Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017. I’m looking forward to all the great possibilities that will be presented to me this year. My hope is that as you read this, you are looking forward to the good things this calendar year has to offer you.
As I have been doing for the past few years, I have chosen to pass on making new year’s resolutions. Instead, I continue to choose one word and one verse to be my focus for the year.
This year my word is Ephphatha, an Aramaic word meaning “be opened”. The word is taken from Mark 7:34 where Jesus heals a mute and deaf man. The pronunciation is “EHF-uh-thuh”. My verse for the year is from the Book of Ecclesiasus/Sirach 1:23-24 (found in the Apocrypha) “A patient person puts up with things until the right time comes: but his joy will break out in the end. Till the time comes he keeps his thoughts to himself, and many a lip will affirm how wise he is.”
As a person with ADHD I’ve accepted that a New Year doesn’t mean a new me. The date on the calendar doesn’t mean anything. I and others with ADHD can’t make a New Year’s resolution to quit ADHD or resolve to have less ADHD. Our disorder is here and it’s not going anywhere.
There is no need to give into the idea of needing to make changes in January or create resolutions that you will likely not maintain. Setting goals and making changes takes time; and waking up on January 1st after several days of over eating, reduced sleep, and keeping up with all the holiday festivities is not the right time for anyone to make unprepared life changing decisions.
Because I was like many people who made resolutions and forgot what they were by the end of the first week of each January that passed by, I knew that whatever was on my list wasn’t important to me. If I had considered these resolutions important I would have remembered them and committed to achieving them by the end of the year. If something is important to you, you will commit to it. You might not be perfect at it, you might have days where you fall behind, or struggle, but you will still be committed to it and it will show by your actions, not your words.
At the beginning of each January I do a review of the previous year. I pull out that paper where my one word and verse are written and the hopes that I had for the then upcoming year.
As you make your way through the first month of the year, try doing a self-reflective review of the previous year, ask yourself some of these questions:
What obstacles did you overcome?
What did you accomplish during the year?
What are some things that you learned?
What changed about you?
Were you satisfied about your life?
What would have liked to accomplish but didn’t?
What are some things you learned about yourself?
How would you rate the quality of your relationships (friends/family/co-workers) during the past year?
What were your hobbies/recreational activities/fun times from the past year?
After you review your past year, celebrate. Even if the past year was difficult for you, there is still something to celebrate. You are alive, you made it into 2017 and that is a gift that millions of people around the world didn’t get.
Life never goes exactly as we plan, and that isn’t a sign of failure, it’s a natural part of life. This is why I’m not a fan of new year resolutions; why start of the year with plans and goals you have no intention of achieving. Start the year off being realistic. With ADHD we have a tendency to jump from one thing to another, leaving many ideas and plans incomplete. The best way to have a great and prosperous year is to be honest with yourself and others about what you can do and are willing to do.
Whatever you choose to focus on during 2017, I wish you the best. I wish you peace, transformation, and personal growth; these are some of the most important accomplishments a person can aim for.