Presentation on ADHD Couple Life

Surviving your ADHD couple can be a struggle

Surviving Your ADHD Couple When One Had It and the Other Doesn’t

I know that being in a couple where one person has ADHD can be a struggle. I’ve lived it with my wonderful ADHD husband, Duane. In May 2009, we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary and I can’t imagine ever wanting to be with anyone more than with him.

From turbulent to bliss…

What started as a turbulent marriage has turned out to be an amazing journey with my soul mate. It took some work from both of us but it was and still is worth it.

Come and find out how we did it as Duane and I speak at a public conference presented by the Learning Disabilities Association of Quebec or LDAQ Montreal Chapter 1.

Surviving Your ADHD Couple: When One Has It and the Other Doesn’t

Wednesday, February 25th at 7:30 pm

at the Hôpital Montreal Children’s Hospital

Amphitheatre D-182, 2300 Tupper in Montreal

(two steps from the Atwater Metro)

P.S. Invite your spouse with you

The LDAQ appreciates a small contribution to help defray meeting and photocopying expenses.


Break Free of Your “Sorry, No Money” Chains!

In my parents’ generation, talking about money was taboo.  I’ve been very open about the serious financial problems Duane and I had, because we both know how not talking about it only made the problem worse.  For a long time, Duane and I put our heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away.  But we had to face it, to talk about it and to take action.

Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit it we had money problems.  It’s probably something you’d like to think would just disappear if you ignore it too.  But our financial problems taught us that they don’t go away by themselves.  You have to take positive steps to overcome the problem.  Our experience also taught us that there is a solution.

In all the years Duane and I struggled financially, we searched for and tried many ways to overcome this major source of fighting in our family.  We bought books, put ourselves on strict budgets and spent hoursà often every day, just trying to deal with our financial misfortune.  We had to collect empty bottles to turn in for the refund just to buy groceries.  Using a budget, we’d make some headway but felt so deprived that at some point we couldn’t handle it anymore and we’d go on binge and fall off the wagon.

We also felt guilty!  Every time our kids would ask to go to special school or church outing, we’d have to say “Sorry sweetheart, but there’s no money!”  We even turned down programs that would help us work through our financial difficulties, saying “Sorry, no money!”  When the investment opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, we’d reluctantly say “Sorry, no money!”

Years of following the same pattern, depriving ourselves, followed by binging, and feeling guilty about it, we realized that spending every waking moment of our lives worrying and thinking about our lack of money did not bring us closer to our goals, and certainly wasn’t helping us lead the life we’d imagined.

Finally, we decided to take a different approach to managing our finances.  Instead of the “binging and dieting” approach of splurging and budgeting, we decided to change our money lifestyle.  We faced our limiting beliefs around money and shifted them.  (It’s amazing how changing your thoughts really can change your life!)  Finally, we made small but significant changes to the way we managed our financial health.  Before long, we were able to stop spending all our time thinking about money because the situation was fixing itself automatically.

If you’re tired of having to say “Sorry, no money!” and you’d like to learn to manage your finances more successfully, join us on ADHD Money Management: Finally Dollars and Sense group coaching program ( that starts on Monday, February 9th at 8:30 pm. Don’t wait, space is limited!

Manage your Finances Without a Budget

Most personal finance gurus insist that to take charge of your financial health, you need to create and stick to a budget.  For most creative geniuses, especially those with ADHD, a budget is BOOORINGGGGG and so all but impossible.

Because even if you believe a budget is essential, you’re not likely to be able to prepare one, or follow it… remember, it’s boooringggg!  Boring things don’t stimulate your brain.  Trying to focus on tasks such as preparing a budget when you’re brain isn’t stimulated is about as easy as driving your car around the block when you can’t get the engine started.

No wonder creative geniuses, with or without ADHD, suffer financially far more than the “neurotypical” population.  But you’re not doomed to financial hardship, bankruptcy or a retirement age of 97!  You just need a different, non-budgeting, approach to managing your financial health… an approach that isn’t boring.  (No, not gambling!)

What worked for Duane and me – and believe me, if it worked for us, it can work for anyone – was to stop trying to manage our money the traditional way (and failing miserably!) and adopt ADHD-friendly ways to organize our finances.  It all started with a three-step process:

1. We took our financial pulse – it wasn’t pretty, but knew how deep a hole we were in (and it was deep!)
2. We figured out where we wanted to be by deciding what was important to us, and what really wasn’t.
3. We started looking for money “hidden in the sofa cushions.”  No, not really, but by being aware of the money our poor choices were robbing from us, we were able to start getting out of debt (instead of getting in deeper every month!) using the money we were already earning!

