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.

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”?


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.

Unconscious Incompetence into Conscious Competence

You know the scenario. It’s a new year and you want to make some changes. Maybe you want to lose weight, or make more money, or be more organized. These are all good starting thoughts to help you set some specific goals. Yet, despite your best intentions, these goals may not come to fruition.
Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” This is because habit is the main ruler of our thoughts and behaviors, and once something becomes a habit, it’s unconscious. To change the default behavior, the default habits take some undoing.
You know how when you repeatedly walk the same way through a field, the grasses flatten out and you create a get a path? A similar thing happens in your brain. Basically, you have to create a new “path” in your brain and let the grasses grow back to cover the old one.
brain-like maze
Here’s how. First, decide what habits will help you reach and maintain your goals. Example: you want an organized office. A new habit might be to spend a few minutes putting things away after when you finish a task. You know, filing the paper AND putting the file back in the drawer. You might need to make a sign to remind you, or…you might want to work with a coach.
It takes work to create the new habits needed to change the paths in your brain; once you do, though, you will step from Unconscious Incompetence into Conscious Competence.

Coaching – Working with Sydney

Within the safety of the coaching environment, I will talk with you to explore what’s going on in your life, and what are some of the challenges you’re experiencing.
The Coaching Process
Coaching begins with an intake session in which we establish our working alliance. After identifying your values, needs, challenges and desires we set realistic, achievable goals and develop a plan of action that will forward you towards them.
In weekly half-hour phone sessions, I help you work through any internal or external obstacles that arise, hold you accountable, and offer support and acknowledgment. Success occurs as you make step-by-step progress towards your goals while you maximize your performance.

With coaching, results are immediate and measurable.

We work together on the average of four to twelve months, making sure you have the habits, resources, skills and confidence that you will be able to be the person you envision, do the things that are important to you, and have the life you feel great about.

During our time working together, we:

Clarify your values and direction

Set structured goals

Take directed action

Maintain momentum

Work through obstacles

Achieve desired results

ADHD Myths and Facts

Are you or is someone you know described by the following symptoms?

Procrastination – You have every intention of getting something done in a timely fashion, but wait until the last minute when you feel the urgency.

Lack of Focus – For most tasks, you seem to have too many thoughts at one time to focus on just one thing and for any length of time.

Chronic Lateness – Even with the best intentions, you are chronically late.

Underachievement – You know you are smart, yet others seem to move ahead so much quicker and with much less effort.

Difficulty Paying Attention – You think you’re paying attention but find you’ve drifted off onto a tangent, a daydream, or something that catches your eye.

Impulsive – You may blurt things out, interrupt or jump to conclusions.

Trouble Getting Started – Once you get started, you get things done, but you waste a great deal of time thinking about it and not getting started.

Easily Irritated by Small Talk – You want to connect to people, but listening to mundane topics causes your heart and mind to race with thoughts of getting away from them so you can think about more important things.

Chronic Chaos – You desire order and organization in your life, but it seems like you are always losing things, or overwhelmed by stuff.

With Coaching You Can:
• Learn how to set goals, stay on task and organize in a way that works for you
• Create systems and structures that are a comfortable fit for you
• Develop new habits that give you the results you want
• Know what to do when you feel paralyzed or overwhelmed
• Acquire and improve social skills and learn how to handle emotions
• Have an ongoing, helpful partner to hold you accountable for taking the steps towards your goals.

Myths and Facts about ADHD
How to get Started

Pop Up Thoughts

You know the scenario:
You’re in the shower, just got into bed, or out walking your dog and you think of an important appointment you need to make; or something you forgot to do; or that you want to call your mother/brother/best friend. These “must do” tasks are popping in at random times most likely because, A) you didn’t write them down in an appropriate spot, or B) you did write them down, but let them get pushed aside by other tasks or thoughts.
Having daily and weekly tasks lists, and using them, makes getting thing done in a timely fashion so much easier.
Here’s one way to go about it:
• At the beginning of each week, jot down the necessary tasks for the various areas of life—your home, health, work, family, and so on.
• Consider if the item is a project that can be broken down into smaller tasks. If it can be:
• Decide if the tasks are one-time actions, like dropping off cleaning, or require greater frequency such as responding to business calls.
• Prioritize the tasks by how important each is to accomplish on a given day or week, especially if a task is one step toward completion of a project with a due date.
• Look at your calendar. (You do use one, right?)
• Find appointment free spaces each day and plug in the tasks for the day at those times.
• At the end of the day, review your calendar and update your task list for subsequent days.
Learn from your task list. What got done? What didn’t? Do same things get pushed aside regularly? If you find you are continually avoiding tasks and carrying them over, that is a different issue.
Feel free to contact me for ideas and support.