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As a business expert, I spend a lot of time talking about metrics, financials, operations, customers, marketing, and more.

I was recently a guest on the She Makes Podcast (thank you, Katy and Taylor, for having me!). During the interview, I shared my 6 steps for setting business goals.

While those steps are helpful, I’ve learned over the past few years that I must consider my life as a WHOLE before doing anything else. Taking the time to pause and look at the overall picture, especially before a new year starts, is key. Because when we don’t consider what makes us happy outside of our business, our time management suffers.

If you’re thinking, “wait, I should be happy? I should consider myself?” the answer is YES!

Getting Out of Hustle and Grind Mode

So many retail business owners open stores for flexibility and freedom, but all too often, that gets replaced with the hustle and grind. Our businesses tend to consume our whole lives, which makes us feel out of alignment. 

Recently, I was feeling out of alignment. I put too much on my plate in November and early December, which made me feel exhausted. I wasn’t taking care of myself; I wasn’t moving my body by getting daily exercise, which affected my mood and mindset. 

I know that a better me (and a better me for my family) means taking care of myself first, but I’m far from perfect. I let things slip and lose focus, too! It’s especially easy for me to do this during a busy season like Q4.

I had to get back to me in the week leading up to Christmas. That meant, at the minimum, getting to the gym or getting on my treadmill at home (shoutout to my hubby for helping me get there!).

Doing something as simple as getting my sweat on can seriously do wonders for me! I KNOW THIS. And the times I let that go, it’s apparent because I feel off. I’m mentioning this so you see this happens to everyone, including me. 

A Quick Exercise for Reviewing Your Life as a Whole

Heading into 2023, I want you to reflect on what will make a better and happier YOU.  Yes, YOU.

So let’s get back into alignment for 2023 by starting with your life as a whole rather than your business. You can pop in your name and email below to grab my one-page worksheet for this 15-minute exercise. 

Once you’ve gotten your copy above, feel free to print it out or import it into your digital note-taking app on your tablet. 

You’ll see three categories: What I’m Doing Well, What I Can Improve, and Goals. And there are six life areas: Family, Friends, Business, Body, Mental Health, and Spirituality.

Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and ask yourself the following for each of the six life areas:

1) What am I doing well?

2) What can I improve?

3) What is my 2023 goal for this area of my life?

Here are some examples from my answers:

Family: I want to spend more time with my immediate family, so for Christmas, I gifted my siblings with gift cards to a restaurant for dinner. But the caveat is I want to MEET them for dinner! 

Friends: I want to vacation with girlfriends on a beach! I NEVER do this, so this is in the works with a friend who is a travel agent coordinating the plans.

Body: MORE sweating for me! Maybe even race training!

This exercise is meant to get you to reflect on your life. Avoid overthinking, overanalyzing your responses, or getting bogged down in the HOW while answering these questions.

Aligning Our Businesses With Our Lives

Of course, I want you to work on your business and set business goals. But more importantly, I want you to be ALIGNED heading into 2023. 

Think of a car with tires that are out of alignment. The ride can be pretty shaky, right? To make the ride smoother, you take the car to a mechanic to align the tires.

Another good analogy is spinal alignment. There’s discomfort, maybe a pinched nerve, or some other back issues. You go to a doctor or a chiropractor to get back into alignment.

Well, consider this exercise your mechanic or doctor’s appointment. 

We’re often SO focused on building a “successful” business that it’s the ONLY thing we focus on. Everything else gets tossed to the side. Also, we live in FEAR. We’re so afraid our businesses will fail if we pay any bit of attention to ourselves.

But this isn’t true! If anything, the complete opposite is true.

So my challenge to you with this exercise for the new year is this: focus on YOU first. Doing this life check-in BEFORE you fill 2023 with business goals will help you put your happiness above everything else.



  • [10:31] Getting Out of Hustle and Grind Mode
  • [13:15] A Quick Exercise for Reviewing Your Life as a Whole
  • [17:33] Aligning Our Businesses With Our Lives

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for validating that we all can get overwhelmed and face burnout (even the people who seem like they have it all together). This is a great exercise to check in with ourselves as we are ending 2022 and moving into 2023!

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