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Self Regulation 101

Updated: Jan 17

Did you make your list of goals? If not, stop and come up with at least one goal that you have for yourself.


Here are some of Sharon’s goals:

*Make supper for my family

*Write a newsletter

*Fold a load of laundry


They may seem very basic, things that most women do on a somewhat regular basis, but all require executive functions to complete. Both Dr. Russel Barkley and Dr. Thomas Brown have models of executive function that focus on self-regulation.

Ok, so we need self regulation to meet our goals, but what is self regulation?





Self-regulation is explained by Dr. Barkley as an action that we direct towards ourselves, to change a behavior (do something differently than we would have done it), in order to move toward meeting a goal.



In other words, control ourselves with a purpose!




Our world is full of distractions. As a mother, my kids distract me, as a businesswoman, the phone or emails distract me, as a person, games, friends, and more can distract me. The first step in addressing these distractions is to become aware of them.



Let’s look at Sharon’s ‘make supper for the family’ example. She wakes up in the morning with the goal of making pizza for her family. She knows how, she does it every week. Yet, there are many days, when she picks her kids up from school, she is no closer to supper being made than when she got out of bed. In order to self-regulate, Sharon first must reflect and become aware of what she is doing all day. Specifically focusing on what roadblocks are preventing her from accomplishing the goal.








Pick one of your goals.

What is in your way?

What is keeping you from accomplishing the task or achieving your goal?

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