The path forward isn’t always clear or easy, especially when we don’t know what 2022 has in store for us, or it feels like we keep living life on hard mode. Moira shares the steps she took to identify what she wants more of in her life and ways to help when she forgets or gets distracted.
- Easier to know what we don’t’ want, then ask what is the opposite or alternate to that?
- Overplanning can create challenges just as often as not planning
- Moira can struggle to accurately know how long things take, and how to manage time and energy
- A positive outcome from her plan was Moira was so happy that all the things had a place to be, she didn’t have to remember them, they were contained, they were planned for and a lot got done.
- She struggled to accept how much time and energy things take and how much she had been trying to shape life around other peoples’ needs.
- With too much on her plate, Moira was determined to find a way to make it work
- Even if there are ideas or solutions, bringing them to life can take considerable time, effort, and even money that may not be readily available
- She spent six months trying band-aid solutions
- Her experiences of last year mirrored a lifelong pattern that she doesn’t want anymore
- Moira needs a breather
- She wants to sleep well, feel rested, less “shoulding” on herself, feel peace in her heart and calm in her head, to grow stronger physically, including being pain-free
- She wants to be able to understand and use time in ways that work with the energy she has
- to be able to express herself effectively and ask for the help she needs
- to have time for family
- She put them all into a category to remember Well-being as a theme for the year
- Tweaking is another theme word for 2022 to help with finding more balance between taking a leap too far or fast and remembering that small changes can often get us where we want to go
- Going back to the list of goals and values from 2021
- What stood out were that there are three groupings—things that are ticking along, ones ready to put on the back burner for a while and the ones she’s not content with.
- She is going to set fewer goals with smaller targets
- Moira will also practice closing loops, before starting anything new. Open loops are like leaving tabs open in our brains
- To do this she will need reminders that if she doesn’t want to do it all, she has to be particular about what gets her attention and efforts. At least for now,
- Developing her set of Guiding questions is designed to help:
- What can wait?
- Does this align with my values? If not, then say NO
- Do I have the time and energy for this?
- Does this bring me closer to the life I want?
- When we know we don’t like where we are and how things are going, finding the path forward can seem hard; sometimes it starts with becoming aware of what we don’t’ want and then considering what is the opposite or an alternative
- This doesn’t mean we have to change our entire life—we can tweak things
- Another option is to find solutions that may be great or have the potential to create another set of challenges
- Ways to move closer to living the life we want can include:
- giving ourselves a gift of time to explore our values, priorities, and dreams to know what is important to us
- practice closing loops, before starting anything new. Open loops are like leaving tabs open in our brains, and it consumes time and energy we may want to put elsewhere
- Create a few guiding questions, or keywords that we can see on a regular basis to remind us of what we want more of in our lives
Moira Maybin 00:05
The Path Forward isn’t always clear or easy. When we know we don’t like where we are and how things are going, it can feel like we’re stuck. In episode 30. The one about looking back to get ahead. I shared how I’m using last year, and what I don’t want in my life as the starting point to create a game plan for 2022. Today, we’re talking about ways to weather What 2022 might throw at us the value of tweaking things, and how to move closer to living the life we want.
Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle. I’m your host, Moira Maybin, a woman, mom, educator, and I have late diagnosed ADHD. This is the place to practice getting rid of guilt or shame and spending more time with our strengths and passions. There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life more ADHD friendly, and I want to share them with you. For show notes, including next steps, resources, and articles on this topic, visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com.
Moira Maybin 02:18
In Episode 31, about looking back to get ahead, we talked about how to move towards more what we want in our lives. Even in the time from when I did that episode to now four weeks later, a lot has changed in our world. I was so tired. Well, I got some rest. Our holiday plans were all cancelled due to weather, travel restrictions and the ever-evolving pandemic. Not much was going on. So plenty of rest was had. Now that I’m a little less tired, I’m able to think about what I want 2022 to be like, where do I want to be in 12 months? Well, sometimes it’s easier to know or start with what we don’t want. I’m ready for some changes in how I do things. And I think we’ll all agree that I can take some things down a few notches with or without ADHD. Most people consider me a keener. Someone who was eager and enthusiastic added to that. I have long tried to plan and organize my way out of ADHD, which isn’t possible. In case you’re wondering, despite being a more experienced planner than most of us with ADHD, I experienced many roadblocks, I can struggle to accurately know how long things take, how to manage my precious resources of time and energy. And all of that makes the execution of said plan a bit of a challenge. I am continuing to grow my skills. But let’s just say I’m still a work in progress. The point to all of this is that last year, my annual planning was a tad ambitious. It involves 13 domains, including finances, health, career, family, community, you name it, it had a place in the plan. And I set goals in every one. Some were bigger than others. But all the areas were represented. I didn’t have to be actively working on them all at once either. I’m not ruthless. But I honestly thought this was the path forward. Yes, in hindsight, even I can see there were problems with my over-planning. But at the time, I was so happy that all the things had a place to be. I didn’t have to remember them. They were contained. They were planned for and they did help. And I did get a lot done. But and this is a big but I struggled to accept how much time and energy things take. I didn’t understand how much time and energy my body needed to heal. I also didn’t understand how much I’ve been trying to shape my life around other people’s needs. So by about halfway through the year, I knew that I had more on my plate than I can manage But like times in the past, I was determined that there was a solution. I just needed to figure it out. And quickly. But funnily enough, even if the ideas or solutions are there, bringing them to life can take considerable time, effort, and even money that may not be readily available, what to do instead? Well, over the last six months, I try smaller, more like Band-Aid solutions, take some downtime, cry, be disappointed, read a book, and get back on the horse. I knew by December that those things weren’t addressing the issue. What did was taking time to process last year by talking, thinking, writing, listening, and then doing all those things all over again, what became very clear was that I had bitten off more than I can chew, I was in danger of repeating patterns of the past that I don’t want anymore. And that isn’t going to change unless I change it. My experiences of the last year mirrored a lifelong pattern that I don’t want anymore, because it has too much dissatisfaction. No matter how many positives there are and ends in burnout. I can recognize that I am nowhere near burnout. That’s the good news. After a year or more of healing, learning, and growing in every area of my life, I need a breather. I don’t want to constantly be feeling like time is too short. Life is a juggle. And I’ve got too many things to deal with last minute, it’s time for me to truly accept that enough is enough and stop looking for ways to try and make it all work. I don’t even want to stay the course. It’s about getting fewer things on my plate. I want to say no to the things that don’t move my life in the direction I want to go in and limit my attention to the things connected to my values and help me be who I want to be, instead of how I want 2022 to be a more important question is how do I want to be in 2022.
Moira Maybin 07:21
Simply put, I want to sleep well, and wake in the morning feeling rested. I want to struggle less with what I think and feel I should be doing. Or even having that battle in my head, where one part of me is saying do this. And another is saying do that. I want to feel peace in my heart and calm in my head. I want to grow stronger physically, including being pain-free. I want to be able to understand and use time in ways that work with the energy I have. I want to be able to express myself effectively and ask for the help I need. I want to be able to have time for my husband and kids that I can enjoy. As I went through my annual planning process from our coaching accountability course, I was able to identify my top five values, and two words that will act as reminders of what is important to me, and how I want to get there this year, there are well-being and tweaking. I have them on a daily repeat in my calendar so I can see them every day. The act of practicing each one has a profound impact on the other. Our tendency towards all or nothing thinking shows up all over our lives if we aren’t aware of it. With tweaking, I’m looking to get out of that by finding a balance between taking a leap too far or fast. And remembering that small changes can often get us where we want to go.
Moira Maybin 08:53
So how did I figure out what to tweak? Going back to my list of goals and values from 2021. What stood out was that there were three groups, things that are kind of ticking along. Ones that I’m ready to put on the backburner for a while. And the ones I’m just not content with. A visual image that helps him with clarity was shared by her coaching group participant who described choosing her goals like this. She sees them as a staircase and to get to the top ones, she needs to focus on the ones at the beginning first. So, my foundation and bottom steps involve strengthening my well-being having more fulfilling and joyful relationships with those I care about most, along with more fun and recreation in my daily life. In a nutshell, health and well-being relationships and fun will be the things that get my attention this year. I’m going to look at how I’m spending my time on Mondays to figure out what I can say no to. So, I can say yes more often to those things. To do that I will need reminders that if I’m accepting that I don’t want to do at all. That means not every part of my life can have my attention and efforts At least, for now, my current level of commitment will need to stay where it is at or be reduced for something. For example, the community is an area where I’m looking to maintain my status rather than change it. This doesn’t mean that it will be this way forever. I’d love to see friends and family more. Getting to know my neighbors better grow my involvement in both real life and social media related to ADHD and my beloved online ADHD community network. But for now, I need to concentrate on maintaining it at the level that it is until the other areas are more established. For me, I need to take some things off the list. If I have it on the list, doing more will sneak in. I’m also going to continue practicing closing loops before starting anything new. open loops are like leaving tabs open in our brains. There are a few things that have been on my list all year that I didn’t get to. And that’s okay. But they will be done before starting anything new. A loop I can’t wait to close is to finish my last two financial planning actions from 2021, which will result in being able to spend less time on finances overall.
