Remember life before kids? I don’t either, but I think I thought I was so busy — Isn’t that funny?
If you are a working parent, trying to do all the things, feeling overwhelmed, or desperate to move beyond survival mode, this is for you.
As a life and business coach with an arsenal of clarity-building exercises, I’ve outlined two very effective approaches below.
In the first, we flash forward five years and capture the details. How old is Mom? Dad? The kids? The dog? The grandparents? The house? Anchoring your timeline is important because it creates a sense of urgency.
It’s one thing to struggle with (let’s say your weight) for five years when you’re single or dabble in (let’s say your career) for a decade before kids; it’s another to be an overweight, underpaid stressball from the time your kids are five until they turn 15. It imprints a certain world view on them, doesn’t it?
After we’ve locked in timing and commitment, we analyze emotions. I’m not that interested in what my clients want to achieve in five years, at least not in this exercise, because most people wildly over or underestimate what they can accomplish.
I want to know how my clients feel, what emotions come up as they imagine their futures, but also, how they anticipate or hope they’ll feel five years from now. It’s always revealing. From those insights, we know what we’re working toward and how far we have to go.
In the second exercise, we examine balance now. Instead of time-hopping, we focus on immediately challenging a belief that undermines daily progress: Lawyers have a low quality of life. Teachers never make money. Business travel is terrible for my health.
We draw a line in the sand to make today the day they let go of overwhelm and take ownership. Yes, it’s that simple. No, it’s not a one and done. It’s iterative, but a decision like that can set you free.
Think of it this way: Being a parent is a full-time job. Having a job is a full-time job. Running a business, managing a household, being a spouse, maintaining your wellbeing — yep, you guessed it, all full-time jobs.
Adulting is relentless, isn’t it? If you pick any of the roles that matter most and look too far out at your goals, imagining what it will take to achieve them, of course, you just want to curl up and cry — especially if you sprinkle expectations on top.
We can remove that intensity by addressing the obvious — Balance doesn’t have to be something to work toward or achieve someday. You can claim your power right now by reminding yourself of how much agency you have.
You chose this life, these roles, and the responsibilities that came with them. You get to decide what to keep, what to let go, what to believe, what to challenge, what to appreciate, what to change.
Balance isn’t an end-goal; it’s a way of life. It’s feeling good, going with the flow, having faith, feeling confidence and contentment, now.
“I wanted this,” “I dreamt of this,” “I’m so lucky,” “Isn’t it incredible?” “This is my life!” — those are empowering statements, not rallying cries or hopeful prayers. Owning what you’ve created gives your permission to do life your way.
Balance doesn’t happen when we learn how. It’s not a process, a step-by-step formula, or a destination. It’s not delegation, time management, or prioritization — those are productivity hacks, and you are so much more than what you produce.
Your life is more significant than your to-do list; you are more than your achievements. Declare how you want to experience life, then claim your authority to make it happen, and keep making choices that support that vision.