Linda Walker is an experienced trainer, speaker, and creative genius coach (with specialized ADHD training). I am trained as an Executive Coach, a certified Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach and advanced ADHD coaching. Find blogs on ADHD by Linda Walker.
I’m curious. What are you striving for this year? Do you have a plan for how you’ll get there? New Year’s Resolutions are popular. But they aren’t very effective. If you’ve adopted a New Year’s resolution, there’s an excellent chance you’ve already abandoned it. In fact, on January 12, you can wish people “Happy Quitters Day”! Studies show this is the tipping point. On this day more New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside than are still in effect.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve abandoned your resolution. Some people have given up striving for personal growth. They are so discouraged they have given up trying to become a better version of themselves. They’re afraid of deceiving themselves and others around them. We all want this year to be better than last year. But New Resolutions are an ineffective way of making that happen. If you’ve become frustrated with the whole process of making resolutions, I don’t blame you.
A typical New Year’s Resolutions hasn’t got a chance because:
It’s unrealistic. News flash. You cannot change all your bad habits in one fell swoop, even if it is a New Year!
It’s not sustainable. Two hours of working out every evening is not possible. Even Olympic athletes allow for days off.
It lacks backbone. A resolution cannot work alone. You need a plan for how you will make it work.
It is pass/fail, with no room for nuance. No one gets ideal results on the first try. You must be free to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and adjust your approach.
So instead of New Year’s Resolutions, what can you do?
Identify what you want to achieve. Then get very clear on why it’s important to you. Focus on the “Why” for motivation.
State your goal as if it was already happening. Say “I’m taking steps to increase sales by 50%.” This is much more powerful than saying “I want to increase sales this year.”
Create one new habit that will help you reach your goal. To increase sales, you could increase the number of sales calls each week. You could by publish one new article each week on your blog, publish it on social media to increase engagement with your clients. You could attend one new networking event each month. To name a few…
Start with small steps. Radical changes cause too much stress because they take you far out of your comfort zone. Start small and make incremental steps that let you stretch your comfort zone. As you get more comfortable, raise the stakes.
See “failure” as a learning opportunity. Then adjust your plan. Don’t quit, make small changes to your habits.
Reward yourself. Notice what you’ve accomplished. Don’t waste energy fretting about not achieving what you’d hoped. Celebrate even small wins. Being a tough taskmaster doesn’t help you reach bigger goals. Celebrating increases your energy and provides an experience you’ll want to repeat. When you celebrate progress, you’ll want to continue that progress.
Start now! Don’t wait until everything is perfect to get started. Nothing will ever change because things are never perfect. Don’t wait until you have time. Make time.
Be happy no matter what. If you achieve your goals, celebrate! If you don’t reach your goals, striving towards them has already changed you for the better.
So now, let me know what new habit will you be adopting this year?
Sari Solden, psychotherapist and the bestselling author of Women with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journeys Through ADDulthood, which have sold over 200,000 copies worldwide, as well as, Creative Genius extraordinaire, will be interviewed on CJAD Radio 800 am this Wednesday, April 18 at 12:35 pm EST.
Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to one of the great experts on ADHD as she discusses Women and ADHD.
If you’ve been following the Focus to Freedom Workshop and are contemplating enrolling in the Focus to Freedom Blueprint Mastery program, but have some questions, I’ll be holding 2 Question and Answer periods. Sign up for them now to get the details and get some answers.
Register for the session on Monday, March 12 at 3:30 pm EST (2:30 pm CST, 1:30 MST, 12:30 pm PST, 7:30 pm GMT)
We respect your
Register for the session on Monday, March 12th at at 8 pm EST (7 pm CST, 6 pm MST, 5 pm PST, 12 am GMT, 10 am Tues. AEST)
One Magic Ingredient for More Intimacy in Your ADHD Relationship - YouTube
The way we were
Duane and I have shared our story many times. We are open about how bad things were for the first 15 years of our marriage. We don’t hold back, because we want people to understand we’ve been where you are. But we also share how we’re still married after 34 years. We want to give you hope.
Those first 15 years were rough. We were in dire financial straits. Duane never followed through. I don’t have ADHD, so I picked up the slack for everything Duane couldn’t do. And there was a lot he couldn’t do. (Sometimes I was sure it was stuff he wouldn’t do!) We were both under a lot of stress and that puts strain on a relationship. We fought all the time!
People think it was Duane getting help for his ADHD that changed our relationship. They think once he was “fixed,” it was smooth sailing. Of course, when Duane got help, it reduced a lot of stress on our relationship. But even that wouldn’t have saved our marriage. We needed one more thing. Luckily, we discovered the missing ingredient. And it turned our hellish marriage into wedded bliss.
What’s that secret ingredient?
Empathy was missing from our relationship. We discovered we weren’t listening to each other. Neither of us understood how much we had in common. We both felt lonely and wounded. It was only once we began to “listen” that we were able to see each other’s point of view. Once we were able to see our partner’s point of view we were able to mend the relationship.
Empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. We often say “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” Seeing the world from their perspective is the only way to understand what’s happening. During our many fights, (actually shouting matches) we spewed our anger and pain at each other.
We weren’t listening to each other because we were too busy trying to be right. When you listen, listen to understand. Don’t listen only to prepare your comeback. That’s “empathy.” Is it the missing ingredient in YOUR relationship?
Tired of reliving the same old nightmare again and again? - YouTube
by Linda Walker
As another February started, I was reminded how often adults with ADHD relive the same old challenges they’ve been dealing with all their ADHD lives. It’s as if you keep replaying the actions, hoping the outcome will be different each time.
But now that Groundhog Day is over, why are you continuing to relive the same challenges? If this sounds like you, it may be that you feel as if you’re stuck and not making any progress. Of course, if all you’ve been doing is replaying the scene over and over in the same way, and of course, achieving the same unwanted results, you are stuck!
Though maybe today is the day you realize that if you want a different outcome, you need to change some things. If you’re ready to make that change, where do you start?
Many ADHDers and other creative geniuses struggle with managing everyday life.
How often do you rush out the door at the last minute for an important appointment then berate yourself or scream at the drivers around you who seem to be slowing you down? How often have you looked for your keys, your wallet, your bus pass? How often have you promised to buckle down and get work done in your business but found yourself watching cat videos on YouTube for an hour instead?
Each time you mess up, you vow to never repeat the mistake again. Yet the next day, you find yourself doing it again. Each time you repeat the same mistake, you berate yourself for your lack of discipline. Every time you repeat this same cycle, you are eroding your self-confidence, convincing yourself that if only you had more willpower, you could change. Soon, you believe that you are simply flawed, you don’t have as much willpower as other people, and therefore you’ll never be able to change.
This is simply not true. You’re reliving the same problems, not because you lack self-discipline, but because you lack a plan to solve the problem at the source. And it’s not a lack of willpower that’s at the source.
How would you like to live a new life adventure, one where you’ve got your sh**t together?
Here’s a strategy to do that: As my husband always says:
“Don’t solve the problem once, solve the problem once and for all.”
The first step to doing that is to set aside time to think about the problem.
Consider the steps you take to get the current result – otherwise known as the routine. You accomplish your current results by following a series of actions, and those actions are the same each time. Next look at the results you want and compare them to the results you’re getting – what is the gap? How close, or how far, are you to achieving the results you want?
Determine the source of the problem
Why are you always leaving at the last minute? Are you getting up too late? Are you getting involved in something in the morning and losing track of time? Are you looking for something to wear? Are you spending too long singing in the shower, practicing to get on The Voice?
Identify a solution you want to adopt
As a result of your analysis, you determine you’re checking your emails and spending too long answering them. What’s the solution? You could decide not to open emails in the morning or set a timer to limit the time you spend on them and only scan for and respond to urgent emails. You could get up earlier.
Put it in writing
Next, write down what you’ve chosen to do because there’s a good chance you’ll forget. You could create a notebook in Evernote and create a note. Include a trigger to use to remind you of your new plan. It could be a paper or electronic post-it note that pops up when you turn on your computer, or a visual cue you leave on top of your computer – a troll doll or other small figurine, for example – or have someone remind you – although I am not a fan of deferring your responsibilities onto others because when they mess up, you end up playing the very unproductive blame game.
Make changes where needed
Next, test your plan: Take some time at the end of the day to determine how well it worked and tweak as needed, then test it again.
5 Creative Genius Strategies Make This Your Best Year Yet - YouTube
Another year has gone. Are you feeling frustrated? Are you still grappling with the same challenges you were a year ago? We all tend to get down on ourselves for not being “better.” Change isn’t easy. You need to be aware of what needs to change. Then you need to decide to make it happen. Then you need to act. These five strategies will help make this your best year yet.
