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Call ADOCTA – I’m changing!

New Year, new hope, new dreams, new expectations, new possibilities, maybe THIS year….

What if I said I can provide you with a formula which can guarantee your success, would you be interested?

But before I do, let’s look at change. Change sometimes happens fast, usually circumstances around you have caused things to look very different – suddenly. You might win the lottery, or be involved in an accident and unexpectedly everything is changed. More likely it is the slow, slow, quick, quick, slow way. Sometimes you really do not notice it happening, except when you look back over a year and suddenly see the difference. Sometimes it speeds up and you are more aware of the pressures.

Sometimes you are the initiator of change, but probably you are mostly the recipient of change being done to you. All these factors make a difference as to how you feel about the change that is occurring.  The important point is that regardless, you still do have control, control over you and how you respond, and that can make it feel very different.

At this time of year, one activity I always do is to do a review of the past year – what happened?!
It is only a year on, yet it can be amazing how surprising it can be. This is a great time for a map as you can see the whole year on one page and it brings it all together. You can group the information in any way that is most meaningful to you: maybe chronologically; or work, family, self, goals; or seasons of the year, any headings that work well for you. Here is an example of my review of 2017:      

If you are wondering what PLURK is, it is a word we made up in my office years ago, because we all enjoyed our work so much it felt like play, but we wanted it to have more gravitas, so we combined work with play and got ‘plurk’! As I have done these maps for many years now, it can be wonderful to look back over the years like an all-time-at-once glance!

I also compare what I have achieved with my original goals map and mark it up to show where I am pleased and where I fell short. Then consider if it is important to focus more on that for the coming year, or has it dropped off in importance. Here is my 2017 marked up! 

Having looked backwards, the next is to plan forwards, and here is what will be important for me in 2018:

Which all builds up to how do you achieve what you want to? How do you change in those areas that are meaningful and often very difficult? And here is the prescription: ADOCTA – an acronym standing for Actions; Do; Observe; Consider; Tweak and Actions, all in the direction of your overall goal.        

How does this look in action?

  1. What is your goal?
    Please state your goal as the desired outcome, for example ‘I choose to attain and maintain my perfect weight of xxxx’ rather than ‘I don’t want to be fat’.
    Another important point is that it must be measurable – what by when, e.g. 114lbs by June 17th, 2018. Further, select the powerful action verb, such as ‘I choose…’. If you use ‘I wish…’, or ‘I will…’ you are not claiming the action as yours, now.
  2. Your first Action

You know your goal and yourself, so what is an action that you need to take?
Look at your current reality, where are you now? Decide on one small, or large step and how you will prepare to make it happen.

  1. Now to Do it!
    Your first step, take it! Do it!
  2. You need to Observe
    What actually happened? You walked into the office and they had a large box of wonderful sweets, which you had decided you would NOT eat… is that what happened?
    Replay the mental video, what did you think? What did you do? Was it as you intended?
  3. Next is to Consider those actions

If you were able to stay away from the chocolates, look at what you did that enabled you to do that. If you weren’t, do not be tough on yourself, just look at where you need to shore up the banks to help it be easier for you next time. Every time assess, did this take you closer to your desired goal? If the answer is yes! Then continue in that direction, if no! Then what do you need to amend?

  1. The Tweak step
    Which leads to the next step, the Tweak. These steps are all small and interlaced, this makes them easier for you to do as you now think about how might you Tweak your actions for the next day. Do make this as much fun as you can, maybe your co-workers could start honking if they see you standing by the chocolate box, or they could hide them from you, or you can have carrot sticks at the ready as a substitute!
  2. And ready for Action again

You are ready to take the next action and move towards your ultimate goal. This is called an ‘iterative loop’, meaning that you keep repeating these steps until you get to the Consider step, and you feel that you have Completed your goal and can now CELEBRATE!!  Sometimes your life may have changed, and you may Consider that you need to amend or change your goal. However, if the goal is still valid and desired by you, then keep repeating this ADOCTA prescription and you are guaranteed success!

There you are!! The recipe for guaranteed success, the way you may be sure that you can make the changes that you want or need to make. The good part is that when you have this formula it is so easy to keep focused, it stops you from negatively judging yourself and allows you to almost dispassionately observe the next step to take. Remember, the journey of 100 miles starts with a single step. Good fortunes and please let me know if your successes.

The Resilient Woman Warrior

Vanda North

DK Capture Photography in Poole Bournemouth

3 Ways to Improve Your Working Memory

According to the National Center for Biological Information, working memory provides temporary storage of information and the ability to manipulate this information for cognitive tasks. In layman’s terms – working memory is the ability not only to recall things but use that information to complete tasks. As you can imagine, working memory is necessary for multiple areas of your life such as remembering instructions, maintaining focus and learning new skills. A poor working memory can make life difficult but luckily there are multiple ways to improve it:

Mind Chi

Mind Chi can be a great way to improve your memory! Pay special attention to Mind Chi steps 2, 3 and 4 which attend to memory and focus. Step 2 looks at focusing and eliminating all distractions. Steps 3 and 4 are concerned with recalling and reviewing the last 24 hours – a technique used by memory champion Scott Hagwood, among other elite individuals. These exercises are particularly helpful in today’s day and age where our ageing population begin to struggle with certain necessary cognitive tasks as they get older. 

DnB training

Dual n Back training is a programme of brain exercises designed to improve fluid intelligence. It rose to prominence after being the first programme proven to improve IQ in adults, but it has also been shown to improve working memory. There are many great ways you can use DnB exercises to improve working memory including free software packages such as Brain Workshop and streamlined DnB training which you can incorporate into exercises you can do on your computer every day. This kind of program is best utilized by applying yourself for around 30 minutes a day. With consistent effort you should start to enjoy improvements within two weeks. 


Mindfulness is the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, a similar philosophy to Mind Chi step two. A 2013 study from Psychological Science proved that a two week mindfulness course improved working memory. The participants in the study also showed improved scores on the Graduate Record Examinations, the standard test for graduate school in the United States. It’s clear that mindfulness, focus, awareness and memory are all interconnected – a holistic philosophy fully embraced by Mind Chi. 

It is clear that the myth that working memory is inherited and that you are stuck with what you are born with has been refuted. There are a variety of methods out there to improve your working memory and reap the benefits. Good luck in your efforts. 

Thanks to a guest writer, Jackie Edwards, for this article to improve your faith in your marvelous memory!