As the year comes to an end, I am thinking about how I want the next year to be. I used to make hugely complicated plans about the year to come. All the things I was going to change and accomplish only to end up feeling like a failure six months later. Now I do something different.
First, I think about what brings me joy. What lights me up about my life. It is important to focus in on what lifts us up in our life. What is going well and moving us forward.
Second, I think about what I fear or scares me about my life. This is important because a lot of getting over fear is naming it for what it is. Bringing it out into to the light of day.
With those thoughts in my mind, I ask myself three questions.
- What am I willing to stop doing that I am currently doing in my life?
- What am I willing to continue doing that I am currently doing in my life?
- What am I willing to start doing that I am not currently doing in my life?
Thinking in terms of stop, continue and start doing cause us to evaluate things. What are you doing in life that is either getting in your way or not moving you forward? Or simply is exhausting you. Instead of continuing to do those things why not try to stop at least one of them. Just because you have done something a certain way in the past doesn’t mean you need to continue to them in the future.
Along those lines, what is there of value that you are already doing that you should continue doing. Something that you are seeing benefit from. Renew your commitment to that action. Don’t let it get lost in your day to day living.
Finally, thinking about what you are not going to do and more, what you are going to continue to do because it brings you benefit, what could you start doing that would also bring you benefit. What new thing could you start doing that would add light to your life. Remember you have space for something new because you are stopping something old.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of only continuing and starting. Something needs to go in order to add something new. This is hard for some people to let themselves stop doing something that they have always done whether they are receiving benefit or not from it.
For those affected by ADHD, don’t build a mountain to scale, just walk a path. There are things you are doing that you can stop. There are things that you are doing on an ongoing basis that you don’t think you are doing but you are that are helping you. Keep doing those things. Then simply add one small thing that might help make it easier to walk your path.
A lot of people make resolutions in the New Year to exercise more or to start exercising if they haven’t been. Your one small thing may be to take a walk twice a week. Will this meet all your health needs. No. But it is a doable beginning. It is better than doing nothing. People affected by ADHD often fear starting something because they fear failure. My feeling is you are going to fail. It is pre-ordained. It is what you do with the failure that matters. Do you try again or give up. As an ADHD coach, I often tell my clients it isn’t about falling off the horse, it is about how quickly you try to get back up on the horse again and again.