Living Well With ADHD Logo

A New Year’s Resolution Check-Up

Two months down, ten to go. A check-up on New Year’s resolutions.

Hello everybody! February is coming to an end, and it’s time to take a look at what we have accomplished in the past 2 months. How are you doing with your goals for 2024? You may have woken up on New Year’s Day thinking, “I have my New Year’s resolutions, and I am going to see them through. This year will be different!” So, are you still pursuing those goals, or have they faded in the background in favor of old habits? If you need to refocus on your goals, here are a few strategies to bring you back on target.

A New Year’s Resolution Check-Up

First, simply observe without judgment. If you have faltered in aiming for your goals, the point is not to criticize yourself. Rather, approach your behaviors with the same patience and kindness you would have if you were coaching a friend through this obstacle.

Second, ask yourself, “Is the goal still achievable?” People create goals all the time with only 50% of the information and understanding of what it takes to achieve them. Sometimes, that is all the information we had when we made the goal. Once people get into the thick of pursuing their goals, they might find more information that requires resources they don’t have.

Third, ask yourself, “Is this goal still relevant?” Maybe you have found that your circumstances have changed. Perhaps you had a goal of doing a triathlon, but a car accident has put you on a long road to recovery, and you will miss the date of the race. The promotion you have been aiming for might be sacrificed in favor of a new job opening at another company.

Fourth, how do you manage a goal with a deadline that is a year away? Having long-term goals is difficult for most people, especially for people with ADHD. The problem is the lack of urgency. Remember when you were in school, and you promised yourself that you would study for that test every day? Suddenly, it’s the night before the big exam, and you haven’t done any studying. Why does this happen? It’s because there was no sense of urgency to get to studying two weeks earlier. ADHD people have two categories for tasks, “Now” or “Not now.” When there is no urgency to do something, typically, ADHD people file the task in the “Not now” category. It is only when test day is upon us do we get the motivation to study all night and then take the exam the following morning when we are half asleep. How do you build urgency into your routine? Assigning little goals and rewards in the days leading up to the big exam. For example, if you have an exam in 10 days and you have 8 sections to study, you can schedule a little reward for yourself after studying each section per day plus a day for a comprehensive review before the big exam.

For a long-term goal that is a year away, ask yourself how to build accountability during your process. We need accountability for our goals, especially the big ones. If you are exercising, find a partner to exercise with you. It’s easier to miss a workout when nobody is waiting at the pickleball court for you. If you have a big project at work, schedule time with a coworker or your boss to have regular meetings to review how things are going.

These strategies are just a start to refocusing on your goals. For more information, I encourage you to check out our team of coaches and schedule a complimentary “Get-Acquainted” meeting.

Nate Hooper

Nate Hooper, CALC

ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach