Well Begun is Half Done


“Well Begun is Half Done” — Mary Poppins

The ability to stay focused while working towards accomplishing a goal is an important skill. But for those with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), this can be a difficult task. While there is no quick fix, cultivating tools designed to work with rather than against the challenges posed by ADHD is important.

One strategy for staying focused is to practice “intentional daydreaming” and then take the “first action.” This does not solve the problem of distraction but is a simple tool which can help in the moment. Here is how it works:

Step One: Intentional Daydreaming

ADHD is at times characterized by distraction and difficulty staying focused. Daydreaming might be a common occurrence, therefore intentional daydreaming is designed to work with this reality rather than against it. Intentional daydreaming is a simple practice of creating a brief vision for an area of life where a person desires to experience greater focus and completion. This could be a paper for school that needs to be written, a work task to be finished, or a household chore to be completed. When the task is at hand, pause for a moment to consider what the future would look like if this task was completed, allowing the mind to daydream about this reality. For example, if cleaning the bedroom needs to be completed it can be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What would it feel like to walk into a clean room?
  • What stress would be removed if the room was clean?
  • Consider, why is this important to me?

Daydream, but do it intentionally with the desired outcome in mind.

Step Two: Taking the First Action

Once a vision for a certain task or area of life is created, the next step is to consider the first action towards this goal. The first action should be a tiny step, something very accomplishable which does not take much effort. As an example, if the intentional daydreaming exercise is utilized to envision a clean room, a first action might look like one of these options:

  • Fold one pair of socks
  • Pile all clothes into one corner
  • Put one item into the trash

The goal of taking the first action is not to complete the entire project or task but is instead intended to get it started. A first action might feel insignificant in and of itself, but when it is part of an actual roadmap to the desired end state, it is in fact a significant step.

Intentional daydreaming. Taking the first action.

Just as Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done.”

Coaching Services:

Interested in learning more strategies to help your day to day functioning? I would love to work with you! I work collaboratively with clients to cultivate personal systems, habits, and practices to help you move in the direction of your ideals.

I offer coaching for some of the following goals:

  • Finding motivation and inspiration
  • Personal finances (budgeting, saving, investing)
  • Cultivating personal accountability and ownership
  • Goal setting (values, vision, mission, SMART goals)
  • Creating systems (scheduling, to do lists, time management, breaking large goals into small tasks)

To see about a potential fit and intake, please reach out to our clinic at info@yfinstitute.com or to my email dbreeding@yfinstitute.com.


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