ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community

ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community (
-   General ADD Talk (
-   -   What I want my life to be like in 6 months and how I plan to get there (

Jacksper 11-12-17 04:32 PM

What I want my life to be like in 6 months and how I plan to get there
TL;DR: read the first paragraph, and the last bit including the video (or less, just watch the video, which is an excellent summary of what I have in mind :)):

My coach and I have figured out a pattern in my behavior; I am not selective in my goals and just set too many of them. Whenever I come across something that enthuses me, or that I think needs to be improved, I immediately make the association that it is something that I need to do. Worse, I often *tell* people that I will do something about it, creating expectations. Initially, this is good for my reputation, because people think that I create a lot of value, and it also makes me feel good because I feel useful, but inevitably I can't deliver on my promises. As time passes, I feel more and more stressed out and having this many goals makes it hard to choose what to focus on, and focusing is already not one of my strong parts. After some weeks or months, everything collapses, and I find it hard to even take good care of myself. It can take me weeks or months to recover from this, recovery meaning that I have found some energy and willpower to start working again on my projects. However, I quickly get back into the start of the cycle, setting too many goals again. I have done this since I was about 14.

In the last years, I have learnt to function moderately well despite this cycle, and the cycle has become somewhat less strong. I have kept my first job for almost 1.5 years now and my employer still does not want to fire me (I have confirmed this :)) and from how he treats me, he still seems to believe in me. I think this is because I do make progress. But I still feel the clock is ticking to get my act together, because I do fail projects. Also, this cycle is creating so much unnecessary suffering and frustration, and I feel like I waste so much of my potential because of this wasteful process, that I want to break it.

My coach encourages me to not pick up any new projects and focus on getting a good foundation of my life. She tells me that what I am basically doing is trying to build high towers on shaky ground. I agree with that analysis.

So, I have decided to take her seriously and to start the process of changing this. In the coming 6 months (an arbitrary amount, but I would like to have the sense of urgency) I will make this my #1 priority. This means:

1. I will ditch any projects that I can get rid of. I had 2 volunteer positions, but I have communicated that I want to leave them. I did not do a lot of work on them anyways.

2. I will (learn to) not make promises to people. Whenever I see something going wrong (in my mind), I will encourage myself to keep my mouth shut and just let it be. It is not my responsibility to save the world. Also, I should not steal other people's problems. My coach told me that my zone of involvement is much larger than my zone of influence, and she told me that is counter productive for yourself and for others. I should not overstretch myself, and instead focus on becoming more effective myself. Perhaps in the future I can do something about the problems I encounter, but now is not the time. And probably never, because there are just an infinite amount of problems/tasks and I am a finite person.

3. Third, I am thinking about what a foundation consists of and how I want mine to be. This includes getting organized and having some routines (daily/weekly/etc).

3a. Organization: I would like to learn to organize my home, my finances, my tasks, in short every area of my life should get a basic level of organization. The goal is not 100% organization though, but a level of organization that is optimal for me. This optimum is determined by a balance of the benefit that the organization gives to my life and the time & energy it takes me to maintain it. To organize something, I often first have to determine what the state is of something now, then I may need to extinguish some fires (for example, paying some bills that really need to be paid quickly or contacting someone who is expecting something of me). Then I need to figure out how I want it to be. Then I need to do the work to get it to that state (which can take many weeks), and finally I need to learn how to keep it in that state in an efficient and realistic way.

3b. Routines: I would like to have good routines and habits in my life. Waking up and going to bed at fixed times, having regular meals, cooking for myself, regular time off, etc. These routines should make it easier to get things done. Again, my life should not become 100% routine, there is an optimum, also determined by the balance of the benefit that a routine gives me on the one hand and on the other the time & energy it takes me to maintain the routine. Too much routine could make my life dull or unnecessarily hard.

4. On top of that I would like to build other things. Perhaps this only start after the six months, because I see that there is a lot of work ahead of me in the previous point. But the next things could include learning to communicate more effectively, including one to one, in groups, presentation and in writing. I want to learn how to learn new skills and knowledge more effectively. All kinds of skills that I think that everyone can benefit from.

5. And finally, I want to think about the direction I want to take my life in. What do I want to specialize in at work? What do I want to do with my free time?

6. Then, I can slowly take steps into those directions.

This is just a rough sketch of the coming process that I have started. This is not intended as another list of goals, but more like a direction. In the last 2 weeks this has already helped me a lot, I have already refrained from picking up many new goals and I have gotten rid of some old ones. My room is slowly organizing and I am sometimes cooking again, one of the first habits that I am building. I am trying to take it step-by-step, in a moderate pace, because I think a solid foundation takes time and attention. The biggest risk that I have is that I get impatient and try to improve everything at once again, which is missing the mark.

The end goal is to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life, and to become someone that people can rely on. I am grateful that I have this opportunity now and I look forward to where this road leads me.

This video explains what I have in mind (the professor in the video, Jordan Peterson, is one of my biggest inspirations on why and how I should get my life together):

Hazel87 11-15-17 08:46 PM

Re: What I want my life to be like in 6 months and how I plan to get there
Oohh I like the sound of this. It sounds like exactly what I need to do, so I'm going to set the same goal haha. Good luck!

Padawan 01-02-18 10:10 AM

Re: What I want my life to be like in 6 months and how I plan to get there
I can relate to nearly everything you wrote here. It sounds like a very good plan for moving forward and helped me to think about how much I value (but how hard it is to engage in) single-tasking.

This, especially, struck me:

"2. I will (learn to) not make promises to people."

I think I've subconsciously used promises and public announcements of my own goals as ways to be accountable, but, as time went on, I became overwhelmed. In recent years I wouldn't follow through even when I said I'd do things, and then felt terrible about being unreliable, so began to isolate myself to keep from disappointing people. Still a lot to process and understand.

Best wishes to you for 2018.

ToneTone 01-02-18 12:29 PM

Re: What I want my life to be like in 6 months and how I plan to get there
Excellent! ... Loved reading this... love that you have a coach.

I can definitely relate to the problem of promising to do tasks that you later don't do. I joke that there were two versions of me out in the world--and they didn't talk to each other.

There was me #1-- that would in the moment (without thinking) come up with these great ideas and propose them and yes, volunteer to do tasks. But me #1 would flee the scene as soon as I made a promise.

Then there was me #2 ... the person that was left with carrying out the work promised by me #1. Me #2, of course, has ADHD.

Over time I learned that I didn't really need me#1 ... that me#1 was a people-pleaser and someone who had no idea of how long tasks took to complete.

Anyway, great work. I had a coach seven years ago, and she was excellent. She gave me principles that I'm still applying. Now I have a long-term therapist that I use as a life coach as well.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2003 - 2015 ADD Forums