How to Create Healthy Boundaries When You Have ADHD

How to Create Healthy Boundaries When You Have ADHDAdults with ADHD often struggle with boundaries; either with enforcing their boundaries or respecting other peoples’ boundaries or both. Boundaries are rules you set for yourself, based on your values and priorities.

Some boundaries are automatically in place without you having to be consciously aware of them. For example, if a stranger stands too close to you, you instinctively step away in order to create a physical space that you are comfortable with.

However, not all boundaries are that easy. Sometimes you don’t know what your boundaries are, so you can’t enforce them. Other times, you know a boundary has been crossed, but you need to develop your assertiveness or confidence muscle to be able to enforce it.

Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, it’s worth strengthening your boundaries because healthy boundaries are vital for you to feel happy, be physically healthy, and have good relationships with everyone in your life.

Here is a list of areas where it’s important to have healthy boundaries:

  • Physical space
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Time
  • Physical body
  • Sexual
  • Material

How do you know what a good boundary is?

The thing with boundaries is, they are very personal. The best way to know if one of your boundaries is being crossed is to notice how you feel in everyday situations. If you feel a negative emotion (like resentment or anger), a pit in your stomach, or resistance, then that is a sign your boundaries have been crossed.

For example: A friend asks to borrow your car. You don’t feel comfortable lending it, but say yes. Notice what happens.

Your inner voice might be shouting, ‘I hate it when they ask me things like this. Why do they always ask me?’

That is a clue!

Physical sensations in your body, such as: a sinking feeling, an ‘off’ sensation, or sense of dread.

Other clues:

Your emotions – You might feel taken advantage of, or angry.

Your behaviour –You might drag your feet in making things happen. e.g. You might procrastinate in meeting them to hand over your keys. Or you might arrive late, or lose your keys.

These are all signs your material boundary has been crossed.

In contrast, if a friend asked to borrow your car and you wanted to lend it to them, you might feel happy you could help out, feel pleased they asked you and even go out of the way to make sure they get your keys.

The benefits of having clear strong boundaries are:

1) You feel happier

Because you are paying attention to your innate moral compass, and allowing that to guide you.

2) You have better relationships, at work and at home

Because you aren’t allowing people to cross your boundaries, there are no feelings of resentment. You like these people and feel respected.

3) You have increased energy

When you are constantly giving people more of your resources than you feel comfortable, your energy gets depleted. Having healthy boundaries means having a lot of physical and mental energy!

4) You have increased selfconfidence

You trust yourself to look after your own needs.

5) You are more productive

Because you have clear time boundaries and because you have more energy (see #3).

6) You have greater selfrespect

This is a nice side effect of other people respecting you and your increased confidence.

When you start to create and enforce your boundaries, it can be a bit scary. It means that you have to say ‘no’ to people who are used to you saying ‘yes’. It also means you have to become a little more assertive, and get comfortable doing things differently. However, the benefits are so worth it!

Are you good at knowing what your boundaries are? Leave a note in the comments below.

Single-Tasking and ADHD

Single-Tasking is the new Multi-tasking!!!

Even though we know that multi-tasking isn’t good; it isn’t productive, doesn’t make us feel accomplished and even makes our IQ go down, we still do it! .

Multi-tasking is doing 2 or more things at the same time (such as talking on the phone while grocery shopping) or moving to and from tasks quickly. For example, writing a report, checking emails and doing your online banking. Multi-tasking is performed by the executive functions of the brain.

Researchers found there are 2 steps involved:
1) Goal shifting (choosing one item)

2) Role Activation (switching between the rules from one task to another)
Every time we switch tasks, we lose time. Some researchers believe we are 40% less productive when we multi-task.

Now, of course, there are some situations where we don’t get a choice. A mum looking after her children or staff in the ER room need to multi-task to keep everyone safe and responding to the needs of multiple people.

However, many of us don’t have to multi-task, but still create an environment where we do.

As an ADDer, you might multi-task because:

1) You are scared to forget to do something. You act on the thought right away, regardless of what you are working on when it popped into your mind.

2) You have a low threshold for boredom, so you don’t just talk to a friend on the phone; you are also playing a computer game.

3) You crave excitement; so by flitting from one thing to the next quickly, your adrenaline is pumping and life seems more exciting.

I love this video about multi-tasking and single-tasking and think you will too!

Pay particular attention to:

1) The description of going on tangents on the internet…(perfect portrayal!)
2) The analogy of having multiple tabs opened on the computer at once and darting. I don’t know one person with ADHD who has less than 10 tabs open at once.

Are you inspired now to try single-tasking?
Will you try “Tabless Thursday”?

ADHD Productivity Tip

ADD productivity tipThis productivity tip comes from Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog!

Mark Twain said that, if you eat a frog for breakfast, the rest of the day is a breeze because you have already done the worst thing you have to do that day!

Many productivity books suggest doing the task you least want to first. However, having the image of a frog makes it much more powerful. ADHDers are very visual, so it’s a fun strategy to think what your ‘frog’ is each morning.

Sometimes, it will be something scary.

Sometimes, it will be a task you have been procrastinating on.

And other times, it will be the task that is important to moving you towards your goals, but would get put to the bottom of your to do list because smaller, less important tasks would distract you.

What happens on days when you have 2 important things you need to do? Brian says, “Eat the ugliest one first!”

Besides blitzing through all your unpleasant ‘to dos’, another benefit of doing your worst task first is that you feel so accomplished when it’s done, you want to do something else. It sets you up to be productive for the rest of the day.

Action for the week:

1) Each day, pick your ‘frog task’.
2) Make sure it’s the first task you do that day
3) Notice how good you feel when it’s done
4) Notice how you continue to be productive for the rest of the day

Share your ‘frogs’ in the comment section below!

ADHD and New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year always brings with it an enthusiasm to look at yourself and your life and make some positive changes. While tons of research has been to done to show that New Year’s resolutions don’t work. We also know that creating habits and setting goals do work.

So, why not make use of this New Year energy to make some positive changes using goals and habits in your life? Wondering what areas to address? Why not your health? As the healthier you are, the less problematic your negative ADHD symptoms are. For example, getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, exercising every day, taking supplements, such as, Omega 3, managing stress are all known to help your long term health, but also your ADHD symptoms right now.

There is a brilliant website that is dedicated to your health called The site’s creator, Dr. Roizen is a cardiologist and wanted to motivate people to take better care of their bodies. He realized everyone wants to be youthful so used this as an incentive. Some people are younger physiologically and mentally than their calendar age because they active make healthy eating choices while some people are older.

Take the quiz which covers all topics related to health, from what you eat, drink and smoke to how fast you drive and how often you use your cell phone.

After you get your results and find out how old you ‘really’ are you are given a compressive checklist of actions to take to reduce your real age. You can use the checklist to motivate you and guide you to know what new goals and habits to make in 2013

Good luck and I would love to hear what changes you will be making!!!

Why Happiness = Success When You Have ADHD

ADDers are very hard on themselves. They are always feeling ‘less than’. Rather than acknowledge what they did today and feel good about it, they focus on the long list of what they haven’t done yet. However, if you think like that, not only does it affect your self-esteem and confidence, it also lowers your energy and makes you miserable and sad.

Instead, if you allow yourself to feel pride in what you HAVE done, today, this week, month, year, this lifetime, then you will feel energized happy and can get more ‘done’ (Of course there is lots more to life than what you accomplish, but that’s another article!)

While I knew this to be true, I only had anecdotal evidence, based on myself and clients. That all changed when a client sent me this video, because it reminded her of the work we had been doing together.

Shawn Anchor says we need to reverse the formula for happiness and success. The current formula is that most people live by is ‘the harder I work the more successful I will be and the more successful I am the happier I will be.’

BUT, this model is flawed, because every time we have a success we change the goal post.

You have good grades, but now you have to get better grades. You have a good job, now you have to get a better job. “If happiness is on the opposite side of success your brain will never get there. We have pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon and that is because we have to be successful and then we will be happy’.

In the video, Shawn explains that our brains work in the opposite order of society’s success formula.

For example, if you are feeling happy and positive in the present, then the performance of your brain improves, your intelligence, energy and creativity are all increased.

AND it gets better… when your brain is in a positive gear, it is 31% more productive, 37% better in sales and doctors are 19% faster at making an accurate and quick diagnoses.

So, make yourself a cup of tea, and relax because you are in for a treat. As well as being informative and wise, Shawn Anchor is a very funny presenter.

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!




Your Body and Self-Esteem

How you take care of yourself and your body is very telling of your self-esteem. If you abuse your body in any way, with food, drink or drugs it could be a sign of low self-esteem. This is where the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’ is perfect. You don’t have to wait until your self-esteem is higher to stop abusing your body. Start to treat it beautifully now and your esteem will rise. Nourish your body with healthy yummy food; give yourself permission to buy the strawberries, even if it isn’t a special occasion. A glass of wine with dinner or a cold beer on a hot day is great, but everything in moderation. It’s easy to wash down the stresses of the day with large quantities of alcohol but it’s not a good way to appreciate your body. If you take drugs to feel ‘normal’ there are lots of others ways to do that than to harm your body in this way.

When you start to take care of and appreciate your body, you will notice lots of many nice rewards. You will have more energy, both mental and physical. You will feel happier on a daily basis, and a sense of peace, because as much as one part has enjoyed the drink, drugs or extra food,  the other part of you was feeling guilty and knew it wasn’t a good thing.

A great way to appreciate your body is to find an exercise that you love to do and then do it every day. Not only will you start to feel healthier and notice physical changes in your body when you exercise your body naturally craves healthy foods and water and so it makes moving away from the unhealthy substances much easier.

Start to take care of your body today and notice how much better feel about yourself inside and out.

Take Your Own 30 Day Challenge!

This is the last blog post for the 30 day blog challenge! YAY I did it!  The challenge was set by Connie Green, an online business coach.  The rules were that each article or blog post was to have 150 words and you needed to post 30 articles 30 days, however you can post more than one article on a given day. The last rule was good for me as I didn’t hear of the challenge till day 7.

The goal to write 30 articles was definitely achievable, but it was also a stretch since I would usually only write 4 articles that time period. As with all goals or challenges you embrace, when they are completed, not only do you feel great about the set goal, there are also additional benefits that you might not have known about at the onset. During the 30 day blog challenge my additional benefits included connecting with new people who were also doing the challenge, making writing a daily habit which in turn meant that any mental resistance I felt towards writing disappeared and I really began to enjoy writing articles in a way I never had before.

Why not set yourself an ADHD 30 day challenge? Whether it’s exercising, taking Omega 3 or decluttering for 15 minutes every day. Whatever it is I guarantee when you have finished you will feel really awesome.

A common ADHD symptom

A common ADHD symptom I see amongst adults with ADHD is low self-esteem. Self-esteem is related to how we feel and view ourselves. If we feel good about ourselves then it is higher than if we feel bad about ourselves. This self-awareness is part of being human. One of the ways self-esteem is shaped is from the messages we receive from the outside world, mainly the people we interact with. We then process these messages and in turn they affect our self-esteem.

When you have ADHD you tend to experience more criticism and “unpleasant” situations your life than their non-ADHD peers. These experiences begin as a very young child, through teenage years and into adulthood.

Low self-esteem can result in impaired academic and job performance, problems in relationships with the people in your life, anxiety, stress, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

The good news is that whatever your self-esteem level is right now, it can be increased! And with increased levels of esteem you feel more confident, happier, feel proud in your accomplishments and much, much more. Don’t worry, this does not mean you will become ‘big headed’ or arrogant. You will still be you, but an improved version of yourself.

