I had a conversation with my client "Linda" the other day. She was in "crisis mode" and very upset with herself. She set a goal for herself the day before to be on time for everything, all day long.

She woke up early, and left for work early. She made it to all her meetings on time. Although it was really difficult, she left work on time, and she even managed to make it to her evening doctor's appointment on time.

However, she got caught up on the phone with her sister later that night, and the next thing she knew, she was running behind schedule! She was 10 minutes late beginning her bedtime routine of journaling and washing up, and she was 5 minutes late to bed.
Linda was mad at herself. She had done so much hard work throughout the day to be on time, and then she carelessly lost track of time and ruined her "perfectly on-time day."

I know Linda very well, as I've been coaching her a long time. I couldn't help but giggle at the end of Linda's story because it was so familiar. "Linda, do you know what you just did?" I asked.

At that point, she giggled, too. "Yes, I guess I just realized it," she answered. "I held myself to unrealistic expectations, and I didn't give myself credit for the successes."

Bingo! There were so many successes in Linda's day! And yet she was choosing to focus on the one thing that didn't go as planned.

"And what happens when you hold yourself to unrealistic expectations?" I asked.

"I get really mad at myself for not being perfect," she answered sheepishly.

"And what happens when you try to be "perfect"?" I continued.

"I get annoyed. I throw my hands in the air and give up. I don't end up giving myself credit for what I did right." She knew where this was going.

"And what happens when you don't give yourself credit for what you did right?" I pursued.

"I waste my time beating myself up over stupid things instead of building on my successes!" Linda knew this stuff, she just needed to be reminded, as we all do sometimes.

"You know," she offered. "When I step back and think about it, I did an amazing job yesterday. I almost never get to work on time, and yet I did. I'm always the one running into meetings late and disheveled, and yet I was there in my seat with my pen and paper out for both my meetings! And I didn't have to apologize to my doctor for being late and holding him up.

"So what that I went to bed 5 minutes late!" she continued. "I did a damn good job, and I need to remember that instead of beating myself up for every little thing!"

We all need to remember that.

So how do you measure success when it comes to managing ADD? In small pieces. Acknowledge everything you do right.

You'll notice that when you do, your mood improves, your motivation increases, and you have more opportunities to sharpen your skills and reach higher levels.

Make life all about success.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Koretsky is a Professional ADD Management Coach who helps adults manage their ADD and move forward in life. She encourages clients to increase self-awareness, focus on strengths and talents, and create realistic action plans. She offers a 90-day intensive skill-building program, workshops, and private coaching. Her work has been featured in numerous media, including The New York Times Magazine and The Times (UK). To subscribe to Jennifer’s free email newsletter, The ADD Management Guide, please visit http://www.addmanagement.com/e-newsletter.htm