For the last 3 years now, I’ve been spending a few weeks in December reviewing my goals for the last year and setting goals for the next. It’s a long and sometimes frustrating process as I see all the things I wanted to get to but didn’t. But it’s also exciting and encouraging when I see how much I actually did get done.
The process keeps evolving and, I hope, getting better.
Two years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to assign levels of importance to my goals: 1/2/3 (High, Medium, Low). That turned out to be a great idea. For the last 2 years, I’ve managed to finish nearly all of my #1 goals, even if many of the 2s and 3s suffered. A tally of “20 out of 50 finished” looks a lot different from “9 out of 10 #1 priority goals finished, 11 out of 40 2s and 3s”.
2014 turned out pretty much the same: 9 of 10 #1s finished. Yay!
One more thing I realized this year is that something very big is missing: new projects that came up during the year! Just off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of successful things I’ve done (the Improv class at the Orlando ADDA conference, the benefit concert for Clawson UMC, road trip with Lisa, playing music for EMU’s Performance Hour, the meetings with Joanne, selling t-shirts in Orlando, being included in the ADHD “tips” book, getting back into poetry) that don’t show up on the list.
The point of all of this is to share a few thoughts with ADHD friends:
– we all underestimate our accomplishments, it seems built into us to focus on what we didn’t finish, not what we did finish
– let your goal-setting and time-management tools evolve, use them while they work, then switch them up when you need to – always keeping the parts that did work (I’ve heard this mentioned in several podcasts this year. We will almost inevitably get tired of the current system and move on to the next. That isn’t a fail! It’s just how we work.)
– don’t be afraid to let go of goals. The one #1 item I didn’t finish last year was consciously dropped because I realized I wasn’t willing to do the work. That isn’t a fail – that’s a success.
I’m looking forward to posting part 2 of this series, which will be about setting goals for next year. Unless I change my mind between now and then.