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ADHD Self-Coaching: Progress Report!

ADHDer Zoë' Kessler's office on DAY 1 of a 3-month commitment to self-coaching
Zoë’s office on DAY 1 of a 3-month commitment to self-coaching

Okay, right about now I’d be more comfortable if I were a porn star pictorially chronicling my career than an ADHDer posting the photographic evidence of my self-coaching failure. It’s truly obscene.

However, in my self-coaching mission statement, I pledged to, “…completely commit myself to writing as honestly and genuinely as possible…”  so I snapped today’s shot (see photo below) in all  its stark authenticity.

If you haven’t read the previous self-coaching blog posts, I publicly pledged to stick with Nancy Ratey‘s self-coaching suggestions, as outlined in her book The Disorganized Mind, for three months. I set out my goals in my August 20 blog post.

As of today, I’m 2 1/2 months into my self-coaching odyssey. Let’s see where I’m at, shall we?

ADHDer Zoë Kessler attempts to de-clutter with self-coaching
2 1/2 months into de-clutter program. Whoops! Notice that the Christmas wrapping paper has moved from the left to the right of the office. Not sure if this represents “progress.”

Suffice it to say, I’ve fallen quite short of my goal to address my disorganization [NOTE: those are LAST YEAR’s Christmas presents]. Okay, we’ll designate “organization” as a carry-over goal for the rest of the month.

My second goal was to address my procrastination. Happily, this was much more successful. Last week was one of the most productive weeks I’ve had in years!

So, how have I done with my specific outcomes, meant to deal with my symptoms of disorganization and procrastination?

Have a system in place to keep track of my goals and where I’m at in achieving them


Keep my goals prioritized and posted somewhere so that I can remember what they are

For the “After” photo of my office, as visualized post-clutter, I hung my white board on the wall.

ADHDer Zoë Kessler's visualization of her de-cluttered office. A girl can dream....
Zoë Kessler’s visualization of her de-cluttered office. A girl can dream….

I wrote a list of goals for September for the photo op. Here’s how I did:


1 ) Write Chapter 5 – this was in regard to my book about women and ADHD; didn’t even have time to think about it, let alone schedule it in.

2 ) 4 article queries – this is in regard to the freelance writing I do to make an income; didn’t write or send out any queries.

3 ) Lose 5 lbs!  I don’t weigh myself, but I’m pretty sure I’m only about halfway there.

4 ) Eliminate 2 piles of paper – uh, ya, except I did it by stacking 2 piles on top of 2 other piles to make 2 huge piles instead of 4 smaller ones. I don’t think this counts.

5 ) Conduct 2 interviews for blog – did really well with this one, although I ended up doing the interviews in October rather than September. Okay, not so well; it just feels like it in comparison with the other goal results.

6 )  Write 3 book reviews – Yay!  Actually did this one:

Sept. 1/10   The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, by Eileen Bailey and Donald Haupt, MD

Sept. 12/10  Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged and Focused Without a Pill, by Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D.

Sept. 21/10  Laid – Young People’s Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture, Edited by Shannon T. Boodram

Have my office better organized and more free of clutter

This one is obviously a real issue for me.

Keep a tangible, visible record of the steps that I complete and the goals that have been achieved

Yup. Sort of. I did manage to create a list of  specific short-term, long-term, and “now” goals in a notebook. I referred to these goals often, which helped me to remember what I’d set out to do. It was great to cross off the items that I’d completed. I think this is what helped me to avoid procrastination.

Partial success is better than none at all!

I did have some successes.  I also managed to re-start my long-lapsed Buddhist meditation practice.  This satisfies my stated goal on the “Spirituality” part of the questionnaire I filled out in Ratey’s self-coaching book.  Right from the first day, I started experiencing the same benefits that I’d received years ago, before my practice lapsed.

This report card may not look convincing. It may not be impressive. But I’ve accomplished goals not listed here, including being filmed for an educational video created for family physicians to teach them about women and ADHD; I’ve written a guest blog post for; and, after six months, ADHD: from a to Zoë hit Number #8 on Facebook’s Top 50 List of Networked Blogs.

The overall result?

Okay – I admit it – if this were my report card I’d end up going to summer school. But I’m an adult, with 51 years of poor habits to overcome, and it’s only been 2 1/2 months. This is not an excuse; it’s reality.

I’m okay with having to regroup. I expect that this self-coaching process is one I’ll have to fine-tune, adjust, improve, and adapt as I go along. But I haven’t lost faith in me.  And I’ll never give up.

I’ll check back in with you at the three-month mark. I’ve got a lot to do before then! Damn, I love deadlines!

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ADHD Self-Coaching: Progress Report!

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2019). ADHD Self-Coaching: Progress Report!. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Mar 2019
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