Retooling the New Year’s Resolution for ADHD

‘Tis the season for making New Year’s resolutions. If you have ADHD, you may find it difficult to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions. You can leverage inspiration and habits to set and maintain New Year’s resolutions more effectively. Below are some strategies that may be particularly helpful.

Capture and Channel Inspiration

Keep a journal or some form of digital document to capture moments of inspiration. Write down ideas, quotes, or images that motivate you. Revisit this collection when you need a boost to reinforce your commitment to your resolutions.

Get Visual

Build a vision board with images and words that represent your goals. Place it where you’ll see it regularly. Visual cues can serve as powerful reminders and keep your aspirations at the forefront of your mind.

Use other types of visual reminders to keep you on track, such as charts or calendars, to help reinforce your goals and keep them in sight. Try using color-coding or symbols to represent different aspects of your resolutions.

Focus on Realistic, Attainable Goals

Define clear, specific, and achievable resolutions. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Specific goals are easier to work toward and provide a clear direction for building the habits that will help you achieve what you’re after.

“Habit-ize” Your Goals

Routines and habits allow you conserve your attention and energy for the more enjoyable things in life. Introduce new habits slowly, one at a time, to avoid overwhelming yourself. Build a routine that includes specific times for goal-related activities. Consistency is key. Focus on building one habit before introducing another. Consistent schedules and structures can help you stay on track and reduce procrastination.

Associate new habits with existing daily routines. This helps integrate them seamlessly into your schedule. For example, if you want to establish a reading habit, link it to a routine like having a cup of tea in the evening.

Don’t Forget the Rewards

Celebrate small victories and achievements along the way. Positive reinforcement can reinforce positive behavior. Reward yourself when you reach milestones to maintain motivation.

Pair Tasks with Enjoyable Activities

Connect resolution-related tasks with activities you enjoy. This can make the process more engaging and increase adherence. For instance, if your goal is to exercise more, choose activities you find enjoyable.

Use Hyperfocus to Your Advantage

Leverage your periods of hyperfocus, common in those with ADHD, to make significant progress on tasks related to your resolutions. Engage in more challenging or focused activities during these times.

Build in Accountability and Support

Share your resolutions with a friend, family member, or support group. Having someone to share progress with can provide motivation and accountability. Consider finding a buddy with similar goals to provide mutual support.

Reflect and Adjust

Regularly reflect on your progress. If something isn’t working, be open to adjusting your approach. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial for long-term success.

By combining inspiration with intentional habit-building strategies, you can create a foundation for successful New Year’s resolutions. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you and be patient and compassionate with yourself throughout the process.



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