Already, I was thrilled, and that was just the beginning!  In a couple of days I’ll tell you how we went from having 17 maxed out credit cards, no savings and an old rusted car that we owed five thousand dollars on, to being debt-free (except for a small reasonable mortgage), with a nice home, retirement savings.  On top of that, we purchased a new car for cash, and this spring we’re going on a one-month vacation to Italy this year.


ADHD Systems for Money Management Help You Prosper

Good intentions aren’t enough. ADHD money management systems, on the other hand, can help you prepare now for a better tomorrow. Smart (and ultimately successful) people use systems to increase productivity, improve efficiency and to save their sanity. One of the ADHD side effects I always look for is poor money management.

You have ambitions, a vision for your future and important goals. Your dreams might include owning your own home, buying a revenue property, retiring early or starting your own business. These dreams all demand money, probably more than you have right now.

Of course, you’ll need to make some choices, prioritize your objectives and define exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, but once you do that, you’ll need more than good intentions to make your dreams come true.

Successful adults with ADHD will tell you that the key to success is not relying on your own abilities to get things done. The real secret is using your abilities to set up systems. ADHD systems for money management are particularly powerful. These systems take over the mundane, repetitive tasks you are unable to do (and that would be a waste of your intelligence, creativity and energy.)

The most common money management and retirement planning solutions used by adults with ADHD include:

  • doing nothing (spending every penny you make just to get by and not putting any money away for a rainy day falls into this category), hoping you’ll either win the lottery or be able to move in with your kids when you retire.
  • using credit cards, “easy” payment plans and debt consolidation to keep digging a deeper hole you plan to “magically” get out of when you finally strike it rich.
  • relying on someone else (your spouse is usually stuck with this task, although if you’re single, this option is usually replaced by one of the first two.)
  • swearing that this year will be better, you vow to prepare a budget, pay yourself at least 10% of your income first, plan for your taxes by making smart investments, charitable donations and wise business moves (this plan typically lasts until the credit card bills come in and you revert back to one of the previous three options.)

There is no magic solution for having enough money to make your dreams come true. While you are young, working and earning, you must save money for the future. One of the most common symptoms of ADHD in adults is lower earnings and poor financial “health.” That’s because promises, intentions and hopes won’t cut it. ADHD money management systems, however, can enable you to have a very successful financial future.

In fact, do it right and this is one of those occasions where ADHD works to your advantage. Every personal finance guru will tell you to set yourself up for “automatic” success by using systems to save and manage your money. They know systems work much better than relying on discipline or good intentions, and your ADHD habit of relying on systems to handle things you cannot or don’t want to puts you ahead of the game. All you need to do is set those ADHD money management systems properly.

If money management is presenting a special challenge for you, you may want to consider ADHD coaching to ensure you’re working with someone who can help you set up systems that will meet your special ADHD needs. ADHD Money Management Coaching programs can help you put the right ADHD money management systems in place while you maintain control over your financial future.  ADHD-Friendly Money Management: Finally, Dollars and Sense Group Coaching program starts on February 9th. Act now!

Adult ADHD : From Curse to Gift

I keep reading discussions around the question of whether ADHD is a curse or a gift. Most ADHDers are divided on this. As an ADHD Coach, spouse and mother of ADHDers, I have seen ADHD in both ends of the spectrum.

On one hand my ADHD adults struggle to keep their jobs, keep a happy marriage, stay financially afloat. Many are overwhelmed, distracted, disorganized and have self-esteem issues. When you find yourself stuck in the negative aspects of ADHD, it’s understandable that you could see it as a curse.

On the other hand, others who see it as a gift usually excel in their jobs, or create a business they’re passionate about, keep the spice in their relationships, and are financially in control, to name a few. They tend to have a more positive outlook on life.

What’s the gap between these two realities? How do you close it?

The difference is that those who thrive with adult ADHD stay open to change and invest in improving their lives. They use their assets, such as their strengths, talents, energy, out-of-the-box thinking and risk-taking abilities and adopt ADHD-friendly ways to live. They change what they can and accept what they can’t.

Want to close the gap?

Join me for Get Your Year in Gear for ADHD Adults, a free teleclass, tonight, Monday, January 19th at 8 pm ET. We’ll discuss how you can close the gap. Register at

3 Secrets of Good ADHD Money Management

ADHD money management is a paradox. The first thing financial experts say is never let anyone else have control of your money. The next thing they say is that you need to follow a strict budget, avoid impulsive spending and save for the future.

