Long-Term Planning: Goals Revisited.

Let’s talk goals.

I know, I know, we spent all of January talking about goals. But April is about planning, and the best planning starts with goals.

One benefit of ADHD, when it comes to long-term planning, is the tendency towards big-picture thinking. We have big ideas and big ambitions.

Unfortunately, ADHD also gets in the way of our long-term planning. It doesn’t matter how awesome our ideas and ambitions are if we can’t work out the best way to make them happen.

In keeping with what I talked about in January, we’re going to look at our big-picture goals this week. We won’t break them down into steps, but we will be talking about goals and how to create good ones.

Pinnable image for this blog post.

Now, time isn’t real and we’re definitely prone to struggling with how long things are going to take (not to mention how long ago things happened). As such, our long-term goals aren’t going to be really detailed in terms of deadlines.

The first thing I want you to do is daydream about your ideal life. Think about your career, your home, your family and pets, and your health. Write down everything you can think of that would contribute to contentment and a great life.

Once you’ve got all of your ideas written down, group them by category. Mine are: Home, Personal, and Work. You can have more, but I wouldn’t go higher than 5 categories and 3 is definitely the lowest.

Next, you’re going to write 1-3 goals for each category, using these ideas as the basis for each of them. Rather than writing SMART goals, we’re going to drop the “T” and use the 4 “A”s to guide us. The 4 “A”s (synonyms for SMAR) are Accurate, Assessable, Attainable, and Applicable.

Accurate goals describe exactly what you want to achieve.

Assessable goals are written positively, and you can measure your progress.

Attainable goals are within your power to achieve, usually through hard work.

Applicable goals make sense for you and your individual desires, preferences, skills, etc.

These are your goals. They should be broad enough that you aren’t stuck in one route to achieve them, but detailed enough that you’ll know when you’re done.

I recommend keeping these somewhere that you’ll be able to find them easily. Revisit them every 3-6 months and assess whether they are still applicable or attainable. They aren’t written in stone, after all: goals need to be adaptable to life situations—we aren’t static, and our goals shouldn’t be either.

Also, you’re going to need your goals as we work through this month of planning, so there’s that.