2018 is here! So, what are you going to do about it?
New Year’s Eve is a mish-mash of mixed emotions.
The year was filled with tears, smiles, ups, downs, and everything in between. I try to deny that New Year’s Eve is no big deal. It’s just another day, I say. I don’t like forced happiness and getting drunk. And smoky, loud fireworks (in my neighborhood) are annoying. I know, I’m a New Year’s Eve downer.
January 1 is super-exciting.
To me, January 1 is the real time to celebrate.
Even though I think resolutions are ridiculous, especially if you have ADHD (ugh, the thought of doing the same thing every day!), I have to admit; I get caught up in the “it’s time to be a better person” resolution frenzy. I step back and take a thorough personal inventory of myself. Well, actually my loved ones take an inventory of me and share their findings.
My One Resolution
Each year, I consistently make the same resolution. And that is- I resolve to improve myself every day. And you can be sure, that every day I am tested and presented with many opportunities to practice the behaviors I’m working on.
My resolutions are not the typical ones. I’m not resolving to exercise more (I know I’ll do that when my clothes are tight and uncomfortable). I’m not resolving to eat healthier (I will when I get sick from eating too many cookies). And I’m not resolving to be more charitable (instead of giving my time, I commit to a monthly donation). My list is about my how I act and how I interact with the people around me (family, friends, and strangers).
Every day I have to ask myself, Is that the best I can do? The answer is usually no. Once again, my inventory is the same as it was last year. That’s because this is me. These are my flaws that are deeply imbedded in my daily actions. These are my ADHD traits that I work on every day.
So, here’s my list of behaviors I want to fix:
Shut my mouth
I try not to say everything I think. ADHD is impulsivity without filters. If I want to speak with kindness, wisdom, and intelligence, I have to (always) remember to think before I speak. If this happens, I’m usually angry about something that I cannot express. I have harbored resentments lurking in the background. If the moment is ripe, they pop out and show up in my words. Shutting my mouth means that I want to try to keep my language clean. Cursing doesn’t become me, especially when it’s spewed out in anger. Cursing is ugly, and I feel ugly after the words come out.
If there’s one word I need to get me through the day, it’s PAUSE. Taking a PAUSE gives me time to filter and edit what I want to say. Taking a minute to PAUSE (to not react) gives me a chance to re-evaluate my words and ask myself, Are these words going to hurt someone I love? Is this the right time to say this? Are these the right words? Can I say it better? (Check out my PAUSE book and workbook for more info).
Stop trying to control others
Why doesn’t everyone just do what I want them to do? Everything would be so much easier. As a parent watching my adult children mature, as a wife expecting my husband to act according to the script I’ve written for him to follow; and as a sister, aunt, and friend trying to accept other people as they are- I want to stop trying to think my way is the best way. I have to allow my loved ones their own personal experiences; so they can learn, grow, and change through their struggles.
I have an overactive mind that ruminates and replays scenarios over and over again. I scare myself with my creative visions. It’s an ongoing process, but every day I have to work to give myself a “stop it” smack across my cheek and bring myself back to reality. And that’s exactly what I say, Stop it! That’s not reality. That’s your imagination running wild. I take a few deep breaths and bring myself back to the present moment.
Admit my flaws without shame or guilt
No one wants to admit they have flaws. It’s easier to go into denial and defend our actions. Turning the tables and blaming someone else is so much easier. Sadly, nothing good comes from that. You can’t grow and improve yourself if you keep denying your actions (that are harming you and your loved ones). Of course, the reason we don’t want to admit our flaws is that we can easily slide into feeling bad about ourselves. But if you change your perspective you’ll see, that admitting your flaws is a strength, not a weakness. You are braver, stronger, and wiser when you look at your actions and admit that there’s a better way. Admit, apologize, and move forward.
Finish what I start
As long as I remember, I can hear my mother asking me, “Why can’t you finish something?” I never had an answer to that when I was a child. Now I do. I am attracted to so many other things while I’m working on one thing. New ideas keep jumping into my head, and I can’t stop them. Sometimes they’re bombarding, and other times, they end up being my best projects/blogs or articles. I am a crafty person. I knit and make jewelry. I always have a project going on. It’s my zen, the meditation that calms my monkey mind when it won’t stop swinging from the trees. But… I have baskets filled with unfinished projects. Probably because I got bored halfway through or didn’t like the way the project was turning out. So I put it aside and ignored the fact that I just blew another $100. It makes me sad to see how much money I spent and wasted. I feel so much better when I finish what I start or find a new purpose for my unfinished projects. Loose ends (unfinished projects) feel messy, unproductive, and can make you feel like a failure.
So tell me, what would you like to change about yourself in 2018? Write it in a journal that no one else will read. It’s just for you. Practice looking at yourself honestly. Discover the real you (the one that no one else has seen yet). The better part of yourself that you don’t even know yet.
Blessings for a new year and a new you in 2018!