It’s early January. The holidays are over and the parade of year end retrospectives are almost done. Now you can focus on what you want to do in the coming year. But this new year is different. We’re still in the throes of a pandemic, and all of our familiar social, educational and career routines are still in flux.
How do you make resolutions and plans when times are so uncertain? You might be asking, is it even worth the effort?
Plus, making resolutions when you have ADHD can be problematic. It is easy to:
- Set too many goals to work on
- Set overambitious goals
- Fail to connect new goals to goals from previous years
- Not prioritize your goals so you can focus on the most important ones
Below are some things you can do to create more effective resolutions when you are living under a cloud of uncertainty.
Try Themes Instead of Resolutions
A theme is just a simple idea – something that is easy to remember. It serves as a general guide for making daily decisions, evaluating choices or setting short-term mini-goals as needed. These all contribute to building and reinforcing your theme throughout the year.
There are several important advantages of a using a theme instead of a set of goals. These include:big
- There are no tasks to fail at
- You don’t have to keep measuring yourself
- It’s an incremental process of improvement based on daily decisions and choices
- You eliminate feelings of guilt and discouragement
And especially important of all for times of crisis like now, you give yourself more flexibility to make adjustments as the situation changes.
Stay within Your Circle of Influence
Author Steven Covey explained that we often worry and think about much more than what we have control over. This can lead us to stress out in a reactive way that leaves us unproductive. He suggest we make an inventory of what we do have influence over in our lives and narrow our focus there. This allows us to make progress and feel the satisfaction in that.
Consciously Separate the Planning and Doing
Whether you are setting goals or using a theme type approach, you need some planning to guide what you are going to do. it is tempting to just “jump in” and start doing without figuring out the steps you need to take, the time and resources it will take, and how it fits with everything else you have going on in your life.
Take the time to consciously plan. If you’re having difficulty, ask someone you trust for help.
Ask Yourself Leading Questions
Spend some time asking yourself questions that will help guide your activities as the year progresses. These include things like:
- What do I really want or need in the coming year?
- What would I like to share with others in the coming year?
- What do I want to less of?
- What do I want to do more of?
- What worked for me and should I keep doing more of?
The pandemic doesn’t mean we have to forgo our New Year’s resolutions. The uncertainty of our times just requires an approach that will allow us to make progress despite the uncertainty in the world around us.