““If you don’t prioritise your life, someone else will do it for you.”
Once you start to understand and see patterns in your ADHD triggers, you can use this information to make a list of your Non-Negotiables. These are your personal life rules that you follow, the things you have to do, in order to be at your best. These don’t have to be completely set in stone, it can be an evolving list that you change as you learn more about yourself and grow.
While it may seem selfish at first to put your needs first, it’s actually the best thing you can do for your loved ones as well. You can’t show up as the best version of yourself without first creating that version of yourself.
Here are some areas that could be on your list of non-negotiables:
- Sleep habits – Being in bed at a set time so you can get 8 hours of sleep every night (that it’s possible)
- Morning routine – Waking up at a set time, and performing a healthy routine for your morning
- Exercise rules – Creating strict rules on when and how you exercise
- Maintaining a healthy diet – Setting up rules to help you meet your health goals
- Habits like meditation and journaling – For some people it’s helpful to be strict with habits like this, for others flexibility works better
- Stopping work at a specified time – So you don’t overdo it one day and have no energy the next
- Relationships – Making sure to spend time with your spouse, family, or friends every day
- Limiting alcohol – For some people with ADHD, it’s easier to just say “I don’t drink” than to try to regulate that
- Reading regularly – Reading at a set time, such as before bed
- Getting outside – You may find that a quick walk or outdoor activity outside each day has immense benefits
Of course flexibility is sometimes required. Life circumstances will sometimes get in your way, and you’ll have to adapt. But adopting the mindset shift that these are things you MUST do, will help you build a foundation for building good habits, and long term will give you more clarity and energy to put towards your goals.
Discipline Equals Freedom
By intentionally deciding to develop these new habits, you are giving yourself the gift of freedom and more time. By limiting the choices you need to make in a given day, and eliminating distractions, you clear up space in your mind to work on the actual important things.
Of course, developing new habits is easier said than done. For more reading on the subject, see: