Check Please

You know that phrase, “It seemed like a good idea at the time”?


In the western film, “The Magnificent Seven,” Steve McQueen, in the role of Vin, gives an example worth watching.


The thing is, what seems like a good idea at the time or in the moment, may have consequences that, in retrospect, lead more to “What was I thinking?”



We’re all plagued by impulsivity from time to time; but for those with ADHD, impulsivity may be an ongoing challenge. Fortunately, there is a process that can broaden the sense of time so that actions taken in the present are seen to have repercussions in the future. Think of it as a future check.


First, you have to be aware that you are making a decision about something. This can actually be the hardest part. Instead of just going along with the moment, stop and acknowledge that you are actually making a decision to do/not do something.


Call this your decision point. It’s like standing at a fork in the road and determining the way to go. Be there two or multiple options, you are now at step two in the process.


Second, use “if/then” thinking to consider your choices. Examples would be, “If I hang out on the internet instead of writing my newsletter, what would that mean to me and my business tomorrow or next week?” Or, “Those lemon bars are my favorite dessert. If I eat four of them (which would be so delicious and my mouth is watering) how will I feel later today and will my pants fit tomorrow?” Or, “How about I buy myself one too? Will I be able to pay my mortgage at the end of the month?”


Those of us who are not linear thinkers tend to make “in the moment” decisions based on what feels good right then. However, this month, with all the opportunities for buying and eating more than we need or can afford, it’s an excellent time to develop the habit of stopping at a decision point and considering consequences.


-Sydney Metrick

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