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New Years Resolutions Simplified – It’s Not Too Late!

I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of New Years Resolutions because they seem to just add to my list of ever-growing feelings of a failure as an ADHDer.

I may start with one, and then forget about another one and by the time I remember I’ve already messed it up.   Then I feel so bad I screw it all up.  How is that productive?

So now I choose a word / words.  And focus on that word throughout the year – and anytime I think about my success during the year, I think about how my word relates to that success.  It works miracles and is amazing how it accomplishes the same thing, with much less stress.

My word / words?  This year I chose three, because it just felt right.  Usually it’s one.  For a number of years it has been focus.  This year I chose a combination of mood, behavior, and state of mind that I was seeking.  So instead of coming up with a list of specific things that I can constantly criticize myself for failing at, I think of these three words:

Passion, Persistence, and Patience

I want to live every day according to this credo.  Let me give you a few examples of how it works:

  • Go to the gym every day at 7 am at least 3x a week. Is that really what I want?  No.  I want to workout with Passion, Persistence, and Patience.  Does that mean going to the gym everyday?  Maybe.  Or it may mean an intense yoga session at home.  Or taking a day off as I have hurt my leg.  If I am not living with Passion, why am I doing it?  And I don’t want to give up on the entire plan because of a bad day.
  • Eat six servings of veggies a day. Is that the end goal?  Not really.  It is to live with Passion, patience and persistence.  And it hard to do that without vegetables in my body fighting the free radicals and reducing inflammation.   I know that candy binges don’t serve me, so I commit to persistently working on my body so that it feels good and I have the ability to put Passion into what I am doing.  Candy doesn’t give me that passion, feeling well does.
  • Meditate daily. Ok, so what if I miss a day?  In the past, I would miss a day and the words I hear are ‘failure failure failure.’  Instead, I meditate when I feel passionate about it.  And if I miss a day I am patient with myself.  And I persistently work to bring meditative practice into my life.
  • Take two creative classes to learn a new skill. This is a big one.  I have all these ‘new’ things I want to learn, and keep setting myself up for classes and projects and things that I ultimately fail at doing because I am not realistic.  I travel all the time for work.  I don’t like details.  I’m not good at drawing.  But I love photography!  I can take classes online if I want on my own time frame.  I don’t have to learn the technique of drawing to be able to paint.

I think of when I went to Paris, and tried to learn a few bits of language before I went.  The studying, articulation, and then arrival in the country.  It would have been a different experience for me had I not tried to learn as much French as possible, but if I had gone there saying the words with Passion, Persistence, and Patience in myself.

I kind of use these barometers to measure how I am doing throughout the year.  My big one is Passion.  I want to take naps with passion, cook with passion, see movies with passion, read with passion, play with kids with passion, and work with passion.  I want my mind and body and heart to be fully present and engaged in what I am doing.

What are your resolutions?  Do you have words?  How are they going so far this year?  I would love to hear from you, as would others.

Wishing you all the very best for 2011 and beyond.


New Years Resolutions Simplified – It’s Not Too Late!

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2011). New Years Resolutions Simplified – It’s Not Too Late!. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Jan 2011
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