If you know me at all you know that I am pretty much full on ADD, but if you know me then you know that this is also what makes me who I am. The toughest part of having ADD is deciding on something and doing it. I have so many ideas all the time that I often get overwhelmed and end up doing none of them. So far for 2008 I have decided to start back up on Yoga, cooking all of my meals, keeping my house clean, shaving everyday (even saturday and sunday), coaching youth soccer, playing in an adult soccer league, reducing my alchohol intake, going to Toastmasters, finding a new job, reading a book a month, and getting involved in politics. Phew! and its only February!
So far I have kept good on the Yoga, the cooking, the cleaning, the shaving, the playing, and the reducing. While I have been able to accomplish all of this I am still sad that I havent been able to do all of the other things.
This is the problem with doing too much. Yes you have been successful at accomplishing a lot of your goals, but you focus on what you havent dont, primarily because it is unfinished and therefore still on your mind.
This is why it is critical to write down your goals and then break them up into peices that are reasonable to accomplish. Most goals are lifestyle changes that will eventually become something that you just do everyday, but the hard part is getting them started. So the key is to break up these lifestyle goals into manageble peices. If you are trying to make too many lifestyle changes at once you will get overwhelmed. Ease up. You have plenty of time to get everything done, but not all at once. Start with something easy like shaving everyday, then go on to making it to the gym three times a week, and then start eating healthy. The shaving is easy cause its part of waking up and takes only a few minutes. Going to the gym is a bit more complicated as you need to get a routine, then the clothes, and finally the gym membership. The eating healthy takes the most work to accomplish as you need to get the recepie, buy the ingredients, and then cook the food. Plus the eating is something you have to do multiple times each day so there is a lot more planning involved.
Another thing to consider is that some goals may need your to accomplish other goals first. For example Toastmasters is a weekly commitment that I need to make to the group and myself. The problem is that there are a few different locations that I can go to, but since I am in job transition I need to hold off until I know where I will be working. This is because I want to make it as convenient as possible so that I make it consistently.
Get a list put together of everything you want to accomplish in life. Then start prioritizing. I went with Yoga and eating because I want to be in good shape and save money. Cleaning the house came next because I just feel better about having a clean and organized house. Now the career one is really slapping me in the face so I have to get that done next. Then I will get the Toastmasters thing going which will lead to becoming a public speaker and finally a politician. Phew! Thats a lot but now its manageble.
When you feel overwhelmed, stop and take stock of everything you are doing and then break them down into their individual parts. Find out what is priority and what is dependent on doing something else first. Then put a timeline together. A good rule of thumb for getting a lifestyle change started is 30 days. Do it for 30 days to make it a habit and then move on to the next one.
Most of all though make sure you want to do it and then make sure you have fun doing it. There is nothing worse than accomplishing something that you dont care about.