Too many of us live such busy and stressful lives nowadays. So much so that stress continues to climb as one of the primary causes of many of our most serious health concerns. Our lives quite literally resemble a Three Ring Circus, complete with Get the Kids to School and Yourself to Work on Time High-wire Balancing Act, Pull the Money Out of a Hat Magic Trick, and the I'm So Stressed I Feel I Could Explode out of a Cannon Clown. Now don't get me wrong, the circus is fun, highly entertaining even, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out where to put your energy and attention. Well, if you want to become the Ring Master of your life, then I invite you to follow these straightforward steps.


  1. Big-Picture Goals: Ask yourself what you value most in life and set big-picture goals in these areas.
  • Separate your life into big-picture categories. For example - Family, Career, Partnership/Marriage, Yourself
  • Then think of what big-picture goals you would like to achieve in those categories. For example - Partnership/Marriage: "I would like to have a nurturing, loving partnership" or Yourself: "I would like to feel heathy and physically fit."
  • Action/Activity Building Blocks: Decide what actions or activities you can do that will help you reach your big-picture goals.
    • Decide on actions that are doable within a fixed and pre-determined time period. For example - Partnership/Marriage: "I would like to have a nurturing, loving partnership." Action - Have 'date night' once a week.
    • Only choose a couple actions in each category - remember this is to make us more productive and balanced, not more busy and stressed.
  • Support Structure: Let people know what you're up to and ask for their support.
    • Share with your family and friends both your big-picture life goals and the individual actions you have decided to take to reach those goals.
    • Ask your family and friends to join you in doing those activities and reaching those goals. For example - Yourself: "I would like to feel healthy and physically fit." Action - Take a 1/2 hour walk 4 times a week. Support - Ask a friend to walk with you, that way you get some exercise and a chance to catch up on the latest news.
  • Clearing Space: Make room in your life for your big-picture goals.
    • Reduce your "to do" list by 10% - do this by crossing off those items which don't contribute towards your big-picture goals and aren't essential tasks for the running of your work and non-work life.
    • Reduce your schedule by 10% a week - do this by consciously deciding if the activity you're thinking of scheduling supports your big-picture goals. If the activity does not support these goals then consider not scheduling it and instead making time for an activity that does contribute towards the big-picture goals you want to achieve.

    Follow these steps and you'll be the Master of your own Three Ring Circus.

    Author's Bio: 

    Kirsten Mahoney is a certified Life Balance Coach and founder of Insight Out Life Coaching who enjoys speaking nationally, live and on television, on the subjects of life balance and stress management. As a Life Balance Coach, Kirsten combines her natural curiosity and compassion with her expertise and knowledge to empower individuals to live more balanced, less stressful lives. Her approach incorporates one-on-one coaching, workshops and presentations, as well as designing and implementing corporate wellness programs. Her clients include Clif Bar, Wells Fargo, Facebook, Rotary International, San Francisco Small Business Association and Cisco.

    Kirsten is also author of Insights, an international monthly publication on Life Balance.

    Prior to becoming a Life Balance Coach, Kirsten performed as Director of Operations for non-profit and for profit organizations where she traveled internationally to present workshops and provide trainings.

    Kirsten has worked and studied on five continents and has traveled throughout thirty-five countries. Much of her understanding of people and the life balance choices they make has been informed by her diverse traveling experiences.

    Kirsten has earned a BA in Sociology from Tulane University and University College Dublin, Ireland, an MA in Education from San Francisco State University and Massey University, New Zealand and a Professional Coaching Certification through the International Coaching Federation accredited program at New Ventures West.

    For more information please visit Insight Out Life Coaching.