Health & Nutrition

One Thing Today: Start Small & Keep Going in 2021

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for ADHD brains. But small changes — made with purpose and realistic expectations — can add up to huge change. Here is a plan for building healthy new habits in 2021 by doing or considering just one thing today.

Click on each image below for more support and resources corresponding to each day’s One Thing, and download the complementary One Thing Today calendar here. Check back each day for a new thing!

Day One: Ask a friend to share a positive memory of you. Reciprocate.


Day Two: Walk for 20 minutes today. All good habits start somewhere.


Day Three: Quell anxiety by choosing organization projects that require large gross-motor skills.

Day Four: Check for synthetic dyes in “healthy” foods like salad dressing and popcorn.

Day Five: Say no to an obligation that brings more stress than satisfaction.

Day Six: Exercise first thing. Take medication an hour later to maximize its benefit.

Day Seven: That task you’re avoiding? Do one thing to advance it.

Day Eight: Truly listen to your partner — without interrupting or explaining — for 5 minutes.

Day Nine: Disarm your brain’s fight-of-flight reflex by playing joyful music.

Day Ten: Use a hanging sweater stacker to hold 6 to 10 pre-selected outfits.

Day Eleven: If you or your partner gets angry, stop the discussion. Go for a walk. Try again later.

Day Twelve: If you or your partner gets angry, stop the discussion. Go for a walk. Try again later.

Day Thirteen: Tack up a Post-It that reads: “This will pass. Stay steady.”

Day Fourteen: Read “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” to explore your natural energy patterns.

Day Fifteen: Set up an opportunity to praise your child by making an offer they can’t refuse.

Day Sixteen: Exercise routines stick when they make us smile. If you hate yoga, don’t do it.

Day Seventeen: Move a worry out of your head and onto paper to see it objectively.

Day Eighteen: Move tasks from your to-do list to your calendar or planner.

Day Nineteen: When anxiety flares, stop to name your emotion with compassion, kindness, and no judgement.

Day Twenty: Have you lied to cover up a mistake? Shed self-hate by coming clean to someone you trust.

Day Twenty-One: Remember: 100 years from now, no one will know the difference.

Day Twenty-Two: Hard-boil eggs for a high-protein snack that’s easy to grab from the fridge.

Day Twenty-Three: Classify your clutter as friend (keep), acquaintence (keep temporarily), or stranger (remove)

Day Twenty-Four: Send a “thinking of you” text to 3 friends you miss.

Day Twenty-Five: Take a fish oil supplement containing 800 mg of EPA, 400 mg of DHA, and 100 mg of GLA.

Day Twenty-Six: Ask yourself: What stops me from putting away the things I pull out? What destroys my good intentions?

Day Twenty-Seven: Falling into negative headspace? Stop and list the day’s wins — however small.

Day Twenty-Eight: Stop cheating yourself out of deep, restorative sleep by hitting the snooze button.

Day Twenty-Nine: Normalize emotions by acknowledging yours in specific terms — frustrated, annoyed, anxious — out loud.

Day Thirty: Give yourself permission to let something go if the fight is not worthwhile.

Day Thirty-One: Repeat after me: “I don’t need ‘fixing.'”

More Help Tackling One Thing Today: