Happy New Year’s Life Upgrades to YOU

Resolutions? Affirmations? Intentions?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reposting of an earlier idea

Drawing of a hand, arm, quill pen and paper, under the words New Year Resolutions - as if in handwriting.

A therapist I know has this to say about change:

“Everybody wants things to be different,
but nobody wants anything to change.”

He doesn’t add, “especially anything about THEM” – but I have always believed that’s what he was really talking about: the devil you know, and all that.

What IS it about change that makes us cringe?  

Never one to ask a rhetorical question without some kind of an answer gnawing at the edges of my mind, I’ll tell you what I’m thinking it is – at least where those of us with ADD/EFD brain wiring are concerned: it’s so darned disorienting.

  • JUST when we get a few processes on autopilot so that we can finally avoid the dreaded decision-making horror with every step of the process, and . . .
  • Just as we get things systematized, automated to the point where short-term memory deficits are no longer as likely to trip us up . . .
  • Some idiot updates the software and nothing works the same way anymore. (Those of us in the WordPress.com blogging community know I’m not JUST speaking metaphorically here!)

It’s beyond frustrating – it makes us feel stupid. It’s salt in an ADD/EFD wound that’s barely scabbed over to begin with.

Our only alternative is to revise and adjust, which sometimes feels like beginning anew — and often is exactly like beginning anew.

It seems that ever since the recently deceased futurist Alvin Toffler first published his only-constant-is-change Future Shock in 1970, nothing holds still for very long at all.  And, forced to adapt, we are absolutely powerless to do anything else about that but bitch.

Is it any wonder that we want to dig in our heels whenever and wherever we have a bit of power and change doesn’t seem absolutely necessary?

  • RESOLVE to change something we’re used to?
  • Change something about US?

When pigs fly, and not one moment sooner!

And yet . . .

I’m doing my best to pass for [almost] “normal”

There IS something to that obnoxious saying about doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result that points to a person with one foot over the insanity line.

I don’t know about you, but after repeating a bazillion times to the ADD/EFD clue-free that “ADD/EFD is neurobiological NOT psychological!” I tend to have a bit of a knee-jerk aversion to doing anything that might make me seem, well, certifiably nuts.

So every year, like it or not, I force myself to upgrade my metaphorical software in the hopes of getting a bit of improved functionality out of my metaphorical hardware. I try to think about it the way I used to think about filling my schedule with the coming year’s classes, many years ago when I was in school.

So much for Freshman English – leave it behind, nail shut the door, and stop worrying about the fact that my final term paper might have been really good if I hadn’t waited to begin until midnight the night before it was due.

This year is a brand new start to a whole new me. Sophomore lit, here I come!

Change Management

As the year exchanges it’s final six for a seven, it’s time to get busy with some change-management – coming up with a game-plan or two to help us navigate the metaphorical waters without capsizing our metaphorical canoes.

Moving right along, that brings us to the narky topic that strikes fear in the hearts of almost everyone everywhere: GOAL SETTING.  I am resolved to spend the first month of the New Year noodling goals, resolutions, change and self improvement – so that’s what my next few posts may well center on exploring.  (Well, at least as much as my blog posts ever quite CENTER.)

See: A Brand New Year – gulp: Resolutions, Goals, Intentions & Planning
(and why we avoid setting them in place)

Wanna’ play along?  

How do YOU approach the process of intentional change?  

What’s YOUR most effective method of setting goals, and how do you trick yourselves into taking steps in the direction you’ve mapped for your lives?

  • What keeps you motivated to completion?
  • What trips you up?
  • Do you have fail-safes in place?
  • Do you have a Plan B?  An exit strategy?
  • How do you decide when to DUMP a goal?
  • How do you keep from throwing the baby out with the bath water?

Self-help and beyond

We’ll be exploring some of these very things as Group Coaching moves along, as well as the underlying brain-based reasons for a great many functional stumbling blocks — allowing us all to develop the specific work-arounds that we, specifically, need to put in place.

I encourage you to check it out, and
I sincerely hope you’ll decide that it only makes sense to join us —
especially if private, brain-based ADD/EFD Coaching is not in your current budget

I could post every helpful thought in my ADD head, but how many of you are likely to actually DO much of anything different without ongoing support for that follow-through part of the equation?

