It seems like just yesterday I was writing to you all and we were fresh off the New Year and entering a brand new 2016, but as time would have it, we’re now almost 7 months into the year and summertime is in full swing.
During and immediately after New Year’s, everyone compiles a list of things they want to get done or vow to work on come the next 12 months. I’d previously written that too many people set unreasonable expectations for themselves or try to tackle too much at once, and when they’re unable to follow through, they fall into a funk and trap themselves into a self-defeatist attitude. While this is true for everyone, it hits the ADHD Tribe a little harder than most because the extra pressure, drive, and goalposts that we set up for ourselves are fraught with having to meet those expectations in our decidedly non-linear world; it can be pretty freaking frustrating!
I’ve had people that fall into what I call the “get me nots” and “functions through chaos” (see previous posts on these two sub-categories of ADHD individuals I wrote at length about) category talk to me about their frustrations on just that……their New Year’s list falling somewhat flat and only some goals being met. I’ve had the OCD-ADHD part of the pack also come to me with dismay, castigating themselves for not literally meeting everything their keenly perfectionist minds set out to do. For all of these people and others expressing these feelings, I tell you now is the perfect time for pausing, doing some self-reflection and personal inventory and, as I’ve said time and time before, there’s no right/wrong time to hit the reset button, so hit it now and hard if you need to!
Go back to the tried and true method of not tackling a big project all at once, but in bite sized chunks. When something seems insurmountable, this piecemeal approach can work wonders and when you successfully tackle whatever you’re working on, the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment will be richly rewarded. Going back to the list we all scribble up at the beginning of the year……who says it has to be done by a certain time or date? This is the part that gins up the most anxiety in people, when they feel they haven’t met a certain thing by a certain self-imposed deadline.
The middle of the year is a perfect time to reflect and see what you *have* indeed accomplished. The natural instinct in all of us is to first focus on the negative or on what’s not been done and dwell solely on that. Don’t be so hard on yourselves and give yourself a pat on the back for having done as well as you did for six months! No small feat for anyone!
If after a period of self-reflection you feel you may need to start all over or partially change course, hit that reset button. There’s never a right or wrong time, like I said. See it as you changing course midway through your journey so that you’ll close out the remaining months of 2016 exactly the way you want to.
On a final note, there’s people that made goals not specifically geared toward academic or professional careers, but instead, focused on changing lifestyle habits, letting go of lingering resentment(s) or anger or other more intangible things in their lives which have either created stagnation or outright held these individuals back from fully flourishing and living the quality of life they deserve. Again, for these folk, do not be discouraged. No battle is won on the first round oftentimes but persistence and perseverance will get you there, and never forget there’s always people around you who are a positive support system that will help you enact these particular goals. No man or woman is an island unto him or herself, and this is when family and friends are crucial.
Never forget also that all of you were born with a gift that in a linear world, the vast majority cannot comprehend or see the world as we do in our own non-linear way and that our presence throughout history on the macro level, in the sciences, arts and history, and on the micro level, with loved ones, family and friends, we enrich everyone that’s lucky enough have us in their lives. Just really think about this and let it sink in.
Be well my fellow Tribe people! It’s the middle of 2016 and we’ve only JUST begun and it’s always gonna get better!