Will Your New Year's Resolution HIT… or MISS?
Like everyone else, I resolve to start certain things fresh in the new year. And some things work, others don't. I don't believe us folks with ADD / ADHD necessarily do a worse job than anyone else at coming up with good resolutions. But I do believe we are less likely to follow through on them. That just makes sense, since we tend to have more difficulty with follow-through in the first place.
We're great at coming up with resolutions. Some are based on “shoulds” such as lose 50 pounds, organize the closets, or never fight with your family. Other resolutions are based on desires such as get promoted, meet your life partner or finish your dissertation.
The problem is, you didn't suddenly start realizing what you should do, or get hit with that desire, on New Year's Eve. Simply stating a goal that you've had all along, and calling it a New Year's Resolution isn't any more likely to make it happen — unless you've got a realistic plan for HOW you're going to accomplish it.
It's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it
Of course, you do need to start with a clear goal. Even better, write a vision statement of what that desired result will look like. But then, expand the vision to think through how you'll achieve it. What strategies will you use? What tactics or action steps will those strategies require?
With ADD / ADHD, we often forget to take into account our own traits and tendencies. To create a realistic action plan, you need to have a very clear understanding of what has kept you in the past from achieving this result that you want.
When creating the vision to form your resolution, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I tried to achieve this result in the past?
- What strategy did I follow? How did it work?
- What exactly happened to keep me from continuing?
The answer to that last question is the key bit of information you need to form better tactics this time. And it could be a very simple pattern that has derailed your follow-through in past attempts. To succeed, pay attention to what that is, so that you can develop a different plan of action this time! That difference is what will form your breakthrough in achieving your resolution this year.