solid curriculum based on the feedback received from the group.
Lisa: I have some experience with goal planning though my experience as a nurse. As much experience as I had, it wouldn’t have had a substantial effect had I not also had the accountability found through the group.
Eric’s Goals for 2014:
Create and launch a new website
Launch a podcast, ADHD reWired
Send out bi-monthly newsletters
Attain a better understanding of personal and business finances
Contribute to 3–5 magazines
Lose 12 pounds
Create passive streams of income
Progress from hosting a satellite CHADD group to a full chapter CHADD group
Give at least twelve presentations and attend two national conferences
Products and Services Mentioned:
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E. Brown
Bad Habits No More: 25 Steps to Break Any Bad Habbit by S.J. Scott
Anti-Social, a website blocking tool
Freedom, a tool that halts your internet connection during scheduled times
Pomodoro Technique, a method of pacing work in timed increments
Random Question Round:
If you could have any invention you could think of, what would it be?
What was the last movie you saw?
If you won the lottery, what would you do differently tomorrow?
Right now, what’s under your bed?
If you could eat lunch with one famous person, whether dead or alive, who would it be?
Lisa Fineberg’s Parting Message:
Having experienced Eric’s direct and honest feedback throughout her time in the accountability group, it meant a lot when Eric told Lisa she had a natural way about herself that made her presentation feel fun.
Even despite some stumbling blocks during the presentation, the end result was that Lisa felt better about herself and her abilities.
Find and Contact Lisa:
Via the ADHD Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/adhdrewired
Via Lisa’s upcoming website at lisafeinberg.com [under construction]
If you want you hear your question or comment on a future episode, go to erictivers.com/adhdrewired and look for the comment form, or click on the yellow button for either “Be a Guest” or “Record your question”.
If you’re interested in being a part of the next ADHD reWired accountability group, please visit EricTivers.com/CoachingreWired
Are you looking for a coach? You can schedule a free 20-minute consultation with Eric. Go to erictivers.com and click the blue “Schedule an Appointment” button
Third Monday of every month at 6:45 PM
(CHADD does not endorse this podcast)