Develop a scaffolding of routines and rituals. Build consistency into your life by creating anchors and supports. You will still have plenty of freedom to create, to innovate, and be spontaneous. The “trail markers” let you see progress, give you hints that it’s time to take care of yourself, and prevent chaos.Many creative geniuses don’t believe they can create routines or rituals. Have you tried adopting routines and failed? Or does the idea of adopting a routine make you feel ill? Do you worry routines will stifle your creativity and your spontaneity? Building and adopting routines does not lead to a boring life. It reduces chaos. It’ll take less time to do the things you find boring. Then you can do things that excite you and ignite you.
You will never be completely free until you’ve adopted routines. Routines allow you to have time and energy to enjoy the rest of your life.
Contrary to popular belief, your brain is better than normal. It works faster, it’s more creative, and it’s energetic. The problem isn’t with how your brain goes, the challenge is getting your brain to stop. Dr. Ned Hallowell compares it to a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. To work at its best your brain needs special care.
Get enough sleep to be well rested every night; this is non-negotiable. Drink water; your brain works better when you are well hydrated. The effects are almost immediate and amazing.
You need to exercise daily. Cardio exercise is essential to keep your body fit. More important, exercise releases the very hormones your brain needs most.
Your brain runs on glucose. Do not skip meals. Eat healthy, low-carb, high-protein foods. The amount of glucose your brain needs for peak functioning is astounding. Food high in simple carbohydrates delivers inconsistent amounts of glucose. They don’t help; they make it hard to think.
All work and no play makes your brain a dull brain. Most of us spend our day staring at a screen. We work at a computer. We spend our evenings watching TV or playing video games. Any spare minute, we’re checking our phone. We’re surfing the Web or on social media.You’re a Creative Genius. Creative Genius needs a real life to manifest itself! Stop living through other’s social media feeds. Engage your brain by engaging your body in real life. Get out in nature. Connect with people face-to-face. Engage in creative activities. Create something! Draw a picture. Cook a meal. Knit a scarf. Build a bookcase. It’s not important what you do as long as you love it. Express your creativity!
Develop your strengths and passions. Do it on purpose. Do it every week. Identify your top five strengths – no more. Pick an activity that exercises one or more of those strengths. Make a plan to integrate it into your life. Now this may mean giving up another activity. You may even need your family’s help.Be prepared, you will face a lot of resistance to change. Enroll in a course, find a mentor, or join a team. Make it a consistent part of your life.
Once you have done that, do it again. You’ll know you’re finished when everything you do engages your strengths and passions. (Ok, you’ll never finish, but it’s great fun to try!)
Learn to work with your brain instead of against it. Many Creative Geniuses adopt strategies that work for neurotypicals. Unfortunately those neuro-typical strategies don’t always work for Creative Geniuses. You have unique brain wiring, so you need different strategies.How do you work with your brain instead of against it? You build awareness about the way you work best. Many Creative Geniuses are not aware when they focus best. Unless you understand how your brain works, you can’t optimize how you use your time. When you know, you can create the right conditions to focus so you can be more productive. You can get the right things done at work and at home, and still have time and energy left over to have an awesome life.
You’re a Creative Genius surrounded by neurotypicals. Society’s rules work for neurotypicals. Adopt these 5 strategies and live your life on your terms. Celebrate who you are. You have untapped potential. These simple adjustments will create the conditions that will unleash that Creative Genius.
The holidays can be a challenging time of year for creative geniuses. There’s so much to do with decorating, shopping, cleaning, cooking, partying and the list goes on. You may push yourself to exhaustion.
This is often when you begin to feel overwhelmed and your mood starts suffering. And when that happens…!
This holiday season do yourself and everyone around you a favor. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. How do you do that? Here are 3 steps to a better Christmas.
This season is about being together. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to let go of some of the “fluff” if it takes you over the edge. Some creative geniuses I know don’t put up a Christmas tree. We don’t decorate the outdoors anymore. If some recipes are long and tedious for you, don’t do them unless these things provide more joy than effort.
Studies prove experiences provide the most joy, not things. When we buy gifts to “wow” our loved ones, we forget that what they want is to spend time with us. We run out of time to enjoy the people we love.
When you spend your holidays sweating the credit card bills, they aren’t much fun. What if you did something different this year? Try playing board games, building Lego cities or chill-axing with your loved ones.
Take care of your needs
Many of my clients describe feeling overwhelmed during the holidays. This can be especially true when the whole family is together. Overwhelm can lead to especially bad consequences during your Recharge Zone. Allow yourself to disconnect for 20 minutes when you feel overwhelmed. Excuse yourself and explain you need a bit of air or a short nap. You’ll come back ready to reengage. Let your loved ones know you need a break.
Whatever you do, take time to enjoy this festive season to be with your family and friends.