Happy New Year! I’m sure you are as thrilled as I am to say buh-bye to 2020 and hello to 2021. Like most of us, I bet you have been thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions, right? Your list of all the things you want to change or do better this year.
I recently watched a video from one of my mentors in the ADHD coaching community, Alan Brown. If you don’t know Alan, well he has quite a story and this guy is packed full of wisdom from his own life experiences, but also from the massive amount of research he does. So, if you don’t follow him on social media (Instagram, Facebook) or aren’t subscribed to his ADD Crusher videos, I would really encourage you to follow him and subscribe.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
Anyway, I watched a video where he talked about why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. One reason is that they’re based on fear and dis-empowerment. It dates back centuries!
Think about it, we are looking at all the things we don’t like about ourselves and trying to fix them. Well, I don’t know about you, but looking at all the things I don’t like about myself is depressing. It certainly doesn’t fill me with the motivation or desire to change.
What Does Work?
Alan suggests looking at our victories from the year, being grateful, and figuring out one thing we like and to do more of it. Wait…what?!
Victories, gratefulness, and doing what I love versus looking at all the things I don’t like about myself and figuring out how I’m going to “fix” them all this year!? Sign me up for that, please!!
Why Does This Work for the ADHD Brain?
So why will this work especially well for the ADHD brain? Ever heard of rumination? Oh, how the ADHD brain loves to get stuck on all the negative. It loves to play that highlight reel of negativity over and over again. And what happens when you’re stuck in negativity? You certainly don’t move forward, do you? No! You become overwhelmed, shut down, and likely say, “Screw it, I’m doomed for failure.”
But what happens when you look at your successes? Yes, you have successes, friend! Don’t go thinking all big on me, here. Start small. I’m talking about the little things in everyday life.
Are you a college student? Maybe you are staring that one failed class or academic probation in the face. But what about the two classes you passed? What about the fact that you were watching videos of your teacher (super hard for the ADHD brain) rather than being in class, and you still passed. Those are victories and you need to own them!! Now go make your plan for how you’re going to pass two more classes this spring! Yes, you need to make a plan. 😉
Maybe you’re an adult staring at a pile of unfinished projects you just knew you’d complete during the quarantine. What about turning that into creative choices you have for the new year? Choose one of those projects you could easily complete. Notice I wrote EASILY complete. Now, what’s ONE small step/task that would get you closer to completing that project?
Or better yet, another mentor of mine, Jeff Copper challenges those with ADHD to “re-think” unfinished projects. Maybe they are actually finished projects for you because you learned what interested you or got what you wanted out of it, so it’s finished for you. Mark it as complete and take it to Good-Will or toss it. You can read Jeff’s full post about What Defines a Project: Appearance or Underlying Motivation.
So, what are your victories? What are you grateful for? What do you want to do more of this year?
I also like how Ruth Soukup from the Elite Blog Academy wrote the following to her email subscribers.
- Make a list of your biggest lessons in 2020. What did you learn this year, both from the good things that happened, and from the bad? What can you use from this past year to propel yourself forward in 2021?
- Get clear about your biggest goal. There’s probably lots of things you’d LIKE to do in the coming year, but if you could only focus on ONE thing, what would it be?
So what’s you’re ONE THING?
I’m taking some time this week to get clear on my victories, what I’m grateful for, what I want to do more of, and what my ONE THING is this year. Yep, just ONE THING!
And yes, it’s January 1st and I don’t have my one thing yet and that’s okay. We can start fresh every day, every week, every month – not just every year!
And won’t I feel successful when I’m focused on gratitude and little successes DAILY and worked on ONE THING to the best of my ability?