ADHD Central’s First Annual New Year’s Resolution Challenge

Terry Matlen, ACSW Health Guide
  • Considering that the most common symptoms of ADHD are distractibility, inattention, impulsivity and disorganization, is it any wonder that following through on New Year's resolutions can be pretty tough, if not downright impossible? Throw in a little bit of impatience, getting bored easily, having difficulty with follow-through and boy, you have a recipe for Resolution Failure.


    Eileen Bailey's wonderful SharePost, "Three Reasons New Year's Resolutions Don't Work", explains the roadblocks adults with ADHD often face when trying to achieve personal goals for the New Year and she offers excellent solutions to the problem. I suggest you first read her article, then hop back here to read what I have in store for us here at ADHD Central.

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    I must admit that I have never challenged myself with a New Year's resolution; partly because I was afraid I'd fail (or more likely, forget). But this year, I would like to invite you to join me in the first annual "ADHD Central New Year's Resolution Challenge." Let's make this a group effort and a place where we can share and support each others' efforts.


    There will be no value judgments, no pointing fingers, no criticizing. Are you ready?


    Let me help you get those creative juices flowing by listing some ideas to help you get started. After you read this list, either choose one goal from it or feel free to come up with one of your own.


    Here we go-


    I will:

    1. Get to bed at an earlier hour (hint: start with 15 minute increments)
    2. Exercise 2-3 times a week
    3. Eat more healthfully (see Eileen's post on how to make this a more achievable goal)
    4. Spend less money on non-essentials
    5. Call a long lost friend and re-connect
    6. Be more patient with my children
    7. Work on setting up a system to stay more organized and sticking with it
    8. Praise my kids at least twice a day
    9. Work on paying my bills on time
    10. Organize one closet or cupboard

    Don't see one that works for you? Come up with your own and post it here!


    Once you've chosen a goal, think about the best way to go about starting. For example, if it's beginning an exercising program, what activity do you see yourself being successful with? Is it taking a walk around the block? Signing up for a Yoga class?


    If you decided to find a system to stay organized, think about what works best for you: do you love the feel of pen on paper? Then forget buying a PDA. Check out the various planners available and pick one that suits your needs. Start slow by first getting into the habit of keeping it with you at all times and referring to it at least twice a day. Then gradually begin adding data to it as needed.


    Again, make your goals attainable; reachable. Make them work for YOU.


    My goal for the New Year is to begin (note the word "begin") to get to bed at a more reasonable hour. My ultimate goal is to be in bed before midnight on school nights. My short term goal is to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until I'm under those covers before midnight.


    Ok, now that you have a goal in mind, write your SharePost and let us know what you'll be working on. Tell us your plan of attack, with as many or as few words as you wish. I'll be here to support you and offer you guidance as you start your journey towards achieving your first New Year's Resolution here at ADHD Central.


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    Much success to us all!


Published On: December 28, 2007