When I wake in the morning I usually set the agenda for the day in my mind—the things I want to do or accomplish and a basic time schedule for each of these tasks. I can modify this agenda as the day goes by but I usually stay by it throughout the day, I used to be very rigid in executing my pre-determined schedule, being careful to do what I had determined at the right time and in the right order. And, I hated it when my schedule was interrupted by an unexpected intrusion. Often the intrusion was someone asking me to do something that would effectively require me to change my schedule to accommodate their request. It would throw me into confusion and irritate me, although I tried top hid my irritation from others.
I tried to hide my irritation but people still picked up on it and that did not bode well will interpersonal relationships. I also grew tired of being irritated. So, I have tried to loosen up and be more flexible. If as I am going about my tasks I thought of something I should or wanted to do and it was not on my previous agenda, I would allow myself to be spontaneous and do it and then resume my pre-described agenda,
Amazingly, I found this to be enjoyable and sometimes quite edifying. I found that I could get what I wanted to do and what I had planned to do within the prescribed time limit. So, an old dog can learn new tricks but it usually works best when the old dog figures it out for himself, otherwise, it makes the process more difficult. While old dogs like to have predictable agendas, it is possible for them to be retrained. I am an example of that!
We rescued a dog from a puppy mill and she was six years old. Usually, puppy mill dogs are untrained and by six-years-old they are somewhat untrainable. We took her to the veterinarian and he said she would be ‘project.’ That is exactly what she has turned out to be. Aside from some minor medical issues, we tried to alter her behavior with the help of a dog trainer who took us on for private training sessions. We discovered that our little puppy mill rescue dog was still trainable. She was easily house-broken, much to the dismay of the dog trainer, and she has learned some basic commands. She responds quite positively to small treats. She prefers hotdogs and for a small piece of hotdog, she will come when she is called and she will even wait in place if she thinks she will be rewarded.
I am thinking this might be a way to help people respond positively to doing things that they should do but have little desire to do it. A small reward may be the answer.
It works for me! But, I prefer chocolates!