As the year draws to a close, it is a time for reflection. Where have you been and where are you going?
In our fast-paced world, it is easy to get caught up in the business of day-to-day life. Those of us with ADHD may be working extra hard as we seek to manage our ADHD or support our family members with ADHD. What if we were to pause this holiday season to celebrate all of our accomplishments and to even dream about what might be possible in the new year?
Here are a few questions to help you get started!
As you think about the past year, what do you feel good about?
People with ADHD so strongly identify with our challenges that we don’t focus enough on what went well. As the saying goes, what we pay attention to grows!
What steps forward have you taken?
No step is too small. As the quote by Lao Tzu states, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Sometimes if feels as if take three steps forward and then go back two. In the end, we ARE moving ahead. It is about progress, not perfection!
List the strengths that allowed you to accomplish these tasks.
Recognizing and honoring your accomplishments is vital. I know several people who have persevered in the face of great odds, having developed resilience and tenacity. Often we undervalue our strengths, because it feels effortless to operate in our area of strength. As you look at your strengths, don’t forget to include your character traits. Perhaps you’re kind, honest, generous, or helpful. These are beautiful strengths that are not based on performance.
What have you learned about ADHD that supports you in your daily life?
Understanding ADHD is key to experiencing success with ADHD. Knowing that your brain is wired differently is important. My brain is like a car that goes very fast, but it needs a little help getting turned on. Dopamine is one brain chemical that I run short of. When I take medication, it acts like transmission fluid for my car, which allows the ignition to start the engine.
While some tasks are a challenge for people with ADHD, others things we do better or more quickly than anybody we know! Though ADHD impacts every developmental phase and every area of life, once I understand how it affects me, I can leverage my strengths against those challenges. If I know paperwork is difficult for me, I can ask someone to sit with me at the table to act as a paper partner. Being able to solve problems and ask for help is important. If everyone were good at everything, there wouldn’t be more than 4,000 different occupations in the world. Find out what you do well and do it. Hire out the rest!
What have you learned about your own ADHD and how it presents itself?
I know, for example, that I tend to have more energy in the evening. So instead of trying to be a morning person, I capitalize on the energy I have later in the day. That is the time to load my van for the upcoming day, review my planner, or to gas up my car.
What tips, tools and strategies have you used that have made a difference for you?
Interest equals focus when you have ADHD. Facing something undesirable, you may struggle to even start. Here are three tricks that work for me.
- Piggy backing. I like to piggyback dull tasks with something I enjoy. Start by asking yourself: What can I add to the task at hand to make it more doable? If you have to sort through papers, could you turn on Netflix or watch a video?
- Energy transfer. If you’ve just completed something that energizes you, connect that energy to a boring task, like hanging up clothes.
- Rewards. Rewards can go a long way in motivating you to get a task done. For example, you could reward yourself for completing an exercise class by making a coffee run to Starbucks.
What would you like to be able to say about your life one year from now?
I would like to say that my life is more balanced. Self-care is a big area for most of us, ADHD or not. Getting enough sleep, eating in a healthy way, exercise, and building community are all important areas to me. What is important to you?
Looking for a New Year’s resolution that you can keep? Resolve to get the support you need to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
To learn how ADHD coaching can support you in creating change in your life CLICK HERE, and then call for your complementary session today!
Download a worksheet to help you reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming one!