None-the-less, right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, I’ll share some of my secrets if you’ll share some of yours.  (Oh, who am I trying to kid, I’ll no-doubt continue to share more than a few of mine regardless, but it sure would be a lot more fun if you’d join me on the jaunt.)

Are you game?  

As repeat visitors know, consistent with my goal of spreading the “co-opetition” meme across the ADD/EFD universe, in addition to linking to related posts at the end of most of my own, I occasionally start a post here and link elsewhere for the rest of it.  

I wrote an earlier version of this post back in 2011, for my blog at the old ADDerWorld (on the Ning platform, which “improved” itself until its major supporters jumped ship because the platform became too big a headache – heads up WordPress).

After agonizing for an EFD-acceptable period of time, I made what turned out to be an excellent decision, broke my own rule and chose to double post. I really DO want to collect and compile *your* comments and thoughts on this topic — INCLUDING those of you who are professional coaches yourselves — OKAY? (Never fear, I’m huge on attribution)!

Still struggling to come up with 2017’s whatever-you-call-’ems?

Below is a handy-dandy helper that, as one of the comments under its original SOURCE cleverly shared, for most of us, we can mark almost all of our resulting intentions DONE almost as quickly as we generate them.

Happy New Year to all of you who read, like, follow and comment here – and my undying gratitude to those of you who have been kind enough to help spread the EF/mental health awareness word through your reblogs and links.

God willin’ and the crik don’t rise (as they say in the American South)
I’ll connect with you again on the other side of the calendar.

BTW – comments are always encouraged and eagerly awaited (and never closed).  As long as you don’t make individual people wrong, and do your best to avoid the dreaded “should” word, I will approve all comers (link-spammers shot on sight, however).

© 2011 – 2016, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)

Two more LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)

Related Posts ’round the ‘net

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

50 Responses to Happy New Year’s Life Upgrades to YOU

  1. Pingback: Emotional Mastery to help us move forward | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. dgkaye says:

    I’m still taking everything in here Madelyn. Lol. I love the honesty, humor and randomness of your dialogue. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Two days into the New Year and I am already behind… I am just now reading your New Year’s Eve post, lol!

    Anyway, the reason I clicked onto your blog just now, was to let you know that I am taking a break from blogging for awhile. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, it’s just that I made a resolution last year, on January 1, 2016, that I would finish my memoir before the year was through. This did not happen, not even close. And when I looked back over the past year and asked myself WHY I did not achieve my goal, what stood out in my mind were all the hours I spent in a typical day, reading and commenting on blogs.

    For this reason, I have made my blog private temporarily and unfollowed all of the blogs I was following. I miss my blogging friends already! Hopefully I will finish my manuscript and be back soon. God bless you in this new year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! “Behind” sounds like a pretty harsh indictment for taking a few days over New Years off, doncha’ thinK? I’m struggling with the exact same issue myself – for very different reasons, but certainly no less important – so I’m quick to recognize self-blame. 🙂

      NOW, about your decision. You are the only one who truly knows what you need, and I always support people doing what they need to do to keep their lives on track. I do wonder, however, if that if that is what you actually DO need to do. I’m sure I won’t explain it all very well in a comment, and I’m *really* not meaning to undercut your resolve, but I want to suggest another possibility – in TOTAL support of you and your goal of getting your memoir OUT there.

      From here it sounds like a black and white reaction to “the” reason for your “failure” to keep your 2016 black and white resolution. In my experience, ALL IN vs. ALL OUT rarely works as designed, adds a lot of unnecessary pressure, and is a strong indication of perfectionism overall. I can’t help but wonder if perfectionism has been a big part of your finishing struggle all along.

      How about taking a mere one or two days (out of an entire 2017) to handle bloggy details in less intense fashion: say, leaving your blog public so that people can access the great supports you have already written – then adding a “sticky” post or a sidebar text widget explaining that you will only be reading and “liking” most comments, since you can’t spend more than 3 hours a week online until your initial draft of your memoir is completed? (That’s only one example of moving from black and white to grey)

      I hope you will dedicate at least enough time “off-task” to read the article linked above – and if that helps as much as I think it might, try the entire black and white LinkList and read one whenever you find yourself in a panic over a self-imposed “should.”

      God bless YOU in this new year!❤


      Liked by 1 person

      • When I said “two days into the new year and I am already behind,” I meant that as an insider’s joke, not a “harsh indictment.” 😀

        I understand what you are saying about the perfectionism, all or nothing, black and white thinking. And you may be right, although in my case, only time will tell.

        The thing is: I know me. And historically, this is how I do my best writing. For months my husband has been saying to me “you did so much more writing when you were off the blogs!” I kept trying to prove him wrong, tried to discipline myself to only going on the blogs during a set time. But for me, it was like an alcoholic trying to only have one glass of wine with dinner.

        On January 15, this recovered alcoholic will celebrate 27 years without a drink of alcohol. I tried to control my drinking for two years prior to stopping completely, and I could not do it. I had to stop. Completely.

        I have written, and published, a book once before. I wrote my novel by shutting out all unnecessary distractions. For me, it seems to be the only way that I can successfully write.

        I think the difference in my case is the fact that I have PTSD, not ADD. When I drank, it wasn’t to unwind at the end of the day, or to be social. It was to self-medicate unbearable emotional pain.

        Thanks to years of therapy and tons of self-help work, today I rarely feel unbearable emotional pain — except when I am trying to write my memoir! Although my true life story ends with Hope, Healing, and Happiness, I have to write about, and mentally relive, a lot of Hell and Horror to get there. So, what do I do to escape the pain, now that I don’t drink alcohol? Too often, I lose myself in blogs.

        Now, I am trying some different ways to relieve the pain. Thanks to what I have recently learned from reading Harvard psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk’s amazing book on trauma, The Body Keeps The Score, now when I am writing and I feel myself getting overwhelmed emotionally, I get up and do something physical. I jog to the park and back with the dogs, I do a fast dance to the Pharrel Williams HAPPY song on YouTube, I jump around on my mini trampoline, or do a 10 minute workout on the recumbent bike. Then, I am ready to write some more.

        So far, it seems to be working!!

        About your suggestion to leave my blog up, because of the resources I have posted there that may help other hurting people: thank you for the suggestion. I do have another blog that I am keeping online, for that very reason. But the blog I recently made private is the one that all my blogging buddies are following, and right now I really need to distance myself from that distracting “drug,” like my husband says.

        Part of my problem — a big part of my distractions — is thinking that people “need my help!” I grew up as the family caretaker, the oldest, by 7+ years, of 7 children (eldest of 13, counting step siblings). Plus my parents “parentified” me at a very young age, and they raised me in a works-based church, where my dad was the minister. So the temptation to keep my blog up, in order to help people, is very strong.

        Heck, when I am jogging with the dogs, I have to discipline myself not to stop every few steps to pick up trash. I pick up a little, then I tell myself “that’s for someone else to pick up.”

        In the long run, I believe that publishing my memoir will help far more people, hopefully even after I am long dead and gone, than my little blog will ever reach.

        Also, my therapist told me that I need to write my memoir for ME. And helping myself is important, too!

        I will give you the link to the PTSD resource blog that I am leaving up. It is under a different WordPress account of mine, but with the same picture. (I was having technical difficulties with that account, which even the tech people could not help me with. So finally, in desperation, I logged out of that WP account and created another.)

        My old blog:

        I appreciate your concern very much, Madalyn. But for me, with my PTSD issues, I believe this is how I have to do this. Again, time will tell! I am very sorry that this does not seem to be the right time for me to do group coaching.

        But, Lord willing, I will be back! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • Oh my darling, I am so sorry that you felt you had to take time to justify your decision to me – I PROMISE that was never my intention. And I’m sorry I missed the joke – perhaps I “read IN” between the lines, huh? (i.e., my stuff, not yours).

          My biggest apology is for intruding on your process. I think I misunderstood your wish to say goodbye before you disappeared as an unconscious questioning of your decision, thus the feedback. It seems now that you have already given this matter a lot of thought, and kicked it around with your husband. I will miss you, but it’s not about me – nor is it appropriate for it to become so. I want you to do what YOU need to do to support yourself, your health, your process and to realize your dreams.

          I completely understand the “nobody can eat just one” piece of the puzzle too, btw – it’s the reason I haven’t owned a television set for over 25 years (and am considering getting rid of my HULU subscription, which seems to have crept up on me, leaving me doing more “watching” which is intruding on my DOing). If it turns out that I am unable to seriously cut back on my own blog-o-sphere time, I may even decide to follow in your footsteps.

          Much love – can’t wait to hear that your book is done and off to be published.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I am so glad you understand! Whew! And I totally get not getting a joke, I have done it myself, too many times.

            I got so sick right after I left my comment to you, that I thought I could be dying… sick enough that I sent my full legal name by email to 3 of my blogging friends, along with my physical location, so they could find my obituary and let other bloggers know if the Lord called me home. Because I really hate when bloggers vanish and you wonder what happened.

            I am much better now, thank goodness, and back to writing on my memoir. But wow I was sick, with a fever of over 102. Which, in an almost 64 year old woman, is getting into dangerous territory!

            The good thing about being so sick is that I had a sort of epiphany about my book during my fever. A whole different title came to me. Even my husband, when he heard my new title, exclaimed “That’s IT!!” I searched on Amazon and was amazed to see that no one else has used this title! I am keeping the title under wraps, until my book is published! 🙂

            However, I did find on Amazon that another Linda Lee is writing books… about sewing. My first name on my birth certificate is spelled Lynda, and my middle name is Lee. I did not find an author on Amazon publishing under the name Lynda Lee, so I have decided to use that name. However, I am still not brave or foolish enough to use my real last name. 🙂

            Ok, I need to get off of here before I am lost in addictive blog land again…

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am SO sorry to hear that. Thanks for taking the time to let me know – and I am relieved to hear that you are feeling better. Great news about your book epiphany – and wise to stay mum for now. Even if people didn’t steal, talking sometimes takes the wind out of the writing sails.

              Take good care and don’t overwork! (keeping this short in respect for focus & your writing time).

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I say Normal is over rated! HNY to you also!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chuck says:

    Hi Madelyn,
    Let me also wish you a Happy New Year and a healthy 2017. I look forward to following next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. May you have a blessed 2017. I am getting so old and forgetful I still often begin my check date with 19..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol – BOY do I share that particular habit. I can’t say it’s age-related, however. Even when I was a kid, it has almost always taken me months to date something correctly every time. I always feel like I have to double-check (and sometimes it’s a good thing I DID!)

      It’s part of where you your clever creativity come from, however. It’s difficult for those who are well-connected to linear pragmatics to think outside their boxes. People like you (and me) practically LIVE there. 🙂

      May the upcoming year be your most creative EVER!


  7. Bernadette says:

    I am looking forward to your series. I raised three sons with ADHD and have a husband with ADHD. Now my granddaughter with ADHD will be moving in with us for a few months. I need all the training I can get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll bet you’ll be great with her. The thing to keep at the forefront of your mind is that skills can always be remediated, but self-esteem is tougher to rebuild (and it is the foundation for EVERYTHING else.)

      And the foundation for self-esteem is feeling loved for everything you are (and everything you’re not). Feeling loved comes from knowing deep inside that you are – and I have an inkling that you are wonderful at making sure people “feel the love.”

      With all that ADD surrounding you, I sure hope you take great care of YOU, too. Nobody can pour water from an empty pitcher. (Can you tell I have helper’s disease rising in my chart?) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bernadette says:

        Well, I am glad you do because I can use all the help I can get from you. Looking forward to sharing the blog sphere with you in 2017.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Missed this originally, then wanted to offer a few links to some basics, ran out of time, day turned to week and I lost you in the ADD fog. So sorry, Bernadette!

          Unless you already know A LOT about the ADD brain, you might find the information in ADD Overview 101 eye-opening. It’s a bit technical, but it explains what’s going on in the ADD brain. There are links in that post to a few articles with more practical info about why – and some tips on managing. There are tons of links in When You are New to ADD

          On a day when you need a bit of a humor about it all, try The Top Ten Things we wish YOU’D stop Doing

          btw- if you write anything about dealing with your ADD contingent, I’d love you if you left a live-link underneath one of my articles. My “parents and partners” Beloved Series is sparse, still – but you might resonate with many of the articles in the Couples LinkList

          GREAT to connect with you – and so sorry if it might have seemed otherwise.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bernadette says:

            Thank you for all the information. I don’t know your age but if you feel comfortable why don’t you share some of your information at the Senior Salon today.

            Liked by 1 person

            • A lovely invitation – I am a senior myself, although I’m not crazy about the term, preferring even “crone” (vs. maiden or mother) – it scares the whippersnappers into behaving with respect. lol

              I’m slammed today, but if I can squeeze it in, I’ll at least stop by. Can you leave me a link where I can find out the details? Some of my readers might like to know about it too.

              I’m hoping there will be other opportunities to join you at the Salon if not – kludgy EF functioning hits us all as we age and our short-term memory buffers shrink. Brain-based info is key to working around the challenges, especially for women (many of which begin to show up during menopause, and many of which are exacerbated without the compensations afforded by a healthy dose of estrogen.)

              I’d LOVE to share what I know. I consider it an honor that you asked.


              Liked by 1 person

            • WONDERFUL. I jumped over for a quick peek between calls – and will put it on my calendar for next Wednesday (but don’t expect me in the AM – especially not at 6:40 AM lol)

              Meanwhile, I’ll give your page a more thorough read, crossing my fingers that it stays open for the late crowd.

              And there’s the phone. More later.


  8. Zara says:

    Great post-again! 😊
    I want to keep learning new things and get a divorce to be free again xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mahdheebah says:

    You know, I stopped resolutions some years back because I realized it only last for the first month and everything returns to the way they were, truly we want things to be different but we don’t want to make any change, I mean how do we expect that to work, I believe we don’t have to wait for a new year to enact changes in our lives. Amazing post by the way, way to go sharing this 🤗😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are a doll to say so – many thanks for taking some precious minutes out of your own life to read and comment here.

      And you are absolutely right – we can decide to embrace change at any random minute of any random day – the New Year’s ritual, however, makes sure those of us with no sense of time’s passage (yep! moi) have an anchor to remind us of the need for renewal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mahdheebah says:

        Haha yes true, I just feel new year resolutions are overrated, its just a plan waiting to explode in our face, so if you really want to change then do things differently and start now. Sadly most people do the same things repeatedly and expect a different result and like you rightly said that’s one foot over the insanity line

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not sure that New Year’s Resolutions are overrated as much as great big SHOULDs that don’t really work well for many of us.

          And those habits that keep us stuck in ruts that do not serve us (never mind making us look crazy – lol) certainly need to be looked at with an eye toward change periodically – not JUST once a year. 🙂

          xx, mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • mahdheebah says:

            Lol exactly, better put. I guess I would have been a new year’s resolution person if I hadn’t seen a lot of other people’s result to an epic fail after the first few weeks. I feel like when you call it “new year resolution” you exact too much pressure on yourself(the need to accomplish those things) and it starts to weigh you down emotionally and physically but if you decide to make a change any other normal day you’ll feel no sort of compliance to meet up with any time or expectations hence helping you go at your own pace to achieve what you plan to, slow and steadily devoid duress. You know

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Zainab Zahid says:

    Happy New year to you too!!! We are 10 hours ahead of you so we’ll be celebrating New year before you tonight!!!
    I’m not much of a new year resolution person, but I might just make a couple after reading this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Happy New Year’s Life Upgrades to YOU — ADD . . . and-so-much-more | Wanda D. Jefferson

    • WordPress has changed something “backstage” again, Wanda, so I’m unclear what the new little symbol means I am approving and thanking you for – maybe a link? [YEP – it turned out to be a link – I think – maybe a Press This?]

      I’ll come back to say a more specific thank you once I can jump around and figure out exactly what this new symbol means – and I jumped over to say thank you on your “whatever it was” as well.

      Happy New Year to you.

      Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: