Getting ready for 2015 – part 3: setting Goals

I realized I never closed the loop on my “Getting Ready for 2015” thread, so here goes.

The insight that I need to separate “lifestyle changes” (things like ‘get to the gym’ and ‘cook more’) from “goals” (big projects to do) really helped me. A LOT of the things on my “to do” list were not goals or projects, but things I want to implement in my life. So, I was able to move them to a different list. (So many lists!)

From the remaining, I used the following filters:

  • “what can you realistically achieve in one year?”
  • does this goal do something for anyone more than just me?
  • will it be challenging and fun enough to commit to?
  • do I think it fits into my bigger vision of who I am and why I’m here

Very possibly, these are not what a coach or therapist might suggest, but they work for me because I can embrace them wholeheartedly.

So, here’s the final list – with a few comments for clarification. Aside from the 1st, they are just alphabetical, not in order or importance.

  1. finish the MA project at EMU – big big big. It will be on ADHD, but the closer I get, the more it looks like a meditation on the word “normal”
  2. ADHD and Improv – I’m still under the spell of Nachmanovitch’s “Free Play” and I think Improv is my best way to help move that idea along. Working with Kirsten in Orlando was great and I think there is real potential here.
  3. A2 ADHD Showcase – I want to do at least 2 more of these in 2015, possibly 4. The first was fun. I’m hoping to have more participation, but that’s always a goal.
  4. Amy Benefit Concert – I missed 2014
  5. At least 2 public performances around ADHD – probably Barnes and Noble or AADL
  6. Core and back – back has been getting worse, so this became a priority. The goal is finding the right exercises and implementing them.
  7. Family tree – this year, finally pull all those notes together
  8. Etsy – the beadwork, t shirts and photography
  9. Get rid of extra laptops – I have kept several because of various software or ports. Resolve these
  10. Get house painted – farm this out, we put it off 2 years now trying to “get to it”
  11. Poetry book – finish it, submit it, get it published
  12. Pointless Pub – Tori and Jason are opening a pub and I get to help!
  13. Scooter fix – either get it fixed or sell it
  14. Wonder Drug – get it recorded and up on YouTube or SoundCloud

These looked do-able (feasible) as of December 2014. I also know from experience that things will come up during the year, so I tried to leave room for those.

Here goes!


Getting ready for 2015 – part 2: using what I’ve learned about ADHD to set better goals

It’s about 3 weeks since my last entry and I think I’ve done it! I think I have my goals for 2015 set! I learned a lot this year and I’ve pulled together everything I’ve learned to try and make 2015 a more reasonable, more successful year.

One theme that’s come up over and over this year is accepting that “there is waaaaaaay too much on my plate!” Depending on which of my systems I’m looking at — my SCRUM system (stacks of white paper covered with post-it notes) or my online system (currently Wunderlist),  I’ve had a backlog of up to 400 items! Insanity.

Granted, I knew enough even 3 years ago to divide them into “likely” and “unlikely” clusters, but still, I would often spend multiple hours per week reviewing and reorganizing those lists.

No more!

I am going into 2015 with no more than about 20. It’s been gruelling trying to figure out what to give up, but I recognize that 2 finished projects are better than 50 that are “coming along”. (And, to be honest, I am not “giving up” on any of the, they are just going into the “look at later” pile.)

I need ONE MORE PASS at the list to see if I’m satisfied. In the meantime here’s a peek at last year’s “high level” list. Let’s see if the 2015 list is any cleaner!




Getting ready for 2015 – part 1: reviewing last year

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.