Is it harder for people with ADHD to keep their New Year’s resolutions?

Do you remember the New Year’s resolutions you made last year? Have you already let yourself down on your 2013 goals? Perhaps you even procrastinated on setting your goals and feel like it’s too late.

Never fear, there is nothing magic about January 1. Today is the day you can get started. Right now! This time of year there are a ton of articles about making and keeping New Year’s resolutions.  Most articles center around a few basic premises:

  • Believe in yourself.
  • Have realistic goals.
  • Ask for support from family or friends.
  • Keep on working on it, even when you fail.

People with ADHD are wired in ways that can keep successfully completing goals out of reach. These are a few of the basic qualities that lead to successfully building new habits and behaviors. If you are going to be successful at keeping your resolutions, you’ll need more than will power and determination. – you’ll need help and support.

Do you have trouble getting back on track when you’ve failed or fallen behind? Try breaking your goals down into the smallest possible tasks. If you want to eat fewer calories, focus on the meal you are eating right now.  If your resolution is to get your term papers in on time, immediately block out a calendar with every step you need to do assigned a deadline – from going to the library, to proofreading it for errors. Can’t figure out what the steps are? Ask someone who’s taken the class before to give you some pointers.

Do you have big dreams but can’t see the steps needed to get there? Ask an expert. What a lot of young adults don’t realize is that there is no way that you can be an expert in everything – but you probably have a friend who would be willing to lend you some of her expertise. You wouldn’t try to learn how to bake cookies without following a tested recipe, so why wouldn’t you call on your teacher or school’s learning center to help you organize a semester-long project that feels overwhelming?

Do you get easily discouraged when you hit road block? Mentors can be fantastic cheerleaders. You are never too young to seek out a mentor to provide experience and guidance as you are learning to find your way in the adult world. You mentor could be an ADHD coach or it might be a friend of your parents. Sometimes knowing someone is rooting for you can be the boost you need to keep on when the going gets tough.

If you’ve had successes sticking with your resolutions, we’d love to hear how you did it.  Please share your story in the comment section below.

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