As an adult with ADHD, you know that is a recipe for disaster. After all, they are asking you to:

  • pay attention to the details of a budget,
  • consistently micro-manage your finances to get out of debt,
  • eliminate impulsivity in your spending,
  • planfor the future,
  • organize all your bills and receipts,
  • and so on…

It flies in the face of the very challenges ADHD adults face. Just think about how most ADHD adults see money management.

Typical ADHD Money Management

Budgets are so boring! Most people don’t use them, let alone ADHD-ers. Getting out of debt is the slow drip of water torture, unless you’re planning on winning the lottery! (Not an effective plan, by the way.) Eliminating impulsivity in something that’s as much fun as spending money? Forget it! Oh, and plan for the future? When there is only “now” and “not now,” you’re not going to put money you could spend NOW for sometime that is NOT NOW! Sound familiar?

Harv Ecker, the well-known author of “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,” and a popular speaker on the subject of personal finances tells people that if you count on getting rich enough to have someone else take care of your money, you won’t make it. He explains that you won’t get rich if you don’t learn to manage your money, and you won’t stay rich if you let someone else take control of your money.

For adults with ADHD money management is so difficult that many (I’d even guess most) ADHDers never learn how to do it effectively. Studies show that on average ADHDers earn $10,000 less per year than non-ADHD-ers, and if you have trouble earning it, you’ll also having trouble keeping it. It doesn’t have to be that way though.

There are many ADHD-ers at the top of their game who excel in their careers, earning far above the average person with a comparable background. They’ve learned to work with their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. Your challenge is to become one of them, and it is possible, but it won’t happen by itself.

Learning ADHD Money Management

Where can you learn ADHD strategies for money management? Personal financial management is rarely taught in schools, so unless you’ve sought out extra education, you’re following the only financial model you’ve seen. You manage your money just like your parents. If your parents are excellent financial managers, if they are wealthy and are living the life style you dream of living in the future, good for you. However, if your parents aren’t living the life you want, it’s time to change your approach.

You can learn personal money management through books, seminars and classes. Unfortunately, even when they teach personal money management, nothing is said about ADHD money management, and without specific ADHD strategies, you might never get out of debt let alone build your savings. In traditional approaches, the first step to getting a handle on your finances is to “prepare a budget,” and as you know, those words will make almost any ADHD adult shudder in fear.

Keys to ADHD Money Management

While you can’t learn all about ADHD money management in one article (see here to learn more), to get your financial affairs in order, apply these three ADHD strategies. The three keys to ADHD money management are:

  1. Pay yourself first. You must save for the future. At some point, your income may be interrupted. You may need or want to stop working, and if you have no source of income, you’ll need to survive on what you’ve saved for a rainy day. Your first priority must be to save up for that umbrella! If anyone counsels you to pay all your bills and put the rest into savings, run away! You already know there’s never any left to go into savings.
  2. Make everything automatic. While you don’t want to delegate responsibility for your personal finances, you can make the decisions about your ADHD money management strategies and then set up systems to operate according to your wishes. When you drive a car, you decide to speed up and step on the gas. The car responds to your bidding, but it doesn’t demand that you get out and push it yourself. When you automate your payments, with Internet banking and other systems, you set the strategy so you’re not giving up control, but the system compensates for your ADHD challenges. You’ll save on late fees and interest charges by never forgetting a payment, and you’ll protect your credit rating too.
  3. Use what’s left over for whatever you want. If you’re saving for the future and paying all your bills, any money that’s left is yours to play with! It’s now safe to be impulsive if you want. Even if you spend every penny left over, your financial success strategy is still executing perfectly. You can spend it all, or save for a big purchase like a dream vacation.

Life’s Better with ADHD Money Management

While traditional approaches to managing personal finances may give you a headache, once you get an ADHD money management strategy established and the systems set up to make sure it’s executed as planned, things get really interesting. You see, once you stop concentrating on mundane tasks like paying bills, you can turn your attention to earning money. ADHD-ers actually have a good chance of outperforming the general population in terms of personal prosperity. Once you focus your energies on getting the most out of your strengths. Typically, an ADHD-er who chooses a career that plays to his or her strengths will excel far beyond the average person.


If you’d like to receive more details about ADHD money management and how you can improve your life by putting the right ADHD strategies into play, than can fit in this article, just enroll in this free ecourse at You’ll receive your first email immediately and you can get started on improving your financial future today.

Make Reaching Goals Inevitable!

goal-settingAre you having difficulty reaching goals? Around this time of year, New Year’s Resolutions usually fall by the wayside. The average New Year’s Resolution only lasts 17 days, so what makes reaching goals so hard? It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a New Year’s Resolution or the goals we set the rest of the year. They’re all hard work, often too hard!

Experts debate over the precise wording of goals, as if that would make it easier to quit smoking, lose weight or spend more time with your kids. No, the secret to reaching goals has nothing to do with the wording of your goals, or even which goals you choose.

The Secret to Reaching Goals is…

Clarity. Yes, the secret to reaching goals is clarity, but I not clarity in how you write them. Thomas J. Leonard, founder of CoachU and the father of personal coaching said, you need clarity in three distinct areas:

Commitment vs. Striving

First, you must decide, once and for all, if you are committed, or if you are striving. Striving, of course, is hard work. If you are fully committed, however, you no longer need to strive. Striving requires that you push yourself. Commitment doesn’t require nearly the effort once you’ve made the decision. Most smokers will tell you that “trying to quit” doesn’t work. The day you commit, however, reaching goals becomes much easier. The day you become a non-smoker, success becomes inevitable. 

Vision vs. Pipe-Dream

Second, you need to distinguish between a vision and a pipe-dream. Your vision is an inevitable result based on facts. A pipe-dream is a hope or a wish based mostly on desire. My husband, who has ADHD, was seriously overweight and warned by his doctor to lose weight or suffer serious health consequences. Diets had never worked. He only lost the weight, and kept it off, when he was able to transform his own vision of himself and his life. When he saw himself, not as a fat person struggling to lose weight, but as a thin person, behaving as a thin person would, the pounds melted away. After all, if he behaved as a thin person, because that was the way he saw himself, it was inevitable that he would lose the weight.

Present vs. Future

Third, you must live in the present, not in the future. Live your life right today and reaching goals will happen automatically. Do you live in the future? Do you say things like, “Once this project is delivered, I’ll take a few days off to spend with the kids”? Of course, the next project follows right on the heels of this one, and before you know it, your kids couldn’t pick you out of a police lineup. Want to spend more time with your kids? Start today. Cut your meeting short. Go home and spend that 15 minutes talking with your kids about their day. They don’t need a few days at some fictitious time in the future. They need a few minutes today, and tomorrow, and every day.

It’s really that simple. Get clear on those three things and reaching goals becomes inevitable. Stop trying, and make a real commitment. Clarify your vision until you can really see yourself succeeding. And finally, make it happen today. Don’t wait for the planets to align or a miracle to happen. Take one small step today, then another tomorrow. Before you know it, you’ll be setting and reaching goals with hardly a struggle.

Time to Celebrate… You

celebrate**With so many of us busy all year, the holidays allow us to wind down a bit and to hopefully take time to appreciate our loved ones. As the holidays get underway, your time and energy are probably focused on celebrating with your families.

An invitation

I’d like to invite to take some time to celebrate something else… your achievements this year. Every year end I take stock of what I’ve accomplished. Many adults with ADHD take little or no time to celebrate their accomplishments for two reasons:

  1. Once a project is completed, they set their sights on the next one, completely forgetting what they’ve managed to do.
  2. Many ADHDers don’t think that what they’ve achieved merits celebration because they feel that if they managed to get it done, it must be very easy to do, so their is no reason to celebrate.

I disagree. First, any project that you complete, despite our crazy busy lives is an accomplishment. In addition, when you take time to review your year you can better identify what you’ve learned as you accomplished them and you can use these successes as springboards for future projects.

Taking stock

If you’ve never done this before, here’s how you can get started:
Go back in your agenda and identify the different projects you’ve worked on. Write them down in your journal. Then answer the following questions: 

  • What did it take for me to complete this?
  • What have I learned in the process?
  • What have I learned about myself?
  • How can I use this in future projects?

Then celebrate with yourself. Be grateful for the opportunity and for the resources you were given to achieve these. Better still, celebrate with others.

So what achievement will you celebrate? Feel free to post them here. We’d love to celebrate with you.

Every Journey Starts With a Single Step: Layered Learning


learning, baby steps, adhd adults, beat procrastinationWhile each of us has dreams and ambitions, it’s only those of us who really try to achieve our goals who will ever accomplish them. For those with adult ADHD, with unique brain wiring and experiences, the feat of achieving a goal is sometimes over before it even begins. ADHD adults are so used to being singled out; being told “you did it wrong”, that they develop a fear of even trying. Thus ADHD adults often feel that if they are going to try something new, they have to be an expert, before they can even begin. They get into analysis paralysis or perfectionism, which most often leads them to give up before even taking that first step.