Moira Maybin 11:20
As well as having fewer goals. I’m also going to have smaller targets. I can use my bucket list to explain what I mean. My bucket list has on it things that are important to me, and that I dream of doing in my life. It also helps when they align with our values. I like to have at least one that I’m working towards. In typical Moira fashion. One bucket list item for 2022 means two. But honestly, one is in the very early planning stage. So it hardly counts. The main one is to continue to work on my backyard to turn it into my happy place. I’ve been working on it for five years now. And I hope either this year or next, we can fix our deck. And that will be a big step forward. This year, I’m ready to establish a budget and a timeline. The other bucket list item, little one is a 20th wedding anniversary trip. That’s not for a few years yet. For now, the target was to talk to my husband about the idea. That’s it. We hadn’t talked about it at all yet. And it was on my bucket list. So I wanted to run the idea by him. I also set a date to do it by I gave myself one month, January. And the good news is he’s in. So I can check that off the list if I feel like taking another step. Okay, but if not, I’ll get back to it next year. For me, this is a change in the direction I want to go. Small steps forward will get me there. Because I don’t want to strive anymore. smaller targets also help us to be more flexible when you know life comes up. And as we continue to live with so much uncertainty in our world. I’m okay with only one or two things on our list. And I’m even more okay with things waiting, or not getting done. If they’re not important to our well-being with small steps, we will still get there. I’m going to use some guiding questions to help me remember this as I will get distracted by the shiny things. And I can count on forgetting. So I spend some time thinking about this. And I started with what can wait. When I’m thinking about what I need to do, or what’s in front of me. Is there any of it that can wait? The next one I came up with was? Does this align with my values? Because if not, then I probably want to say no. The third one is do I have the time and energy for this? And lastly, does this bring me closer to the life that I want? Here I thought that in this episode, I would have so much more time to talk about more things. I guess here’s one more area of my life where my time awareness is not so sharp. Good thing, I can always make another episode, there’s going to be one about the ways that I’m going to increase the fun in my life. I know for some of us, it’s hard to do. I also have lots to share about how I am tweaking my well-being more about healing my relationship with food and having some time and space in our lives for flexibility and a whole bunch of other things. I did know that I would need a separate episode at least one or more on relationships. There’s so much to talk about there. But I wanted to start with how to have more fun and time with the important people in our lives. Both the ones we haven’t seen enough of and maybe those that we’ve seen a little bit too much over the last few years.
Moira Maybin 15:00
Okay, you’ve done the hard work by staying to the end, your reward. Here are the main takeaways from today’s episode. Number one, when we know we don’t like where we are, and how things are going, finding the path forward can seem hard. Sometimes it starts with becoming aware of what we don’t want. And then considering what is an opposite or alternative. Number two, this doesn’t mean we have to change our entire life, we can tweak things. Number three. Another option is to find solutions, which may be great or has the potential to create another set of challenges. Number four, ways to move closer to living the life we want can include giving ourselves a gift of time to explore our values, priorities and dreams. To know what is important to us. Practicing closing loops before starting anything new. Having open loops is like leaving tabs open in our brains. It consumes time and energy we may want to put elsewhere. Creating a few guiding questions or keywords that we can see on a regular basis helps remind us of what we want more of in our lives. And number five, if you want some more specific details about the steps I’m taking, you can find them at ADHD friendly lifestyle.com on the page for today’s episode.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s show and would love to hear your thoughts. To get in touch, you can write me an email at ask@ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. Connect with me on my website, Instagram and Facebook at ADHD Friendly Lifestyle or Twitter at ADHDFL. Every episode has a website page with show notes, transcripts, next steps, resources and articles related to the topic. To get these visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. If you’d like to support the podcast, the best way is to subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. And by taking the time to rate and review it. There are other podcasts for your listening pleasure. On Hacking your ADHD Will Curb gives tips tools and insights. Brenda Mahan hosts ADHD Essentials focusing on parenting and education.
Thanks for listening. See you later.