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Want to make this your best year ever? Below I’m sharing my best (ADHD-friendly) recommendations for better health, wealth and happiness in 2022. I hope these ideas inspire you to get fit, focused and absolutely fabulous, this year.
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Prefer Podcasts? Get your Best Year Ever in Your Earballs
Best Year Ever for Fitness + Physical Health
As a personal trainer and nutrition expert, my best advice is to keep your fitness and health goals simple and attainable. As ADHDers, we often struggle to get started, but hey, even the most neuro typical brain doesn’t feel motivated to workout most of the time right?
So what’s the solution here?
Minimize the amount of steps it will take for you to get the job done. Whether that’s meal prepping a few extra items while you are already making dinner, or exercising in your living room instead of the gym, whatever works best for you and sounds most appealing is the right next step.
It’s seriously that simple.
If you’re just a beginner in fitness and you don’t love exercise, just start with a daily step goal (I recommend 6-8,000 steps and work your way to 10K).
That said, here’s a few recommended products to get you started:
Best Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Luxe (with free 6 month premium membership).
Best Home Workouts: BeachbodyOnDemand and Alo Moves
Best style of workout: Anything that inspires you to move! Seriously, start with what interests you. Personally, I think yoga + barre are great forms of exercise for ADHDers because they focus on balance which helps improve the connection between the cerebellum and Prefrontal cortex which can improve concentration and focus. If you’ve done yoga before, then you’re aware of the power of your drishti or focal point when doing challenging yoga poses.
Best Nutrition Advice: Hydrate! Your brain is 80 percent water. Anything that dehydrates it, such as too much caffeine or alcohol, decreases your thinking and impairs your judgment. Make sure you get enough water for your brain every day.
Best Year Ever for Mental Health
Best Anxiety Crusher – Tapping – emotional freedom techniqueBest time saver – get off social media… especially tic tock. This kind of short-form content is just killing your very precious attention span.
Best Mindset Advice – Life will serve up an endless amount of distractions. Only invest your time, attention and energy in what truly matters most to you.
Best Year Ever for Self-Improvement + Personal Growth
Best Personal Development Apps – Insight timer app, The Tapping Solution, MINT
Best Productivity App – Click up
Best ADHD-friendly Blogs – ItsADHDfriendly.com (obvi) and Black Girl, Lost Keys by Rene Brookes
Best ADHD-friendly Instagram – @ADHDoers @tracyotsuka @carenmagill (<-another shameless plug)
Best ADHD-friendly Podcasts – The Flow Research Collective ADHD for smart ass women, The ADHD-Friendly Lifestyle, and (shameless plug alert ->), The ADHD-Friendly Podcast, The One Thing Podcast
Best ADHD-Friendly purchase I’ve made all year – a pair of $25 leggings from Amazon. I have several different colors and I love them. Why is this ADHD-friendly? Because I went through a process of simplifying my wardrobe during the pandemic which I’ll share more about in another video, but quite honestly, leggings are great for folks with clothing sensitivities, they are comfortable AF, and they make me always ready for physical activity (walking, yoga, whatever).
Best Shows – Ted Lasso and Schitts Creek (binge-able, but feel good)
Best Reads: Your Brain is Not Broken by Tamara Rosier Create Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Tawwa, The Genius Zone by Gay Hendricks, 4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman.
Best ADHD Youtube Channels – In addition to my own It’s ADHD Friendly, I love Jessica’s McCabe’s channel, How to ADHD. I also just came across is Dr K’s channel, HealthyGamerGG. He’s a psychiatrist with a crazy amount of scientific, yet relatable knowledge about ADHD. I highly recommend his channel.
Self-coaching strategies for creating your best year ever
A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re so busy trying to get a happy life.Ester Hicks
One of the most powerful things I was reminded of in my ADHD training course is that in order to create memories, we have to pay attention. Naturally then, when you struggle to pay attention, you struggle to remember things (<- hello, ADHD problem #1).
That said, the human brain is wired to pay attention to the negative (it’s know as the negativity bias) . This is a primitive function of self-protection and we all have it. So when we experience something negative, like critical feedback, we hyper-focus on it, to the exclusion of any positive feedback, and as a result, that negative experience gets prime real estate in our long term memory.
When we pay attention to the negative, our brains release neurochemicals (ie, cortisol, adrenaline) that linger in the body for up to 24 hours. Conversely, positive emotions also release neurochemicals in the body (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin), but they only last in the body up to 6 hours. What a bummer, right?
So if negative emotions are stronger than positive ones, and they’re the most likely to get stored in our long term memory, then guess what we’re full of?
Now, depending on your personality, you might not come across as a negative person, but you can be sure that the negative bias your brain has built over a lifetime of storing negative experiences far more than positive, is impacting your personal choices, expectations, mental health and inner weather.
So what to do?
Make a point of ruminating on the good.
Savor good thoughts, experiences, and feedback for 12-to-15 seconds to increase the likelihood that they’ll get stored in your long term memory. Seriously, this is perhaps the important thought work you can do to ensure you have a happy life.
This is why gratitude is such a powerful practice.
It forces your brain to search your memory for things you’re grateful for and hold them in your attention. You seriously can’t be simultaneously grateful and pissed off at the same time. It’s not possible.
What Would Your Best Year Ever Look Like? Just Ask Yourself.
Asking yourself empowering questions ignites productive thinking and gives your brain something to chew on. But be sure to frame them positively.
For example, don’t ask yourself why you’re such a loser because your brain will give you a hundred reasons and you’ll believe every one of them.
Instead – ask questions like…
- How can I increase my focus and productivity this year?
- How can I simplify my life this year?
- What boundaries can I create for myself and others to protect my peace and joy this year?
- What’s the most loving decision I can make for myself this year?
- What would make this the absolute best year ever?
Are you committed to having the best year ever?
The last point I’ll leave you with is that having the best year ever is a conscious choice. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t have control over what life throws at us, but we get to choose how to respond to life’s unexpected events, and the meaning we make of it.
We also get to choose what we bring into our lives, which is why I shared all the recommendations above. These are things, ideas and experiences that have enriched my life tremendously, and I suspect they will offer value to you as well.
How will you choose to approach this year? I hope these recommendations help you set yourself up for success.
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