Archives for 2011

ADHD Goals for the New Year


When we think of the New Year we automatically think about New Year Resolutions. However resolutions are usually a highly ineffective way to achieve what we would like in our life.

For example, if your new years resolution is to lose weight, or get fit, you will likely to do really well for the first few days or even a few weeks, eating an extreme diet or going to the gym every day. But then the resolution way of life becomes hard and boring and its more comfortable to revert back to old ways.  New Years Resolutions are based on pure will power, and without a compelling goal, or big enough why,  Resolutions will not be sustainable.

adhd and goals for the new year 2012However the New Year IS a great time to set goals. I have just read an inspiring book called ‘Taming Tigers, Do things you never thought you could do’ . The author Jim Lawless tells of how he achieved his goal of riding his first televised horse-race in the space of one year.  Before he set this goal for himself he had only been pony trekking twice!  In order to achieve this ambitious goal he had to get up every day at 5am to train, continue his day job, lose 1/4 of his body weight (jockeys are very light), move houses to be near the training ground, and give up alcohol (which can’t have been easy for someone that hadn’t gone to bed sober for 17 years).

It would have be extremely hard to do these things if Jim hadn’t had a compelling goal. This year when you are thinking about what you would like to achieve think BIG. What would you move heaven and earth to achieve?

Start with your big goal and then work backwards. You are much more likely to stick to a diet, declutter your house, get fit, etc. when the big goal excites you.

The sense of exhilaration that Jim felt when he completed the race was ‘ Absolute Elation’. Not only did he achieve his goal but he now has the knowledge that he can do anything that he sets his mind and this will stay with him forever.

When inspired ADHD adults can achieve incredible feats in a very short space of time, so can you. So your first action for 2010 is to create a compelling and exciting goal. Don’t worry about how you will achieve your goal, your only job today is to think WHAT you would like to achieve!




Embrace Your Achievements

Adults with ADD - Embrace Your Achievements  A friend and I meet regularly at a coffee shop that is a 5 minute walk from where I live. Because it is so close, I always leave it to the last minute to get ready. Then as I am speed walking/running to get there I say to myself ‘I will leave earlier next time’. I always arrive at the coffee shop on time, but a feeling bit hot and my mind is racing.

The interesting thing about this situation is my friend thinks I am very punctual. She often comments on it. Yet, because I have done all that rushing and don’t feel punctual, in this situation, I shrug that compliment away.

This is what adults with ADHD experience all the time. They accomplish wonderful things, degrees, promotion, awards, perform acts of kindness, receive compliments from their nearest and dearest, but because behind the scenes things were a struggle, you shrug those compliments and achievements away.

This results in a huge disconnection between reality and how you see yourself. This disconnect stops you from building up a strong self esteem, from reaching your full potential, allowing yourself to be happy, and even the quality of people you have relationships with.

What can you do to close that gap between your perception of yourself and reality?

1) Being aware of it is always the first step to change. So pay attention to how you feel about yourself and what you do and have done.

2) Write a list of 25 accomplishments
Everyone I give this assignment to always gasps because it sounds a lot, but it encourages you to dig deep and really think about what you have done in your life so far.

3) Create a Hall of Frame
Gather together all your certificates, photos of important events and other items that symbolism your achievements. Get them framed and hang them together on a wall in your home. This is powerful because every time you walk past the wall your achievements, they are there, loud and proud. It might take time for your subconscious to process them, but when it does a new you emerges.

4) Accept all compliments
When someone gives you a compliment, simply say thank you. Don’t explain it away. Afterwards, spend a few minutes processing it. For example, if someone says ‘you have an incredible general knowledge’ your immediate thought might be, well it’s because I sit and watch TV when I have 101 more productive things to do. BUT, rather than do that, begin to own the fact that you are very knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects.

5) Change the way you talk to yourself
You probably have a constant negative voice chatting away to you all day. Telling you mean put downs on how you look, what you said, and what you did.
‘When you catch one of those thoughts, flip it around. ‘I sounded stupid’ to ‘I did a good job’. ‘You look silly in that outfit’ to ‘this is my favorite jacket’. The more you do it, the more your positive voice over rides the negative and the better you will feel about yourself.

Interview with ADD and Loving it Star

While I was at the CHADD conference, I interviewed Patrick McKenna.

Patrick stars in the famous “ADHD and Loving It” documentary. As well as being incredibly funny, he is also very smart! In this interview, he explains that doing what you are naturally good at, helps your self esteem and allows you to be successful in your chosen field.

Another one of Patrick’s secret to success is to embrace and love all of who you are, including your ADD. Don’t worry about wasted time in the past . . . today is the perfect day to step forward and start implementing these suggestions.

I was particularly excited to talk to Patrick as a growing number of my clients realized they had ADD after watching the “ADHD and Loving It” documentary. They had always realized they were different, but didn’t know exactly why until watching the documentary. This is a common experience of people across North America… Patrick and his co-star Rick are changing people’s lives.

Want to see more interviews from the CHADD conference? Head over to: where myself and business partner Marcia Hoeck interview more experts.

Learn more about the FAB work Patrick is doing at Totally ADD!

Do You Feel ‘Behind’ In Life?

do you feel left behind in lifeA common complaint or worry people with ADHD is that they feel ‘behind’ in life. Their peers seem to be racing ahead and they don’t feel they are where they should be as they pass age milestones. The truth is everyone feels they are ‘behind’ in life to some degree, but people with ADHD seem to feel it more keenly. Perhaps because some things do take them longer (e.g. graduating from University because they take fewer classes each semester) or because their self esteem and confidence is lower.

In a world where the media portrayal of what normal is has us all graduating from University at 21 years old, advancing up the corporate ladder in our mid 20’s and happily married with children at 30. It’s good to know to that the world is changing and there is a new type of normal.

Working life
People no longer work Monday to Friday, 9-5 in the same job until they retire at 65 years old. Today we have more career changes than past generations. There is flex time, satellite offices and stay-at-home-dads. You can be a self made multi-millionaire in your early 20’s (for example Facebook’s Mark Zucherberg) and keep working because you love it into your 90’s.

Traditionally, parents were of the opposite sex and had children in the ‘peak birth rate years’ of 20- 24. Now there is an increasing number of first time parents in their 40’s and it is no longer taboo to be a single parent. Elton John is the perfect example that you can be a new parent whatever our age or sexuality.

The average age for first marriages is getting higher and higher. At the moment, it is 28 years old for men and 26 years for women.

What does this have to do with ADHD? I wanted to illustrate that the old linear way of living isn’t the norm any more. We have more freedom to make choices based on what suits us than ever before. You are never behind; there is no rule that you are a certain age when you should get married, or buy a house, or have a particular position at work.

When you free yourself from these norms you give yourself permission to live your life at a pace that works for you will thrive. When you have ADHD it’s important to do what makes you tick, to listen to your internal messages rather than any external messages. If you do this, you will experience more happiness and success than ever before.

How do I maintain focus in a high stress work environment?

How do I maintain focus in a high stress work environment?First it’s important to take care of yourself with the first 5 steps of Untapped Brilliance.
This means, taking Omega 3 supplements, exercise regularly, eat a healthy ADHD diet, daily meditation and get enough sleep.

People find this a boring answer, as it is information they have heard before and they were hoping for something new and sexy. However, the reason you have heard about these things before is because they work!

These actions provide you with strong and solid foundations. A building with strong foundations can survive adverse weather conditions. In contrast, a building whose foundation is weak or non-existent will crumble with a slightest puff of wind. When you take care of yourself with those 5 steps you will find you are able to focus, concentrate and emotionally able to handle your high stress work environment.

There are other things you can do too when you are actually at work:

1) Take breaks. If you are busy and stressed you think that working through your breaks will help. It doesn’t. Breaks help you to be   focused and on top of your game when you return.

2) Be in the moment. I know this sounds hard, but when you are mindful and focus on the task you are doing at that given moment, you will feel grounded and centered. You will get a  sense of job satisfaction and if at a later point you question if you did it or to a good standard, you will know you did.

3) Positive Affirmation. Have a positive affirmation that you repeat to yourself in times of stress. It doesn’t matter what that is, so long as it makes you feel good. A few examples would be…’I am doing really well’ ‘I work well in a busy environment’ ‘I am focused and grounded’

When you talk to yourself calming, kindly and positively you will notice a big difference on your physical performance.