Sticking with New Years Resolutions ADD & ADHD Style

Setting New Year’s resolutions is an annual Right of Passage. Many of us folks with ADD & ADHD have enough difficulties with keeping track of our everyday lives, so trying to change a bigger-picture item can become impossible. I’ve identified some ways to help stick with our resolutions and hopefully make the new behavior or lifestyle change become more permanent.

We set our resolutions with the idea of improving a behavior or bad habit. However, nothing can be accomplished overnight. Even for things like quitting smoking and eating better, it’s still nearly impossible to accomplish this quickly. I like to keep things on a very short-term basis. Let’s say you want to quit smoking, don’t say I am going to quit smoking for the rest of my life. Instead, make it much more manageable. A better way to think is I am going to quit smoking for three days. After you’ve accomplished three days, add five days and so on. That way, if you happen to slip-up, you still can reset the goal and still work on the larger goal. Failing once doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means you need to gradually stop a bad habit.

Image courtesy of nuttakit/

Image courtesy of nuttakit/

I also like prizes and gifts (and I’m sure that goes for all of us). For you folks that are quitting smoking, put the money you save aside and buy yourself something. Let’s say you want a new iPad or set of golf clubs, use the money you save from smoking to purchase that item. Even if you slip, you still don’t lose your savings. It gives you a motivator and you deserve to feel good about your lifestyle change.

From a personal standpoint, I’ve set out to lose weight. However, I haven’t put an exact figure on how much weight I want to lose. To reach my goal, I’ve changed my workout schedule, eating healthier foods and cutting out snacking. To this point, I’ve already lost ten pounds. Sometimes, it’s better not to put a specific number on weight loss. But seeing results like your clothes fitting better and the scale showing you a smaller number are rewards too.

Here’s the bottom line…identify the thing you’d like to change, create short-term and manageable goals, don’t give up if you have a bad moment and find the things that motivate you for success. This isn’t as simple as a few words, but at least approaching this systematically will make the process go smoother.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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