Top 10 ADHD New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

Terry Matlen, ACSW Health Guide
  • I must admit that I have never, ever made a list of New Year's resolutions in my life until a year ago, when I challenged readers here to list their resolutions. I also shared mine, as well. I think I've always hesitated to come up with New Year's resolutions because of the following reasons:


    • I'd forget what they were by January 2.
    • I didn't want to let myself down if I didn't meet my goals.
    • I've always had the idea that resolutions should be made year round; not just the beginning of the New Year.

    But listening to people talk about their list of New Year's resolutions made me re-think this whole thing. I've also noticed that as I'm heading deeper into middle age, my attitudes about things have changed, especially now that I have a better handle on this thing called ADHD.

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    So once again, I am making a list of things I'd like to change about myself and my life in the coming year. But they won't be the typical goals, like losing weight (which I need to do), finding a better job (I love mine!), etc. These are goals that might resonate within many who have ADHD. If they touch you, too, feel free to comment! I'd love to hear from you.


    Ok, here we go:


    Terry's Top 10 ADHD New Year's Resolutions for 2009


    1. I will expand my social life by re-connecting with old friends and working on making new ones. Many with ADHD have difficultly picking up the phone to chat with friends, or making plans to meet socially. I'm totally guilty of this, for I absolutely hate talking on the phone. And since moving cross town over 10 years ago, I've lost touch with a number of friends. As I'm getting older, I'm realizing that friendships are going to be even more important, as my kids grow up and need me less. Time now to establish more connections!


    2. I will return to my artwork and music. Life has a way of keeping us away from activities we loved to do- things that make us feel good about ourselves, whether it's creative activities, reading, learning new skills, etc. I'm fortunate that I have both a music and an art studio in my home, but I've not used them regularly in many years. I've recently connected with some musical friends and had our first "gig", so I'm already on track with the music. How about you? What activities have you left behind that you'd like to jump back into?


    3. I will work on my cooking phobia and return to the kitchen. If you've read my book, Survival Tips for Women with ADHD, you'd see that this has been one of my biggest ADHD challenges. My executive functioning really falls apart in this arena, because it involves planning, decision making, shopping (and all the stress that goes into that, especially if you have sensory issues like I do), timing, following steps (in the right order), multi-tasking and more.


    4. I will remember to take my ADD medications on a more regular basis and consult with my doctor about making possible changes. We often get into a rut and just accept that the meds aren't working as well as they should. Or maybe we continue taking them even though we're having unpleasant side effects. There are more and more ADHD medications on the market now. There's no reason I- or you- should put up with less than optimal treatment.


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    5. I will tackle one SMALL de-cluttering project per week (or day, if I happen to be feeling particularly motivated).


    6. I will not come down hard on myself if I do not accomplish #5.


    7. I will make an appointment with a financial planner so that I will finally know how to manage my money instead of pretending I can do this on my own.


    8. I will spend more time with my elderly mother. Time is flying by too quickly and though brief chats on the phone are sweet, I'd like to look in her eyes, touch her hand and relish the time we still have together. Is there someone special in your life that you'd like to spend more time with while you still can?


    9. I will make overdue doctor/dental appointments. Isn't it a typical ADD "thing" to just put these off? It plays right into our tendency to procrastinate, along with our difficulties in remembering to do things, especially things we find unpleasant. Can you pick up the phone, too, and make that appointment you've been putting off?


    10. I will be more patient and listen more intently to the people I love: my husband and my daughters. It's hard to stop what I'm doing (oh, those interruptions really throw us off, don't they?) and really LISTEN, but good listening skills help us to connect and strengthen relationships.


    What's on your list? Feel free to share them here! Oh, and Happy New Year!

Published On: December 30, 2008