Most people run away from New Year’s resolutions. That’s because typically, New Year’s resolutions don’t work very well. They last an average of 17 days… for adults with ADHD it’s likely closer to 5 days! Ever wonder why New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked for you? Maybe you need to stop running away.
As an ADHDer, you receive plenty of suggestions for resolutions you need to make, from your spouse, parents, colleagues, boss and friends, about your tardiness, disorganization, poor productivity, impulsiveness… need I go on? Always the people-pleaser, you impulsively (Oops! One down already!) resolve to be on time, better organized, and more productive this year. A few days later, you throw up your hands in surrender… nothing works.
These types of resolutions come ready-made with two problems: 1) you’re running away from something you don’t want instead of towards something you do want, and because of that, 2) your motivation quickly disappears and you must rely on willpower.
There’s nothing exciting about working on your weaknesses. You don’t dream of being less weak; you dream of being stronger. Since your resolution doesn’t excite and energize you, each day you will yourself to be “less weak.” Unfortunately, willpower is a finite resource. Relying on willpower to change an ingrained habit is like dog sledding across the Sahara with a team of Chihuahuas!
2010 could be the year you achieve great things
2010 could be the year you achieve great things (they’re great because they’re things that you actually want!) and overcome some of your weaknesses in the process. Find goals that ROCK you and compel you to change. Choose resolutions that fuel your resolve in the face of difficulty, that move you toward something YOU want and that allow you to work in your areas of strengths.
Move toward your strengths, not away from your weaknesses
Don’t resolve “not be tardy.” Instead, resolve to live a calmer, more harmonious and Zen life. If you really want to live a calmer life, you’ll quickly realize that scrambling to get to appointments on time is stressing you out. You realize that if you plan your time, organize your things so you know where your keys are when it’s time to go and leave early, you’ll arrive calm, in control and totally Zen (and as a bonus, you won’t be late!)
Instead of resolving to manage your time better, resolve to take on a new hobby or spend time each week developing a new skill that takes advantage of one of your strengths. To free up the time to do something you really want to do, you’ll be motivated to organize your things so you won’t waste 45 minutes a day looking for them.
Before long, you have a new hobby you love and you’re a calmer, happier person to boot! Getting better organized and improving your time management is just a means to an end, a happy coincidence. Spending more time doing what you like to do is the fuel that takes you there.
Take a new approach towards goal setting
Take a new approach to your New Year’s resolutions for 2010. Run toward your strengths instead of away from your weaknesses. Ask yourself:
- What are my greatest strengths, abilities and interests?
- If I knew I couldn’t fail, what outrageously compelling resolutions would I make this year?
- What parts of my life would I be willing, even eager to change if it was the only way to honor my outrageous and compelling resolutions?
And if you’d like to learn how to free up some time to pursue your resolutions and compelling goals with ten amazing strategies that improve your productivity by working with your strengths instead of against them, get your free (but amazingly valuable report!), Productivity Myths Busted now.