Tag Archives: overwhelmed

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 The Change Maker Group we specialise in Resilience for Change, please visit.

Here is an example of my review of 2017:   

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.     

What is ‘plurk’?

f 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! 

The outcome of the year

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

Looking backwards to go forwards

Time to call in ADOCTA!

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.    


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



Got a pile of manure? Look for the donkey!

I very frequently apply the insight from my donkey story to whatever life experiences I am currently facing. This is a story about research conducted with two boys. One was placed in a room full of toys and the other was placed in a room full of manure and they were left alone for the day. When the researchers returned, they went first to the boy with all the toys and as they neared his door they heard him crying, when they asked him why he replied that the toys were broken and he was bored. As they neared the boy with the manure they expected it to be even worse, but at the door they heard whistling and singing and scraping sounds, intrigued they opened the door to see him busily digging away. ‘What are you doing?’ they asked – ‘With all this manure’ the boy replied, ‘There must be a donkey close by, and I want to find him!’ The moral of this story is that life may give you a big pile of manure at times, so dig for the donkey; there always is one if you look carefully!

Recently I experienced my very first hospital visit and major surgery and this was scheduled to happen while my husband was away in Australia for four weeks!

Manure? Donkey gifts!

Manure? Donkey gifts!

I started to look for the donkey (donkeys) in this situation! And I found several! May I introduce them to you, with the hope they may also serve you at some time in your life:

  1.   The power of future planning 

I thought it could be quite easy to slip into worry, dread and fear of the impending operation, especially being on my own. Each day, as I did my Mind Chi Basic 8 minute routine:  https://www.mindchi.com/mind-chi-basic-8-steps/  I really concentrated on Step 7 – Future 24 hour planning and how to BE for the things I had to do. What are the most helpful emotions in such a situation? For me it was trust in the medical professionals, knowing everyone wanted me to be well, curiosity at this new adventure, maintaining my sense of humour, keeping open and receptive and seeing myself well and thriving.

Not only did I do my Mind Chi Basic 8 several times a day, really focusing on Step 7, but if EVER a doubt or fear crept in, I quickly replaced it with what I wanted. I did this for a week. Even on the night before as I was alone, I was very pleased to discover that I was feeling fine. A friend dropped me at the hospital and I sat waiting on my own for the five hours as people came in and out to get me prepared, I was delighted (and a bit surprised, I have to confess) that I felt no fear or apprehension. I was open, curious and involved right up to the moment when I was excited about going through the theatre doors (as you see on TV) but slipped unconscious just before! That attitude was maintained all through the hospital stay and the 11 days at home alone and to this day.

Donkey # 1.  – Have you found that you may ‘know’ something and then an experience allows you to get to ‘know’ it at an altogether higher level? The potency of future planning your emotional state for the next 24 hours is incredibly empowering. Donkey # 1 is going to be a well treasured and worked donkey as I employ this emotional muscle!

  1.   A new time perspective – be a mono-tasker!

I am usually a person of fairly high energy levels from waking to sleep, I have several things on the go and practice time and motion, carry two items, rather than making two trip and now I can’t!

I must listen to my body and rest it quite frequently. And I do. What was fascinating (to me!) is that I consider more what needs to be done and how it would best be done BEFORE I leap in to do it. Then with concentration I do just that one thing.

To my surprise, as I toted up what I had achieved at the end of a day, it was impressive – AND it felt gentle! That was an eye opener!

Donkey # 2. – I KNOW that multi-tasking is a poor use of your brain’s control and leads to several jobs being done in an inferior way, now I also know it saps your time and energy and you will be far MORE effective, relaxed and energised mono-tasking, not multi-tasking! Donkey # 2 will help me to remember to be more gracious in my time use – I shall have ‘Donkey time’!

  1.   There is always a way!

Success – I had made myself my first cup of tea at home, great!
Problem – I can’t stand for long and I can’t carry a cup with two crutches!
Solution – put a rucksack on my front and slip a lidded coffee mug into the front pouch!

This was my first time to manage on crutches and I suddenly realised how difficult many simple jobs become. The whole day was riddled with simple tasks that I would normally do without a second thought, suddenly nearly stumping me.
And IF it could fall on the floor (I may not bend) it seems it WOULD do so!

However, one by one, I was able to work out a solution and do everything I wanted or needed to do.

Donkey # 3. – It is good to be challenged. Sometimes life becomes a little repetitive and it is all worked out from previous experiences, so to be faced with many different situations was interesting. I looked at each like a game at the fair – how can I win the prize with THIS one??!! And my prize was even better than a teddy bear in that it was the feeling of satisfaction you achieve when you have solved the problem. Donkey # 3 showed me that there is ALWAYS a way!

  1.    Heightened appreciation 

Probably because I am going a little slower, I find my appreciation of nearly everything is greatly enhanced. A shower feels amazing; when the lovely ladies from the ‘Re-ablement’ Service came to assist me (what a super program, shout out for them) and were drying between my toes, I discovered how ticklish I am, we were both roaring with laughter- great way to start the day! The wonderful friends who visited, helped, chatted, sent flowers and cards and supported me was deeply touching and appreciated. That cup of tea, sitting in my garden, even sitting up in bed looking out at the trees waving in the breeze – heavenly! Most of all, life itself, all the opportunities that stretch before me, how thoughtful and considerate people are, very refreshing when the media makes you sometimes feel otherwise about human-kind.

Donkey # 4. – Mind Chi Step 8 is one minute of Gratitude, so every day I do have at least one minute, plus just knowing that you will have that minute helps you to focus and remember all those little (and big) things you may wish to recall. Well, now I have to extend that minute (and as it is the last one, I just drift into a happy, grateful reverie) so I may pack in all my gratitudes. Thank you Donkey # 4 you are on my Gratitude map every day!