The problem with setting ADHD New Years’ resolutions inevitably ends up that you never follow through with them. Every year almost without fail, we all start the New Year off with high expectations and lofty goals. Then every year, a week or two into January, we almost always end up abandoning our goals with little fanfare to speak of. We had started off with such energy and excitement. What happened?
For some of us, ADHD happened. Maybe we had good intentions, but as with many goals and plans in our regular lives, ADHD swooped in to get us distracted and sidetracked. We may have procrastinated, or become bored, or simply lost focus. One way or another, though, our ADHD symptoms put a quick end to our New Years’ goals.
Some others of us simply failed because that’s the way it goes with new things and new projects. They quickly lose their shine and luster and once the regular routines start back, we quickly lose our motivation. This year, we want to change all of that, though, and we want to help you find success with your resolutions.
In this article we want to break down exactly what it takes to set good ADHD New Years’ resolutions. On top of that then, we also want to cover what it takes for successful follow through on your goals. We believe you can succeed with your resolutions. Read on for the tools and tips to help make that happen.
Setting Good ADHD New Years’ Resolutions
Much of the success with ADHD New Years’ resolutions depends on how you set goals. Many of us fail to find success with our resolutions because we start off on a bad foot by not preparing well. The majority of any kind of success begins first and foremost in how you plan and how you get ready.
When it comes to ADHD New Years’ resolutions, this means that the first place you need to start is with how you set your resolutions. Let’s break down the characteristics of a good goal. Understanding the type, size, and number of goals or resolutions to begin with provides you a better place to launch off of when tackling what you want to get done.
Set Small Goals
The first aspect for setting effective ADHD New Years’ resolutions involves learning to set small goals. Many times we fail to find success because we set too big of goals. When we then try to go about accomplishing those goals, we lose heart and give up because we can’t figure out how to even get started.
This is kind of like the old saying about eating an elephant. If someone asks you how you eat an elephant, how would you respond? Most people respond by saying that they can’t, that it’s impossible. The correct answer, though, should be one bite at a time.
If you have to eat an elephant only by eating it whole, then, of course, it is impossible. If, though, you could break it into smaller more appropriate sized portions, anyone could eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Setting goals should be just the same. Most of us set ourselves up to fail because we make our goal eating the elephant whole. Instead, we need to learn how to train ourselves to set small goals that we can accomplish.
Instead of setting a resolution to run a marathon, you should set a goal to jog for 15 minutes a day. In place of setting a goal to get down to your high school weight, you can change it to losing two pounds a month. These goals seem small and almost silly. In reality, though, these small goals help you build routine and repetition that will lead you to greater and greater success.
Maybe losing 2 pounds a month isn’t a lot in the short term. In a year, though, you would have lost 24 pounds. With a smaller short-term goal, you can reach your larger vision a lot faster than with the big goal.
Set SMART Goals
A second way to plan your ADHD New Years’ resolutions for success involves setting SMART goals. If you’ve never heard of SMART goals before, you need to know that SMART is an acronym for setting achievable goals. The letters stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Each of these elements make up a part of a goal that you can achieve. This strategy seeks to give form and structure to your ADHD New Years’ resolutions. For instance, you could have a general idea of a resolution to lose weight this year. The issue with that general idea, though, is that you don’t have any specific place to start, you don’t know when you find success, and you don’t know when it ends.
All these unknowns lead you to not start anything in the first place. After all, how do you begin a journey with no starting point, no roadmap to guide you on the way, and no way of knowing when you arrive?
For your ADHD New Years’ resolutions to have any chance of succeeding you really need to build a framework and structure around them. Instead of setting abstract goals such as “get fit” or “eat less bad food” or “work out more,” use SMART goals to formulate resolutions you can really see.
As you sit down to write out your resolutions, write the letters SMART on a sheet of paper along the side. Then next to each letter, write a full sentence on how each of your resolutions fit the categories of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. If you can’t fit your resolutions into these categories, then you know you need to redefine your goals until you can.
Set a Minimum Number of Goals
Finally, another way that we tend to doom ourselves when it comes to ADHD New Years’ resolutions is with setting far too many goals. Typically, people with ADHD struggle with organization and task management to begin with. With that in mind, why then do we put far more on our plate than we know we can reasonably handle?
You need to shake up how you make your ADHD New Years’ resolutions by simply limiting yourself to an absolute minimum. We understand that all of us have many things that we want to improve about ourselves. The thing about it is, though, we can’t make a goal for improving or changing in every area of our lives at the same time. We can’t do it that way because we wouldn’t ever follow through on any of it.
The best way to find success with ADHD New Years’ resolutions is simply to aim small and set fewer goals. People with ADHD tend to get overwhelmed easily especially when faced with new challenges. Eliminate some of the ADHD stress that might come with attempting too many things at once by keeping your list of goals to only one or two at the most.
To come up with your resolutions, think of the most pressing thing in your life that you want to work on. That one thing needs to be what you build your new resolution around. Once you have the one thing, stop there.
