Goals are important, whether we have ADD ADHD or not
In prison ministry, we notice that many of the men do not have the concept of goals other than short term “I want this now”.
Goals help us with focus, planning and setting priorities, and motivation, all of which are issues with ADD ADHD.
Very short-term goals would include the to do lists, and we feel satisfaction when we get something done, which gives us more motivation to move on to the next thing.
When I list longer term goals, it’s useful to write down the steps I need to do to move towards them. This is the concept of “small steps”, and also motivates me and helps me get moving.
My goal is to become a better guitar player, but my immediate step is to learn to play a G chord using my little finger. It’s hard.
My long-term goals need to be aligned with and reflect my values. I try to check them every six months and see if how I’m spending my time is congruent with those goals and if I’m making progress. Again, under each goal. I list things I can do to move towards it.
Here is Scott’s great strategy from his comment:
I like to make a list of things that are important to me; Marriage, Work, Exercise, my Boat, dealing with ADD, etc., and then under each heading I write some things that I can do to help with that. Sometimes these are things I do once and they are done, like finishing a specific project. Sometimes they are ongoing things, like remembering to use specific strategies for dealing with my ADD. Then I put that list in a place, like on a wall, where I will see it on a regular basis, so it reminds me of those things that are important and what I can do to support those things in my life. Throughout the year I may update my list if I think of something appropriate, come up with a new strategy, or finish a project that is on the list. Sometimes I put a date next to a crossed out project and that allows me to see progress, but it isn’t a to-do list. It is more like a reminder of what I consider important and how I plan on achieving that.
We ADDers tend to set goals that are impossible, always overestimating what we can do and being unable to assess how much time we have to do it in. This leads to demoralization, procrastination, stagnation, and inertia ( Is that a little repetitive?)
Set goals a little under what you can achieve. When you reach one, you can always cross it off and set a new goal (Does this sound a little un-American? Or just un-ADD?).
Some of my current goals include losing weight (but I hate to think of the steps that are involved), being a better husband, and producing quality blog posts. We’ll see how it goes.
Writing this, I realize I also tend to set too many goals – prioritizing is another ADD ADHD issue.