In coaching, we like to throw out the idea that there’s a “right” way to do anything. Instead, we encourage that the “right” way is whatever way works for our client. In that vein of throwing out the rules, let’s talk about some New Year’s resolutions you could consider starting a month into the new year.
- Stop reading productivity books/blogs/columns/accounts not explicitly written for ADHD brains. They often make us feel bad (and don’t work for us anyway!).
- Embrace your need to have household items out/visible so you remember them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Marie Kondo doesn’t have ADHD (as far as we know).
- If you’ve been trying to make an appointment to get diagnosed/get meds/find a therapist/find a coach for 6+ months and haven’t, stop trying to do this alone. Ask a friend to sit next to you until you do it. (Bonus points if they’re willing to make the call for you.)
- Hire someone to do the things that are hard for you, e.g., house cleaning, laundry service, meal program. Investing in your mental health and lowering stress levels is 100% worth it.
- Change any black-or-white rules you have for yourself to be less extreme. For example, instead of beating yourself up for not brushing your teeth every day, what if the goal was most days?
- Practice talking back to your negative self-talk. You’re not [insert mean adjective here]; you’ve got ADHD! An actual, tangible, visceral condition that makes stuff hard for us that isn’t hard for other people. My go-to statement is, “This is hard right now, but I’m working on it.”
- Permit yourself to set as many alarms as you need. The “right” (there’s that word again) number is the one that makes you remember/do the thing.
- Tell yourself it’s okay to let go of past hobbies/activities. You enjoyed it while you did, and it was great! There’s not a set amount of time that you “have” to engage with something; it’s a personal and private interest. If you find yourself not doing it/picking it up for months on end, let that be your sign to let it go and thoroughly enjoy an ensuing interest.
- This may be a weird one, but stop trying to fold or put your clothes on clothes hangers if it’s hard for you! (Remember, boring = hard for ADHD brains.) Lay them in drawers, embrace your piles, buy a bunch of coat racks/hooks and hang them, or I use a combo of throwing them in drawers and hanging them on a drying rack in my bedroom. (Bonus point: going forward, you only acquire clothes that don’t wrinkle easily).
- Do you feel like you need someone in your life who *gets* what it’s like to live with ADHD? Take steps to find your community. Reach out to that one cousin you know who is also diagnosed, join a Facebook group, or consider participating in one of our coaching/support groups at the Center: Masterful Living with ADHD and Adulting with ADHD. Both start in February.
Why not have 2024 be the year you work on accepting yourself exactly as you are (which is pretty great, by the way) and get support for your ADHD? We are here to help whenever you’re ready.
Riley Karbon, PCAC
ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach