Artful Coaching Newsletter

Welcome to Artful Coaching

Are you reading this because you’re thinking about making some positive changes so your life works better? Consider this, taking the next step means you realize designing your life is serious, you can take action, and it will work.

Think about some of the challenges you currently have. Do these things happen repeatedly? Have they been around for a while? Consider these things as habits that don’t work…habits that can be replaced with behaviors that do work.

Artful Coaching focuses on your specific needs and challenges. Typically, coaching helps individuals with ADHD develop the structures, processes, and practical approaches necessary to meet the challenges of everyday life and excel in their areas of their strengths.

 
Myths and Facts about ADHD
Do I have ADHD? Take the Test
Frequently Asked Questions

In the Beginning

I started my coaching career in 1998 with a focus on coaching creative people.

Working with artists I heard that many of the challenges they were having sounded like my struggles as a person with ADHD. As I shared some of the structures and techniques that helped me stay focused I started getting more calls, not only from artists, but from people with ADHD who wanted to learn how to manage time, be organized, handle priorities and up their self esteem.

And thus was born Artful Coaching.

Do Olympians Have Better Brains?

human brain with arms and legs on a running machine, 3d illustration

You bet! Numerous studies have shown that exercise not only improves cognition but also helps brain cells regenerate.

So what does this mean for you? Walking, swimming, bicycling and other forms of aerobic exercise will not only help you look and feel mighty fine, but improve your memory, processing speed and executive function now and for years to come.

You already know that positive habits and routines help you function more effectively. So scheduling regular, daily exercise…even ten minutes on a stationary bike or treadmill every morning… can boost your brain better than chugging some java and give you a better brain over time.

If you’re already going, “yeah but” followed by your lack of time or some other excuse (I mean reason) then consider parking your car farther from location destinations, taking stairs rather than elevators, or some other creative way to get the moves in.

Check out a recent Scientific American article for some eye-opening details:

www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-exercise-benefit-cognition/

Talk to me about replacing “bad” habits with ones that are beneficial.

Three Tips to Avoid Late Fees

Penalty word in 3d letters on a steel bear trap to illustrate punishment, fees or fines for breaking rules

Do you ever procrastinate on paying bills? Solutions exist.

 

The List

First make a list of all your monthly bills and their general due dates. Note that some may be due weekly, while others are monthly or quarterly. Some bills will usually have due dates early in the month while others will be due later in the month. Organize your bills in the order that they need to be paid.

 

Pay Date versus Due Date

This is a place where lots of people screw up. Whether you pay electronically or send in a check, there is a time span between when the payment is made and when it arrives. If you pay online, your bank will usually have a note as to how many days it takes for the money to be transferred. If you put a check in the mail it could be anywhere from two days to who knows when. Scheduling pay dates a week before due dates is generally a safe bet.

 

Alert, Alert

If you’re income varies, have you noticed that institutions don’t like it when you try to pay a bill with money that doesn’t exist? Alerts can help with this. With online banking you can set alerts to send you an email with your balance daily or weekly. They can also let you know when a check posts, when you have a low balance threshold, and more. This is great information whether you are paying all your bills yourself or using automatic deductions to handle the job.

 

Finally, tips are only good ideas without implementation. So schedule a chunk of time in your calendar each week to be used for bill pay. Make it an appointment. If something that feels more urgent comes up, make sure to reschedule to a time within 24 hours.

Time Will Tell – Tools that Organize your Thoughts & Time

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Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You have a great idea in the shower and then forget it by the time you’re dressed.
  • A task you thought might take an hour actually takes three.
  • You sometimes get so caught up in one thing that you’re late for something else.
  • Prioritizing your schedule to address all your To Do’s feels impossible.

 

Solutions exist. I like things to be simple and easy to use so these three tools have passed muster. They are Aqua Notes, Time Timer, and Planner Pads.

 

www.myaquanotes.com says, “If you find that some of your best ideas and insights are generated in the tranquility and solitude of the shower…then AquaNotes® is for you! These waterproof notepads help you capture and preserve your ideas before they’re forgotten!” The 40 sheet, refillable pad suctions to your shower wall and even comes with matching pen.

www.timetimer.com has a line of timers, watches, and applications that helps you stay on track. Set the amount of time you want to spend on a specific task and have a bright visual of the time gradually elapsing so you know when you’re getting to the finish.

www.plannerpads.com has both paper and electronic easy-to-use systems that help you organize, prioritize, and schedule in ways that make sense.

 

Even the websites are user friendly. Check them out. Let me know if you start using any of them and tell me about your experience.

Who’s in Your Head and Why Are They So Negative?

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If you had a friend who consistently said things to you that made you feel small, things that were damaging to your self-esteem, would you maintain the relationship?

What if that so called “friend” was an ever-present voice in your head? You know, it’s the one that says things like, “what’s the use?” “why bother?” “you’ll never…,” “you’re not good enough,” “no one understands you,” “you don’t deserve…, “you should….”  Sound familiar?

I bet it does.

The thing is, as limiting and disparaging as those voices are, we tend to listen to them.

What if you didn’t?

Recognize that there are any number of positive and supportive options available at any time. No need to argue with the negative voice. Just thank it for its opinion and give yourself permission to recognize that you do deserve to have, be and do what’s important to you, that you can make mistakes and still be okay, that it might take a number of attempts to get t–hings the way you want them to be and that perfection need not be necessarily be required.

One caveat—that little voice never actually goes away, but you can definitely learn to ignore it.

Are You Ready to Take a Stand for What You Say You Want?

