New Year’s resolutions do not work for most people; they especially do not work for those of us with AD/HD. It can set us up for failure, rather than success, when it is just wishful thinking, like:
I’m going to exercise.
I’m going to lose weight.
I’m going to get a better job.
If you are serious about making a change, create a goal. We need a process, a strategy that leads to a result. The goal is the end result, not the strategy.
Here is how I am defining goal:
1. It is your own. You have made the decision that this is something you want, and are invested in achieving. Maintaining motivation to achieve a goal that is interesting is challenging enough when you have AD/HD. Sustaining the motivation to accomplish a goal when it is not your own… is an uphill battle, to say the least.
2. It is something you can do. It must be realistic, which means countering the potential for impulsiveness that comes with having ADHD. What is realistic will look different for each individual. Please, don’t stop dreaming!
3. It is under your control. While you will certainly need some sort of help, you also have enough control to make it happen.
4. It is very clear and specific, using numbers and measurements. It outlines what you want, how you are going to get there and when you will get it.
5. It is something in the future. It is the intended result of a strategy. The process of getting to the goal is the strategy. The goal is not the strategy. If you do not have a strategy to reach your goal, you do not have a goal; you have a dream.
6. Goals are dreams with a foundation. Don’t stomp on your ideas as being unrealistic until you have had time to really think about them and bounce them off other people! When you are ready to implement your dream, it is time to gather all of your resources and create a strategy.
The statement, “I will exercise more,” becomes a GOAL:
1. I will exercise 2x a week at minimum and 3x a week at maximum
2. I will mark on my calendar when I’ve exercise so that it is visible to me
3. I will ask “Mary” to work out with me on Mondays, so that I have a work out partner.
4. On Wednesday s, I am taking a Pilates Class.
5. For accountability, I will ask my coach to check in with me every week to evaluate what is working and what is not working, so I can keep on track and make needed changes.
6. When I’ve met my minimum for 8 weeks, I am getting a new Wii game. Woohoo!!
7. Other structures…
If you have already made a resolution, can you turn it into a goal?