Because self esteem is a common ADHD symptom and because increasing it is such a vital key to reaching your potential as an adult with Adult I have written a few articles to help you raise yours.

Below you will find links to all the articles on this blog relating

Your Inner Voice, ADHD and Your Self Esteem

Your Body, Self Esteem and ADHD

Importance of Focusing on your gifts when you have ADHD

Create the Right Environment

Interestingly when I start working with adults with ADHD their self esteem starts to increase almost straight away. Its a wonderful side effect of knowing you are now taking action on the issues that were bothering you.

My First Radio Show!

my-first-radio-showToday I hosted my first radio show!!! The song that kept playing in my head when I woke up this morning was, “Video Killed the Radiostar’ by Buggles: a song that my sister and I played millions of times when we were very young as it was one of the first vinyls we owned. 
I declared the show a personal success after receiving 3 phone calls and many emails saying ‘Congrats’ and ‘thanks for the great information’ within minutes of its end. I also received this wonderful tweet.
@jojojo09 “You have a new fan and you have hardly started speaking. I am fighting tears. Hearing u speak validates me”
I couldn’t ask for better feedback.
The show, which I named “Untapped Brilliance”, after my book ‘Untapped Brilliance how to reach your full potential as an Adult with ADHD is an extension of my coaching philosophy. As an adult with  ADHD you have many wonderful traits. However, you tend to forget those great traits as you spend most of your time focusing on the things that aren’t working in your life.  If, however, you can shift your focus to what is working in your life and  learn a few tricks and techniques to minimize the negative effects of your ADHD, you will just shine! And have a more joyful life.
The show is going  to be a wonderful combination of information from me about non-pharmaceutical ways to manage your ADHD and special guests talking about their expertise on topics that are known to help ADHD. For example, meditation is really beneficial in reducing  the negative effects of ADHD. It’s also a difficult technique to learn. So next week I will be interviewing Bonnie Hutchinson, meditation expert, and she will be teaching everyone how to meditate.
Also being interviewed will be successful ADHDers, who have created a life that works to their strengths, to act as inspiration. Finally, every week  myself and any guests will be able to answer questions from listeners either directly on the phone, or via email. Today Anne from Iowa asked the great question “Should I get tested if I think I have ADHD?” If you missed the answer or any part of my first show, you can listen to the recording at
And if you have a question for the next show, please email it to me at
P.S. If you want a blast from the past,  listen to “Video Killed the Radiostar’ by Buggles on YouTube:

Ten Reasons to Set Goals when you have ADHD

Goal setting is a wonderful tool for adults with ADHD as this keeps you focused on what is important in your life.

Without goals your natural default position is to be fighting fires every day and you lose control of your time. Here are the top ten reasons to set goals when you have ADHD

  1. Setting goals puts us in the driver’s seat of our lives.
  2. Goals allow us to live our best life, since they encourage us to stretch ourselves and reach your potential
  3. You can accomplish much more when goals are set. Projects are completed quicker, and you can accomplish much more of them!
  4. Goals inspire us and propel us into action
  5. Setting goals is fun and exciting. It is exciting to think what is possible, and to challenge ourselves.
  6. By setting external goals, we also develop internal characteristics and skills, which stay with us long after the goals, have been achieved.
  7. Setting goals and reaching them increases our sense of self-esteem.
  8. Goals keep us going through the less interesting tasks. Even when a task is dull and tedious, we still feel the desire do it because we know it’s part of a bigger picture.
  9. Goals give our life clarity and meaning. They keep us focused on what is most important, and help us to minimize distractions.
  10. When a goal is achieved, nothing can beat the sense of accomplishment. We really need to enjoy the feeling and celebrate the victory, since we can draw on this wonderful feeling when we are working towards our next goal!!