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ep.26: Being In A Hurry To Change

Have you ever found yourself sprinting toward your goals, only to trip over your own feet and eventually get burnt out? Having a pressure to achieve your goals ASAP leads to burnout as soon as we have any obstacles, difficulties, illnesses, or sometimes we just get to that point where we just don't want to do it.

In this episode, let's talk about how to make setting goals fun and why it's about enjoying the journey of personal growth and creating habits and routines that simplify life.

This episode is packed with insights to guide you on your path to success.

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What you'll learn:

  • Strategies for sustainable goal setting

  • Methods to develop feelings of worthiness and self-acceptance

  • Enhancing executive function skills for better organization and planning

  • Setting realistic timelines while separating self-worth from productivity

"Your worthiness as a human has nothing to do with what you do. It is innate."

Useful links mentioned:

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Click here to read the transcript:

Welcome to Learn To Thrive with ADHD. This is the podcast for adults with ADHD or ADHD like symptoms. I'm your host coach, Mande John. I'm here to make your life with ADHD easier. Let's get started.

Okay. Welcome to Episode 26, Being in a Hurry to Change. Now it is goal setting season as I'm recording this, and I hope for you it's goal setting season all the time. I got an email today that said in the subject line, "Quitter Day is coming." And I didn't even open the email at first because I thought it was kind of negative, kind of rude. I knew what they were getting at.

What they were saying is people had started their New Year's resolutions, and it's about two weeks in and people are going to be ready to quit. And I decided to finally open it and it said in there, "Why do so many resolutions fail?" And they had said, "unrealistic goals, lack of planning, insufficient tracking, external factors, perfectionism paralysis, underestimating the resistance."

I'll add something that I think is more important than any of those, and it's being in a hurry, having a pressure to achieve your goals ASAP. And what happens when we do this is we get burnout as soon as we have any obstacles, difficulties, illnesses, or sometimes we just get to that point where we just don't want to do it. And all of these things are completely normal and to be expected, and we will talk about that. But being in a hurry can be your biggest source of failure.

So why are we in this hurry? Because we think we are going to be different then than we are now. We think that we're going to feel better having achieved the goal. And what it really comes down to is we feel like we're not enough, and if we achieve this thing we'll be enough. We feel unhappy, and if we achieve this thing, we'll be happy. We feel unworthy, and if we achieve this thing, we'll be worthy. We think something is wrong with us the way we are now, and it'll be fixed when we get there.

And I'm not saying that this is true for every single goal, but these ones that feel strive-y, I don't know if that's even a word, is there a better word than that? But strive-y to me is what I say with my clients when it's something that they just really, really have to have. And the only reason we get that way and we get that way in a hurry, is because we're trying to get rid of negative feelings. Okay?

And really, the problem is when we make this change, we are still the same person. And we see this with so many, not so much goals, but where people change their circumstances. This is a goal, but maybe they get their degree, and they realize that they're still the same person that they were before they had the degree. Or they changed to a different job, and they realize they're still the same person they were at the other job. Or they made a move to someplace new thinking that things would be different or they lost the weight.

And what I've always said is the problem is we still take our brain with us. If we change these circumstances, we're taking our same brain with us unless we do the mind work that needs to be done. And that's what we do in coaching. I always say that my ADHD coaching is special because what I do is take the executive function skills that we need to work on, and I always speak of it in two sides. And we take the executive function skills we need to work on: the organization, the planning, the time management, the task initiation, the goal sustainability, I could go on, and we build habits and structures and routines and we use tools to build up these skills. And that's fine alone.

That's what you're going to get from most ADHD coaches.

And then, the other side of that is the mind management piece. And that's what ties into not being in such a hurry with our goals. And we're going to talk about why that makes such a huge difference. But it also makes a difference in the goal of changing a habit or building a skill. If we take the mind management piece of there's a circumstance, we have a thought about it, then we feel a certain way, and then we take or don't take certain actions, and then we get the results that we get. All right?

And so, when we are having problems here, when things get hard, when the obstacles come in, then we take the mind management piece and we go, "What do I need to be thinking in order to feel the way I need to feel in order to take or not take the actions, so that I can get the result that I want, so that I can move through the difficulty to the other side?"

To develop a habit or build a skill so that we're not dependent on our prefrontal cortex, but so that we're moving things to the habitual part of our brain so that life is just so much easier. This is what I do with my clients. So if you're not with us in the ADHD Academy, we learn all about the executive function skills and how to build them, and we teach you how to manage your mind. But let's manage your mind around being in a hurry.

So let's talk about why it's so fun to set goals. So we will set this goal. We will think of this thing that we're going to achieve. We'll think of what it's going to be like when we get there. We will buy the things necessary to achieve this goal, maybe the cute gym clothes or the notebooks that we need to study, or whatever it might be. We're going to get all the things necessary, and we're going to think about who we're going to be.

And we get really excited about this. And what this does is gives us a dopamine hit. And so many people come to me and they don't understand. They're like, "I'm so good at making the plans. I make these beautiful plans, these elaborate plans, and then I don't follow through." And it's not your fault, it's just that you don't have the tools necessary for the follow-through. You made the plan, you got the dopamine hit, your brain is happy. And then, what does your brain want? It wants to keep everything the same.

And I don't like to speak as though our brain is working against us, but our primitive brain just isn't meant for the world that we're living in today. Our primitive brain just wants to keep you safe, keep everything the same. It wants to save energy. And in keeping everything the same, it doesn't care if keeping everything the same goes against your higher brain goals. It doesn't care that it's going to keep you in the habits that aren't getting you the results that you want. It doesn't care. It just wants to keep everything the same and nothing's going to change. And so, when you try to make changes, it's actually going to work against you. It's actually going to give you all the reasons you shouldn't make that change. And that's uncomfortable.

So for most people, when this discomfort comes on, when their brain starts to negotiate with them or tell them all the reasons they don't need to do this thing or tell them that they can't do this thing or it's too much, when you start having these thoughts, it gets painful. And the easiest way to get out of that pain is just to say, "Forget it. I didn't want to make this change anyway."

But the reason we get in a hurry, getting back to that point, is we think we are going to be happier when we get there than we are now. But where we need to make the change is we need to get back to this side, the mind of management piece. And we need to learn to make different thoughts so that we can be happy now, so that we can feel good now.

And there's a lot of interesting questions that I like to ask when people are making goals. How can you make it simple? How can you give yourself room to get there? And how can you not be in a hurry to get there? And so, that kind of goes along with giving yourself room to get there. You can kind of push those two together.

I may have told the story before, but just before I made the commitment to do coaching certification, which was a major commitment. Not only was it a commitment of time, but it was also a major financial commitment. Before that, I had made this commitment to this education system that was out of town. And it was a two-year commitment, so it was a time commitment. And it was a time commitment in the fact that it was a 2.5-hour drive one way. And then, I was in class for two hours, and then I would drive home for 2.5 hours every Thursday. And this was every Thursday except for a couple holidays.

And I had just determined to make this commitment to this goal that I was going to finish this thing. And I had never really done anything like this. Had I attended college? Yes. Had I made a commitment like that in college? No. That's why I have probably five transcripts from different colleges. That is ADHD for you. I am always so impressed with my ADHD clients that come to me and they went start to finish and they have their master's and I ask them how they did it.

And you know what they always tell me? And this is a little off subject, I apologize, but what they always tell me is, "I was interested. I was super interested in what I was doing." The other thing they tell me is, and this is good with your goal setting, is, "It was just enough challenge for me." And when they weren't feeling challenged enough, it was college, so they could add in more challenge. So if you're in college yourself or if you have college students, maybe they need a little more challenge. Maybe they need something that's a little more interesting to them. But that's a little bit of a digression. But this was for a college thing, and I had made a commitment to do this.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because I had told you before, we need to expect that discomfort. We need to know that there's going to be things that get put in our way. So there were times I didn't want to go. There were times I was tired, not so tired I couldn't drive. It wasn't that I was going to be unsafe. But there were times that I would rather do anything or I'd rather do something else. There were times I would say, "I'd rather stick a stick in my eye than get in my car and make that drive." And then, I would kind of talk myself into it and I'm like, "It's not that bad. You can listen to an audio book. Once you get there, it'll be fine." And so I would talk myself into it.

But I made that commitment and I wasn't in a hurry. It was a two-year timeframe. I like to think about that when I work with clients that are working on side hustles or businesses that they're starting. Let's give yourself a three to five-year runway. That doesn't mean you're not going to do anything in the first year, but give yourself time.

And even if it's your smaller goals, if it's something like weight loss or studying something, give yourself the space and time to do it. Don't be in a hurry. That hurry is going to burn you out and it's all for nothing. You can feel the way that you need to feel now by managing your mind. Okay? Because all we're seeking there is worthiness. We want to show other people that we're worthy because we accomplished this thing or we are this thing or we look this certain way or we want to show ourselves. And your worthiness has nothing to do with what you do.

I like to tell a story to all my clients whenever worthiness comes up, because it comes up with all the humans, my friends. If you in your life in some area are feeling unworthy, congratulations. You are normal. But what I tell them is, "When you see a homeless person on the street, what do you think of them? Do you think that they're a worthy human being?" And every single person says, "Yes. Of course they're a worthy human being."

So what I ask them is, "What are they contributing? What are they doing? What makes them worthy?" And they'll come up with answers like, "Well, they allow us to serve them. They allow us to be empathetic." Things like that. And I'm like, "Yeah, but what are they really doing besides sitting there and maybe holding a sign or maybe not holding a sign? What are they doing to be a worthy human?"

And the truth is, your worthiness as a human has nothing to do with what you do. It is innate. You have it no matter what. So if you are trying to get to a goal really fast in order to feel more worthy, you don't have to do that. You're already worthy right now.

And so, how can we develop these feelings of worthiness? How can we develop feelings of enoughness? How can we develop the self-love that we need for us just the way we are, and go after the goal that you want? I'm not saying you can't go after the goals. Absolutely go after the goals. I love goals more than anybody you know. And you know why? Because it gives me a dopamine hit to achieve things. And why is that? Our brain loves to grow. We as humans love to grow.

But where I'm going to get myself in trouble and where I have gotten myself in trouble, I will give you a personal example. Of my four goals this year, and I'm going to talk more about goal setting. I'm going to have them put right here in the webinar that is coming for goal setting, especially for ADHDers. I have delved into the 12 Week Year, so many things on goals and habits, and I have taken from it what works for the ADHD brain.

I am going to show you how to break your goals down into daily, doable habits that are just a no-brainer, that you can do that thing no matter what. I'm going to teach you how to find the most important things and leave the rest, so that you can be working on big things over a year by doing the simple things most of the time. Guess what? You don't have to be perfect. So the link in the description, I want you to sign up for that webinar. I'm going to teach it live for the first time. So I want you to be there with me if you can. Okay?

So I am all about the goal setting, but what I want you to do is find a way to be happy with yourself now and want to grow. You can have both. And it's going to be so much more fun to achieve these goals if you're loving yourself now, if you're liking yourself now. If you're happy with who you are and what you are now, that is going to make it so much easier to take the steps that you need to take in order to get where you want to get. It's going to make it easier for this to be sustainable.

Okay. So you don't need to be in a hurry. There is no hurry. There is no rush. I have one of my dear clients that is trying to finish some schooling. And I know her brain because we've worked together for a long time, and I think her brain is saying, "I'm sick of school. I want to be done with school." Her brain is probably also saying, "And I want to be into my career that I want to be into."

And I'm sure there's more along the way. She's probably tired of taking time doing the things that she's having to do for school and she'd rather do other things. Those things are all happening. And what's happening is she's getting in a real big hurry. And we were in a WhatsApp conversation last night about this, and what's happening is she's taking on too much and then getting burnt out, or not achieving the goal that she had set for herself because she put too much on her plate.

And that's okay. That's just good information. We just need to give ourself a little more space, not put so much on your plate, figure out the everyday doable habits that need to happen in order to make this goal happen. Right? But these are everyday examples. Where do you see this in yourself? Where are you in a hurry?

So all this to be said, make it simple. Don't be in a hurry to get there. Give yourself plenty of room. It's not going to be better there than here. You're going to get there and you're just going to have a different set of problems than you have now. You're going to have the same positive and negatives of life there in that place where you achieved that thing that you have now. They're just going to be a little bit different. And if that's going to be the case, let's just have fun with it. Let's have fun now.

All right, guys. Thank you for joining me this week. Be sure to get signed up for the webinar. It's going to be different than any goal setting you've ever seen. I am taking all the best information and taking the pieces that works for the ADHD brain, and I think you're really going to like it. I'll see you then.

Thank you for your time, and especially for your attention today. If you haven't looked into the ADHD Academy, you'll want to do that. This is my membership, with binge-able courses, weekly life coaching, new courses every month, a community of like-minded people and more.

Be sure to head over to to get the details. See you next week.

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