There’s a life changing concept I want to share with you. It’s based on a line in the 1976 movie, Network. In it, the news anchor rants to the television audience, “Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’”

Maybe you’re not quite mad as hell, but perhaps there are things in your life that you’re tired of, frustrated with, given up on. Maybe you think you “should” do something, but you haven’t done anything yet and you don’t have a plan.

we only regret chances we didn't take comment illustration design graphic

Things don’t change just because it would be nice if they did. And you’re not necessarily going to do something differently just because it’s a good idea. But if you’re ready to take a stand for what you want to do, or be or have and commit to that…well.

John Assaraf said, “If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient; if you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.” Yes, change might be a bit of a challenge. So what. Lance Armstrong put it well when he said, “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.”

So I challenge you to take a stand for yourself. Use this quote by Paul J. Meyer as your affirmation. “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Here’s how it works. First, you imagine yourself doing, having or being what you say you want. Want it so bad that you have that commitment to do whatever it takes. Make sure you truly believe you can make that happen, and that you deserve it. Finally, create a plan and work it. Work on it every day. Get support if you need it. Do it.

The Last Newsletter You’ll Ever Read

newsletter blog

Okay, this is not a promise. It’s more of a thought exercise.

What motivates you to read newsletters?
Do you look forward to useful tips, new information, special offers, upcoming events?
Do you open and read all the newsletters that arrive?
Do you anticipate the arrival of any of them?
Do you delete any unread?

I don’t know your situation, but I receive newsletters from people I barely know as well as from colleagues. Reading takes time and for most of us, our time is valuable.

There are three newsletters I read every time. Invariably they contain information I can use. A few others are interesting to me on occasion and I briefly scan them. And for the rest…there is a link at the bottom of every newsletter that lets you “unsubscribe.” (I hope I’m not shooting myself in the foot here).

So if time management is a concern for you, deciding how you can best use your time is important. If you are already using your calendar and focusing on your priorities (some of you know these are your “big rocks”) when and where do activities like reading newsletters fit for you? Deciding what’s important is important. If the information or education that arrives in a newsletter could have value, great. Look at your schedule and see when you have some time you can set aside for reading.

My intention is to provide a useful tip to you every month, along with a notice or two. If there’s something you’d like, please let me know. My goals is to give you information and tools you can implement.

Newsletter tips not enough? Contact me for that complimentary coaching session I offer.

Now Where Did I Put My…?

Lost Keys in the Freezer

My keys are in the freezer???

Does this ever happen to you? You’re carrying a few bags of groceries from the car to the house. Later that day, you’re in a hurry to leave again and your keys are nowhere to be found.

There are only so many things you can fully attend to at a time. When you’re engaged in a conversation, or have ten things on your mind something as “trivial” as where you set something down may shoot right past your short term memory.

My uncle Leon would have his glasses pushed up on top of his head. After looking all over the house for them, he’d offer me a quarter if I could find them for him. Easiest quarters I ever made. Like Leon, everyone misplaces things from time to time-you put your keys in your pocket because you’re carrying a few bags, hang up your jacket and later wonder where your keys are, or put the remote control down to get a snack then return and cannot find the darned clicker.

Two solutions:

1. Create places where you always (okay almost always) put certain items, like keys, phone, wallet, shoes. It’s kind of like having the address for them. Once you develop the habit, chances are you’ll find your items where they belong.

2. Calm down. For when you don’t put things where they belong, even if you’re in a rush, stop. Sit down. Close your eyes and breathe. Think about what you were doing when you last had the item. Recreate your steps. Do this as calmly as possible.

How do you decide where something “belongs” anyway? Where is the first place you generally look for the item? If there isn’t some place that seems obvious, pick a place a build the habit. I have a client who has to know where her keys are even if she cannot find anything else. Whenever she moves, the first thing she does is decide where “that place” is going to be for her keys. Even when she comes into the house with arms full of groceries, her keys always seem to land in their place.

Have you ever put something important in a safe place and then forgotten just where that place is? Again, having a special safe place that you use all the time can make a huge difference. Trust me. I still haven’t found two – hundred dollar bills I put safely away last fall.

Is Your Imagination “Running Away with You”?

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Does this ever happen to you?
There’s something important you need to do but you’re putting it off because you’re thinking doing it will be difficult or unpleasant in some way? Strangely, it seems to be easy to imagine the “worst case scenario” as the likely outcome.

That story in your imagination is powerful enough to keep you from doing something you actually need to do. The Temptations understood this, as you may remember from this lyric:

“A cozy little home out in the country with two children, maybe three.
I tell you, I can visualize it all. This couldn’t be a dream, for too real it all seems.
But it was just my ‘magination, once again.
Running away with me.”

Since what you imagine can seem so real, why not practice imagining positive experiences and outcomes? Here’s one way to do that. Let’s say your task involves getting your financials ready for your tax preparer. You might have slogged through this task in past years and found it tedious. So you are imagining this time being grim and you just aren’t enthusiastic about starting.

The solution is imagining the task being more of an interesting challenge – something you can get involved in and make timely progress, and then feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Perhaps think about the benefit of doing the work.

“Oh sure,” you may be thinking. “Fat chance I’d buy into that.” No problem. The positive thoughts create what’s called cognitive dissonance, an inconsistency. Now your brain can recognize a choice.

Think of how you’d increase the appeal of doing the work. Consider what’s in it for you to complete the task, how you’ll feel when you do. It’s your imagination so you can enhance the experience in any way you want. Step into that picture and claim it as real.

The more you start thinking positive, the easier things become.

Need more tips? Check out the Artful Coaching Facebook page.