Recently, at a seminar, we were shown an inspiring post on TED talks. Don’t look now, but the link can be found at the end of this post. Matt Cutts challenged me, and others, to try something new for 30 days. Along with everyone else in the audience, I was immediately moved to accept his bold challenge. I resolved to give up sugar for 30 days – and to write a blog about this amazing concept (yes TED talks have that effect on me).
Matt’s challenge got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful way for people with ADHD to change behaviours? Forget that 14 days maketh a habit stuff – never worked for anyone with ADHD that I know. 30 days seems a lot more ADHD-friendly. I immediately stepped into ADHD-Coach mode, and the following barriers to an ADHD 30 day challenge emerged:
- In the heat of the moment, the Impulsivity of ADHD could accept ANY challenge (“Yes sure I can fly to Africa tomorrow and volunteer for 30 days. My wife is very understanding”).
- The Inattention of ADHD could miss some finer details of the challenge. (“Cycling coast to coast in 30 days is HOW many kilometres?”)
- The Working Memory challenges of ADHD could actually result in someone committing to a 30 day challenge – and then forgetting about it for 2 days – or 30 days for that matter.
- The Distractibility of ADHD could make it hard to focus on a 30 day challenge (“Look DropBear”)
- Boredom could set in and the challenge could fail to maintain its sparkle for 30 days.
So, here is my ADHD-tailored 30 day challenge. (I’m sure Matt Cutts would approve):
- Choose something small and achievable – and write it down. Draw up a calendar / find an app that you can mark off each day.
- Find your motivation (choose something that will make you feel good) – and make your motivation visible. Stick a picture somewhere – and add to it if you need to.
- Set up a daily reminder. There is no guarantee that you will remember your 30 day challenge without a prompt.
- Plan mini-celebrations – 30 days is a long time to stay motivated on a single challenge, so remember to celebrate at regular intervals, e.g. every 5 days.
- Work with a buddy – find someone to do the challenge with you.
- Ask for support – its always so much easier.
- ‘Sparkelise’ your challenge when it becomes boring – people with ADHD are masters of invention. If your challenge is becoming boring, you will know how to spice it up.
- Celebrate BIG TIME when its over – let the world know.
Matt’s inspiring video is here