How Do You Know When You’re Done (With Your ADHD or Life Coach)? Part 1

A question I often get asked here at Mind Coach NOLA by people curious about ADHD or executive function coaching is: “How do you know when you’re done?” In my experience, it usually takes at least three months to retrain the brain and develop the skills to experience and feel success. The final goal is achieving happiness, balance and fulfillment. But how do you measure that?

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This is my checklist for my "innovator brain"-type clients:

1. You can tell they are happy, experiencing success and using their new strategies on a regular basis.  

She calls on time and is all smiles, bursting with energy and eagerness to share her accomplishments. She sends me pictures, screenshots or tells me about how her reminder system is working, how her self motivation system is working, how her planning and organization systems are working. She reports good grades, a promotion, landing a big client, etc.

2. Their outlook is positive and the skills have become daily habits.

All negative words and expressions of self doubt have disappeared from her vocabulary. She confidently talks about her skills and talents: "Look at how good I am at planning meetings now!" "I can organize the entire event!" "I can easily finish on time and then reward myself during my break!" "I will decline because it doesn’t fit in my schedule or meet my needs. That will keep me on track to finish my project!"

3. They no longer need a coach to hold them accountable because they fulfill their own promises to themselves and report their successes without being asked.

She texts me her grades as they come in, with a positive comment: "I got an A on the chem test. I’m so glad I started studying early and saw the teacher for extra help."

She emails me an anecdote about overcoming temptation: "I wanted to stay longer at the party last night but I didn’t, and ran my best time in the race this morning!"

She happily shares reaching a goal: "I officially launched my album today!"

4. They are in control of their destiny.

She no longer plays the victim of her diagnosis or outside forces. She sets goals, creates action plans, and follows through with confidence, determination and a sense of humor.

How do I know when a client is “done,” whether we're working together long-distance or IRL, here in New Orleans? It's when I get that bittersweet feeling in my gut. I’m so happy and proud because I know she’s nailed it and she’s good to go. But I’m so sad to see her go.