Don’t add to it list after list of other less important things. If you absolutely can’t hold yourself to just one then you can another one if you must. Keep your list to no more than two or three, though, and you will increase your chances of actually seeing your goals accomplished.
Following Through on ADHD New Years’ Resolutions
The first step to finding success with ADHD New Years’ resolutions involves setting the right goals. Now that we have that step down, though, where do we go from here? Setting the correct goals gets you started off on the right foot. Now, you need to know how to make the next step and the one after that until you reach your objective.
Now that we have the beginning down, let’s look at the pieces you need to keep headed in the right direction. Even with the right goal structure, we can still fail. Use these strategies to give you the best shot for continuing to follow through on your goals and find the success you need.
Make a Plan for Success
The first step for following through with your ADHD New Years’ resolutions involves making a plan for success. You have a goal in mind. Whether you made your goal around weight loss or saving money, you need to now set out the plan for achieving your goal. You might have a resolution to lose two pounds of weight each month, but what’s your plan to achieve that goal?
After you have your ADHD New Years’ resolutions written out, next set aside a minimum of 30 minutes to think through a plan for each one. Remember, success comes with careful planning. At first, 30 minutes sounds like a lot of time. In reality, it’s probably not enough if you really want to take your resolution and finding success seriously.
In your 30 minutes, you should spend the first portion doing research on others who have attempted your goal. Look online for articles about how to reach your target. After doing some preliminary research, next get out a calendar of your regular week. Think about and plan on when you plan to work on your New Years’ goal. You need to set aside time at least once a week if not every day so that you can stay on top of your goal.
Finally, the last part of your plan for success needs to be smaller targets. Seeing any goal come to fruition requires you to take smaller steps to get there. This means that each week you should have a smaller target to aspire for.
Whatever the smaller goal is, make a chart to keep track of how well you do with it. Then, make sure you use the chart along with your planned time and action strategy to see your resolution through as the New Year begins.
Build Your Resolutions into Your Routine
Ok, so you have plans on how to achieve your goals, now what? The new part of following through on your ADHD New Years’ resolutions means incorporating your plan for success into your daily ADHD routine.
We all have our regular routines. Some aspects of our routine are good, while some parts are probably not so great. More than likely some part of our resolutions revolve around improving those not so great things in our regular routines. This means that you need to start with looking at your routine to find success with your resolutions.
After you have your ADHD New Years’ resolutions mapped out, you should sit down and scrutinize your daily routine. First off, you know you will need additional time in your day to add in your new goal tasks. This means that you either need to shorten time dedicated to other tasks or eliminate some things altogether. Think of the activities that rather than help your ADHD symptoms tend to make them worse, and start eliminating those things first.
While really looking at how you spend your time each day can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. We tend not to really think too often about where our time goes. The New Year, though, provides us all an excellent time to reassess and reevaluate. We have an opportunity to think about what works in our routine and what doesn’t and to start getting rid of what doesn’t.
To make sure you can follow through with your ADHD New Years’ resolutions, you need to make sure you have time and energy for meeting the goals. This time and energy will come from your daily routine. Make sure you build your resolutions into your routine to maximize your success.
Get a Community for Support
A final step for following through on your ADHD New Years’ resolutions involves finding a community for support. In reality, most of our goals and aspirations die in the dark and silence. They fade out alone because we never share them with anyone else. As a result, when we give up on them two weeks into January, no one has any idea we had any New Year aspirations to begin with.
Our resolutions rarely succeed because we only depend on our own will power and motivation to keep them alive. Most of us, though, should know by now that we can’t trust our own will power to get us very far. We need more than just our own good intentions. We need accountability and support.
The best way to get this support is through a community of peers. This means that while a friend might be an ok accountability partner, the best choice would be someone on the same journey as you. If you want to lose weight as your ADHD New Years’ resolution, this might mean joining a gym workout group or jogging group. If you want to have a resolution to write more, you could maybe join a local writing club.
Whatever your resolution revolves around, you can be sure that you can either find a local community or a community online of others trying to reach the same goal. Get connected with these communities and start sharing your experiences and journey. As you get connected with the community, you will find support and accountability to help you really follow through on your plans.
Start the Year Right with Finding Success with Your ADHD New Years’ Resolutions
For the most part, we all get excited with new beginnings. New beginnings give us a chance to wipe the slate and start everything fresh. This is partly why we all get excited when January 1st rolls around each year on the calendar.
Each New Year brings with it promises of a new opportunity for improvement in some area of our lives. The only thing we need to do is to lay out our best goal and then start working towards it. Unfortunately, though, with life and ADHD symptoms and everything each day demands from us, we tend to forget about our plans sooner than we had hoped.
We hope that this article can help you make ADHD New Years’ resolutions that you can achieve. We also hope this post gives you the tools you need to find success in all your goals. Making and achieving goals takes time and effort. We believe you can do it, though. Just take it one day and one goal at a time, and you will find success in the New Year and in the many years to come.