Do you set goals for yourself?
Goal setting is super helpful when you have ADHD because…
- Having a goal gives you daily direction and focus.
- It is easy to prioritize and make decisions when you have a goal you are working towards.
- The tasks you need to do to reach your goal might not be enjoyable, yet you are motivated to do them because they are part of a bigger picture.
- Confidence in yourself increases, as every action you take brings you a bit closer to reaching your goal. Every time you reach a mini milestone you feel like you are winner.
- Whenever you complete something, big or small, you get a little shot of dopamine. Since the ADHD brain has less dopamine than non-ADHD brains, this feels extra good.
There are lots of ways to set goals, such as 5 year goals, 10 year ones etc.
However, over the last 15 years of being an ADHD coach, I created this 3 tier formula. It works really well for the ADHD brain so that you can experience goal setting and achieving success.
Your Blue Sky Goal.
Dr Charles Garfield studied peak performers for decades.
He was particularly interested in people who achieved a huge success in a short amount of time after years of very average results.
What Dr Charles discovered was that every one of those people had used blue sky thinking (although it didn’t have that name at the time).
Blue sky thinking is where you imagine what the future holds for you…your dream life. However! You don’tthink of any of the practical how to’s or limit yourself in any way, including what has happened so far in your life.
You might picture yourself in a house by a lake that you share with your loved ones or jetting around the world with Lou Vuitton luggage.
Everyone’s blue sky goal is different, and it should be, because you want to feel genuinelyexcited and motivated by your goals.
Your 2 (ish) Year Goal.
Your blue sky goal is exciting because it gets you to think about what you really want, with no limits.
The slight problem with that is that it can feel soooo far removed from where you are now. As amazing and exciting as it is, it’s hard to know what practical steps to take today.
This is where your 2-ish year goal comes in.
Two year goals are goals on the way to your blue sky goals.
However, because your 2 year goals are smaller and nearer, it’s much easier to feel motivated to take action.
Why 2 years?
A common number in the goal setting world is 5 years. The problem with 5year goals when you have ADHD is that 5 years sounds like a long way away.
There is no urgency to start acting now.
A 1 year goal is also a bit problematic.
It’s pretty easy to think what you could ‘realistically’ achieve in a year. Realism has its place, particularly for ADHDers when you are trying to figure out how much you can get done in a day.
However, with goals, sometimes there is exponential growth. You see results much more rapidly than expected. So, you want to allow room for some of this magic to happen.
This is why 2 year goals are perfect.
Some of your 2 year goals might happen faster than you thought, and some might take a little longer. Both are fine!
We don’t want you to beat yourself up for not meeting the time frame exactly, which is why there is an ‘ish’ after 2.
Your Monthly Goal.
Now that you have your blue sky and 2ish year goal, we zoom into the here and now andthink about the monthly goals.
What are your goals for this month?
What practical actions will you be taking to achieve them?
It’s harder to think about specific practical actions for the blue sky and 2ish year goal, but when you are only looking ahead 1 month it’s easy to be precise.
I set my goals for the month on the first of the month every month. On Sunday 1st of November, I will be writing them in my journal and encourage you to do the same!!! It’s really fun.
However! It’s important to set your blue sky and 2ish year goals first. Otherwise, your monthly goals end up feeling like regular to-do’s because there is no special energy behind them.