Happy New Year! Or is it?
Hope you’re doing better than I have been. December brought a number of challenges that interfered with key “small habits” that make up my normal routines. I stopped keeping a food diary, skipped my daily walks, and steadily gained weight. I skipped group coaching meetings and body double sessions. They provide both support and keep me on track for tasks I find challenging. Planning and scheduling my days was hit or miss. Projects were left undone and worst of all I berated myself for every misstep. I’m slowly getting back on track, but am once again reminded of how important these hard-won habits have been for keeping me on track and “drama free.”
I also struggle with reflecting on past achievements and failures and making resolutions. For me, adding habits are much more effective. I love what Stacey Turis of Tales of an Absent-minded Superhero has to say about making resolutions.
“Resolutions don’t really work on our Tribe
because we’re pretty much on a self-imposed,
self-improvement plan 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Like…our resolutions never freaking end.”
When you have ADHD, creating structure, building habits and creating routines are the pathway to success. One casualty of dropping my routines was this newsletter. I apologize for being late.
This year, I’m trying to follow the advice in 5 ADHD Strategies to Make This Your Best Year Yet, a short video with a transcript by Coach Linda Walker.
The first strategy, she states, is developing a scaffolding of routines and rituals. She says, “Building and adopting routines does not lead to a boring life. It reduces chaos.” She further outlines how vital it is to meet your basic physical and emotional needs and learning to work with your strengths rather than always trying to compensate for your weaknesses.
Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD has an imaginative video on the importance of building routines as well. (I’m also going to check out next week’s video on what to do when you need to rebuild your routines to fit life changes. – January, 11. 2017)
One routine I’ve struggled with is setting up a time and method of planning that works for me. Coach Alan Brown outlines a 5 Step super-simple planning process in Simple Structures to Leverage the Power of Planning. (link works)
STEP 1: Set aside 5 minutes to PLAN. Set reminders or schedule a time of day.
STEP 2: Don’t do ANYTHING else.
STEP 3: Jot down key appointments and no more than three must-do items for the day.
STEP 4: Assign a TIME for your appointments and key objections for the day. Knowing WHEN you will do them greatly increases your odds of completion.
STEP 5: Use a timer throughout the day. Ask yourself whether you’re still focused on your plan.
I like these free Printables for planning and/or scheduling from Emily Ley. Most of her bound planners are sold out, but you can save yourself over $50 by making your own planner. I especially like her Simplified Weekly Planner. Use 2 pages to make up a week – Just split the bottom sections of the second sheet for Saturday and Sunday. You can also find a daily planning sheet among her other printables.
Beyond planning, my favorite ideas to create household structures and routines come from organizer Hazel Thornton’s series: Six Organizing Structures Everyone Needs. Hazel gives you 5 questions to ask that help you establish or tweak your routines for laundry, dishes, creating a launch pad, dealing with the paper flow or clutter flow, and getting things done.
Ultimately, having ADHD is an intensely personal experience. No two of us will show the same symptoms or require the same treatment. We need different medications, ongoing changes in structures and routines, and distinct ways to handle our emotional reactions. There IS help available, but it is an ongoing process of discovery, trial and error, and acceptance.
Learning how other people have coped is often a help. Drew Dakessian shares her story in 7 things about ADHD I wish I had always known. She shares:
- ADHD has nothing to do with your personality or morality.
- Stimulant medication isn’t the be-all, end-all.
- People will tell you to go easy on yourself, but still, expect you to be ‘on.’
Parenting children with ADHD requires understanding how ADHD affects behavior as well as controlling your own responses. Impact ADHD, a parent coaching service has this advice in Four Things any Successful Supermom Knows.
- Manage Triggers Consciously
- Take care of your own needs.
- Practice Radical Compassion
- Let Go of Resentment
That’s all for now. Hope you find at least one thing new to try. Learning to cope with ADHD is an ongoing process. Remember, small changes can make a big difference. Take care,
(Photo courtesy of freedooom/freedigitalphoto.net) Modified on Canva.com
(Photo courtesy of watiporn/freedigitalphoto.net) Modified on Canva.com