Maya and Setting Realistic Goals

by | Sep 6, 2017 | Maya's Journey to Success | 0 comments

setting realistic goalsWe’ve been working on setting realistic goals in the morning ADHD Success Club. Goal setting is important. It keeps us on track and provides direction. But…and that’s a big but…with ADHD you have to make sure your goals are realistic. ADHD-friendly. Otherwise, they’ll become one more thing you do and then forget about. Here’s Maya’s take on Module #31 – Setting Realistic Goals – dr

As I continue moving forward in the ADHD Success Club, I recognize the power of perspective to build my strengths or feed my weaknesses. In spite of new clarity and awareness, consistency and routine remain difficult for me, and I am beginning to come home late, I haven’t exercised in two weeks, and I catch myself chasing rabbits. I have an overall awareness, but oftentimes even with my “in the moment” awareness, my wheels are still spinning. On the flip-side, with self-acceptance and unwavering persistence, I continue to forge forward. Much of that is due to the powerful connections and unconditional support I feel in the ADHD Success Club.

Working this week’s Success Club module on setting realistic goals is helping me realize how I can systematically make concrete changes. During this week’s skills call and action call while listening to others, I realized the importance of my living the six-word memoir I wrote at the beginning of the school year, “Embrace the squirrel; then evict it.”  Dana acknowledged that she still lives with her ADHD while explaining, “We have a way of thinking that it is a gift for us, but we have to get out of our own way, so we can blossom.”

By choosing a realistic goal that I can easily achieve, I can both embrace and evict my squirrel. Even if I struggle to maintain it over time, I will be able to learn the process of applying Dana’s Magic Goal Setting Machine, and I will be able to continue to grow and change. The goal I’m setting is to workout regularly.

Dana’s Magic ADHD Goal Setting Machine

  1. What is this area of my life like now? Since my time of playing sports every season in high school (way back in the 1980s!), I haven’t maintained a consistent workout routine for longer than a few months. In July, my son and I began going to the gym regularly, but soon his interest waned and then, he got Strep. The routine, once again, was short lived, and now I haven’t worked out in two weeks.

  2. How do I want it to be instead? I want to consistently work out AT LEAST 3 days per week regardless of what comes up in my life.

  3. What do I need to get that?

    • Steps: I took the first step by joining a gym with a workout partner. At this point, I need to plan the days/times to work out. I’d like to work with a trainer occasionally to help me focus and to push myself. I will know I’ve achieved this goal when I’m able to maintain a workout routine over time and when it becomes a part of my life that I’m not willing to compromise.

    • Tools/Skills: Working with a trainer may help me to develop and maintain a routine and help me maximize my workout.

  4. What could get in my way? Work. After school activities. Life. Distractions. Lack of awareness of time. Procrastination.  Maligned priorities.

  5. How will life be different when I reach my goal? I’ll be healthier, and my mind will be more focused. Also, I’ll develop more confidence because I will see that I’m able to set a goal, achieve a goal, and maintain a routine.

  6. From answering above, has my goal changed? What do I really want?  I want to be healthier mentally and physically, and I think this is a great starting place.

  7. Rework if changed N/A

  8. Get clear about what I want:

    • Steps: Show up.

    • 1st step in detail:  1) Look at schedule for week. 2) Plan workout days. 3) Set alarms. 4) SHOW UP!

    • Next steps on task list: Talk to Michael about days for working out. If this gym doesn’t work for him and for me, find another gym. Try to find another workout partner in the event my son doesn’t sustain the habit.

    • List the tools and skills I’ll need. 1)  Show up and work out.  2) Work with trainer if difficulties developing routine and/or if I get bored.  

    • List roadblock removal in detail, too. Develop a contingency plan for days that something interferes with workout (walk around neighborhood, jump on trampoline with Sarah, substitute day). If 13-year-old son backs out, don’t make this an excuse to back out myself. Make sure I leave work in time to go to gym–if I don’t, I need to make myself go late in the evening or early in the morning.

As I sit at the keyboard with my words, this goal looks so simple and easy, and in actuality, it can be easy as long as I work these steps and don’t complicate things. Remembering that exercise improves both physical and mental well-being should encourage me as I strive to make physical fitness a consistent part of my life. Setting a realistic goal to get regular exercise is a good plan for me and my ADHD.




  1. The Real Reason You Can’t Reach a Goal - Dana Rayburn ADHD Coach - […] What makes a goal realistic? Your goal has to be sustainable. One you will work towards day after day.…

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