Take a first step even before you know everything there is about what you are trying to achieve. If instead of waiting until you are an expert, you took a first baby step, you would find that in the action you took there was something you learned, even if that action wasn’t successful. Take losing weight for example. You don’t necessarily need to plan your menu for the next month, calculate the number of calories you’re eating, or join a gym. All you need is to identify one single step you know you could take that could take you in the right direction.

You might consider walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or getting off a stop earlier to walk to work. You might select a lower-calorie version of one staple in your diet, like switching to a lower calorie margarine or salad dressing. Once you make that change and it becomes comfortable, you add a new baby step, like filling up on water instead of on junk food between meals. Baby steps are more comfortable to make and allow you to adjust accordingly. If you find that you don’t like the new margarine you chose, try another one until you find something that you can live with.

Imagine if, as babies, you decided not to attempt to walk until you knew for sure that you could get up and walk without falling. You never would have built the courage, muscles and balance you needed to walk. Learning is about taking a series of baby steps. From getting up, to falling, to standing up while holding onto a table, to standing without help, to taking your first steps and eventually running; every one of these actions provided learning and allowed you to adjust so that next time you could do better.

If for every big dream or goal you wanted to achieve, you decided to take a first manageable step before you had learned everything there was, you’d be more likely to move forward and learn something in the process. Yes, there are chances that the first step you take will lead to failure, but I’d like to challenge you to see failures as learning experiences. Ask yourself each time you think you’ve failed, “what have I learned from this experience?” and “how can I use what I learned to take future steps?” Shift your beliefs around mistakes and consider that each one is a learning experience that brings you closer to your goal. And remember the ancient Japanese proverb that says that The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step.

Who’s on for this challenge? What is your goal? What first baby step will you take towards it?

Effects of Positive Attitude on ADHD


adhd adult,positive attitudeAs an ADHD Coach, I know the powerful effect of positive attitude on ADHD clients. When my clients have a more positive attitude and live in more positive environments they tend to achieve more at a much faster rate than my clients who tend to ruminate or who are surrounded by very negative people. A session I attented at the International Coach Federation conference that united 1400 coaches from 26 countries around the world to learn, network, and be inspired.
Your thoughts affect others

However, Mr. Worth demonstrated that people around us have positive or negative effects on our energy, when he whispered to a woman on stage to think hateful and negative throughts about another woman on the other end of the stage.

When the first subject had negative thougths about the second woman, not only did her magnetic field disappear, but so did that of the object of the negative thougths.

On the other hand, when the first subject had thoughts that were highly positive about the other person, both she and the object of her thoughts saw their magnetic fields grow beyond their original neutral fields.

Anyone who know me, knows that I am a very down-to-earth person who is not easily convinced by all things esoterical. However, what I witnessed was quite convincing. It got me thinking about the repercussions of our thoughts, and particularly the effects of a positive attitude on ADHD clients, who often live very negative experiences.

The implications of positive attitude on ADHD

  1. When you choose to see the positive things in life, you emit a larger magnetic field, which tends to attract more people;
  2. Conversely, when you choose to spend your energy on negative thougths, reliving negative situations, not only does your energy drop, so does your attractiveness;
  3. Who you choose in your circle of friends and those closest to you have an impact on your own energy levels, unless you become adept at building a shield to protect yourself against negative thoughts.

What can you do to attract positive things in your life

Of course, there are things you can do to improve your energy and your level of attractiveness:

  1. Use a gratitude journal – spend time each day reflecting on and writing down at least 3 things you are grateful for today.
  2. Choose to feed your optimism by:
    • Focusing on what pleases you immensely;
    • Focusing on solutions rather and problems;
    • Distributing happiness
    • Focusing on growth
    • Taking time to celebrate
  3. Kill your negative thoughts by
    • Being aware of and controlling your internal dialogue
    • Neutralizing negative moments

Of course, the effect of the size of our magnetic fields is not all together clear; however, it makes sense that having a greater magnetic field attracts more positive in our lives.

 We emit a magnetic field

One session I found very revealing helped explain the effect of positive attitude on our own energy levels. Christian Worth, a coach from France, demonstrated with dowsing rods how each of us emits an energy field. This makes sense as our bodies use electricity fueled by chemical reactions in our cells to live, more, think. And where there is electricity, there is a magnetic field created.The magnetic field we emit various at around 3 to 5 feet in radius when we are in a “neutral thougth pattern”, that is neither thinking positively nor negatively.