Self-Sabotage 101


When my coaching clients fail to get started or complete a goal they have set for themselves I often ask, “What got in your way?” The most popular answer is, “I don’t know.” I don’t know either but I have a hunch that it is often the basic components of self  care that trips them up.

If you feel that you are in a rut and constantly spinning your wheels and set goals but have a hard time following through, you are not alone. Keeping your attention on what you want to accomplish is difficult for everybody but even more difficult for people with ADHD.

Take a look at some of the common causes of self sabotage and make some adjustments so that you create a physical state of being that supports you as you move toward your goals.

Whether you have ADHD or not, if you are tired, hungry or thirsty it’s harder to get things done.


You are not getting enough sleep and have poor sleep hygiene.

Figure out how much sleep you need to feel rested and adjust your bedtime.

Try setting an alarm to remind you to get ready for bed.

Trying to work when you’re exhausted is hard.


You don’t have regular mealtimes and you are eating food that is unhealthy.

Schedule regular mealtimes in your planner and set a reminder to eat.

Just as you put gas in a car to make it go you need to put food into your body to keep yourself going.


By the time you feel thirsty you are dehydrated. Dehydration leads to lack of

focus and the symptoms are similar to ADHD.

Drink water whenever you take a break. Keep a large container of water

where you can see it as a visual reminder.

You may find that when your sleep, diet and hydration improve so does  your ability to focus and get things done.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: or email Kathy at

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