It sounds like family life brings you a lot of joy. It’s never perfect and it does take work but by and large your closest family relationships - partner, kids, parents, siblings - are in the right place. You’ve worked out how to get along and it makes life easier. Not many people can say that so this is really something to celebrate.
It sounds like family life isn’t so bad. You muddle by and manage to keep everything on the rails. There are laughs and in the better moments you allow yourself a little satisfaction. Though it could definitely be better. You’d really like to be a calmer, more easy-going parent (if only the kids would give you a break), it would help to have things under more control, and seriously, when are you going to feel less tired? We can help. This simple mindset shift will make a huge difference in how you feel about family life.
Family: Not in the slightest
It’s not a total disaster but the truth is that family life is just so much harder than you ever imagined it would be. On paper you’ve got everything you wanted. But you’re not the patient, understanding parent you thought you would be. Quite the opposite.
You thought family life would be fun. You imagined lots of laughter, gently nurturing little minds as you helped them explore an exciting world. You envisaged working as a team to get through the hard parts and getting closer as a result. But just getting through the day without screaming is all you can manage and you feel like you’re driving everyone apart.
And you’ve tried it all. Parenting books, meal plans, date nights - anything to try to get onto a better footing. Some of it even works for a bit. But you always end up in the same place. Tired, triggered, angry and sad. You even wonder whether you’re just not cut out for this. It makes you want to weep.
The good news is, you’re not messing this up. In fact, feeling so desperate about this shows that you’ve got what it takes to get this sorted. It’s just that you’re putting all of your efforts into the wrong place - trying to control things that you simply can’t. Learning to let go of the things that you cannot control - what other people do - and focusing on the thing that is entirely under your control - how you think about that - is the game changer that is going to transform your family life.
Let’s get started...
Health: Yup, I’ve got this
Our physical and mental health isn’t entirely in our control. But you’ve recognised that you can still do a lot to optimise your health and have built into your life the habits and behaviours that support a healthy mind and a health body. You’ll be reaping the benefits for a long time to come so keep it up.
Our physical and mental health isn’t entirely in our control but there‘s a lot we can do to optimise our health. That can be hard when we have such ingrained beliefs about our bodies. With some [fine tuning] you could be enjoying a healthier body and a healthier mind.
Health: Hell no!
You can’t help asking yourself why, if you’re so smart, you can’t stick to the promises you make to yourself to be kinder to your mind and body.
From eating more intentionally to spending less time on social media, you know what you should be doing to invest now in your physical and mental health. You just can’t ever seem to turn that knowledge into regular, reliable behaviour that sticks. It’s an endless cycle of setting goals, missing them, and beating yourself up.
It’s time to stop. Because you're doing exactly what you should do, given what your brain is telling you. Which means if you change the information available to your brain, you can change what you do in response. And then that healthier approach to life becomes a walk in the park.
Money: Sure do
When it comes to your finances, you’ve got this under control. Sure, we could always have more, but you know that that’s not the secret to being on a sound financial footing. Good work!
When it comes to your finances, you get by. The bills get paid and you might even be paying down some debt. But it’s not exactly easy. And there never quite seems to be enough, especially when it comes to putting some away for the future.
To take your financial control to the next level, it’s about more than budgeting. You need to fundamentally change how you think about money.
Money: Hell no
When it comes to your finances, you just prefer not to think about it. It’s the lack of control that’s the worst - no matter what you do your bank account empties out (you sometimes wonder whether someone else is taking money out) and you get deeper into debt. It’s terrifying to think about where it’s going to end up, so you don’t try, just hoping something will change.
And it’s going to. Because [this] is the step you can take to fundamentally change how you are with money.
Your job has meaning and purpose, making it easy to head into work each day. You’re working your passion and it feels good. Passions and purpose can change but for now, work is where it needs to be. This is one area that you don’t need to focus on.
Work: So so
Work is good - it ticks most of the boxes. But you do wonder if it might be time to look for a new job or even dream about a bigger change. If you’re unsure whether changing it up could be right for you, read this:
Work: Not one little bit!
Getting out of bed and into work is a daily struggle. It feels pointless and without purpose and if you’re honest you feel like you’re wasting your life. You used to be inspired by working hard, getting promoted and earning more money. But now you want more - you want to feel like you’re making a difference, that you’re passionate about what you do and that it has real meaning. But this job gives you none of that.
You’re constantly thinking about what else you could do - a new job, a total career change, working for yourself, or even stopping working altogether. But you don’t know where to start, not least because you’ve got a mortgage to pay and starting again just doesn’t seem like an option. You feel totally stuck in a rut and don’t know how to get out of it.
The good news is that you’re approaching this challenge in the wrong way, and with a simple change, it can all fall into place - giving you incredibly clarity about what you should be doing to really be fulfilled professionally.
Home: I have
Having a home that meets your needs dramatically increases your chances of feeling content. By conceiving of your home as enough - big enough, comfortable enough, filled with enough of what you need to live your life - you’re avoiding the natural human tendency to always want more and thereby allowing yourself to be happy. It’s a powerful way to live. Well done.
Objectively you can’t complain about your home - you’re a lot better off than many. But it could better. More space, a new kitchen or that sofa you’ve had your eye on would make the world of difference.
Except those are out of reach right now, and even if you got them, there would be something else. