However, the process of making New Year's resolutions can be tricky for people with ADHD. The steps to plan out and achieve a new goal may even feel insurmountable at times. Find out why and get tips for sticking to your resolutions in spite of your ADHD symptoms.
Why Are New Year's Resolutions So Challenging for ADHDers?
When you think about what helps someone stick to their New Year's resolutions, what comes to mind? Things like staying focused, being organized, and tracking your progress are frequently cited as good practices for following through on resolutions. These same skills also happen to be particularly challenging for many people with ADHD.
ADHD affects the part of the brain responsible for executive function, which includes self-control, emotional regulation, motivation, planning, problem solving, and attention. It's easy to see how this is related to some of the most common symptoms of ADHD. Things like impulsivity, lack of focus, and problems with time management, organization, and mood swings are all tied to problems with executive function.
When it comes to setting and sticking to goals like New Year's resolutions, these ADHD symptoms can create extra obstacles. You might struggle to follow through with your resolutions because of these symptoms, even though you truly do want to achieve your goals.
It's important to remember, however, that many people have a hard time sticking to their resolutions. Some studies suggest that about 41% of Americans make New Year's resolutions, yet only 9% are successful at keeping them. So even though you may find that your ADHD makes it difficult to follow through, it's wise to avoid being too hard on yourself. Many people encounter difficulties in making changes or starting new habits, and you're definitely not alone in facing those challenges.
A few tips for people with ADHD who want to keep their New Year's resolutions include:
- Set short-term goals instead of long-term ones, which makes it easier to attain small achievements over time and celebrate your progress.
- Ask a friend or family member to help hold you accountable and support you as you try to stick to your resolutions.
- Use simple tools, like phone apps or visual reminders, to help you stay on track throughout the process.
New Year's Resolutions for People with ADHD
Even though you might experience a few bumps along the way to achieving them, there's no reason you can't set some resolutions to start off the year. Here are a few ideas for resolutions that can be especially useful for someone living with ADHD.
Prioritize your well-being
Making time to take care of yourself is always important. And if you have ADHD, you may even find that it helps to keep your symptoms in check. When you feel less stressed or overwhelmed, it's likely that your symptoms will seem more manageable. Try to think of at least one resolution that promotes your well-being, like starting a meditation practice, establishing a healthy sleep routine, or getting some regular exercise.
Try a new approach to productivity
Do you want to perform better at work and advance your career? Looking to improve your skills in a certain area or explore a new hobby? These kinds of resolutions often require increased productivity in your life — something that doesn't come easily when you have ADHD. But the new year gives you a chance to try out a fresh approach. For example, you can try using productivity apps that can help with time management, focus, and more. These types of tools can offer that extra support you need when trying to achieve an important goal.
Make more meals at home
Cooking can be a complicated problem that people with ADHD feel like they have to solve. It requires planning, time management, and organization, and all of it needs to happen in a fairly orderly way if you want the meal to come out tasting delicious. If you want to make more food at home this year, whether for health reasons, financial reasons, or something else, try out a few helpful hacks for cooking that allow you to overcome some of your ADHD hurdles. For instance, you might try a meal kit service to eliminate the process of choosing a meal and shopping for ingredients. Kitchen tools like slow cookers can also be helpful for making food prep much easier to manage.
If you need some extra support on your ADHD journey, turn to Done. Our convenient and affordable online appointments allow you to speak with a licensed ADHD clinician and make sure you're getting the right treatment for your unique needs. Complete our simple one-minute online assessment to get started.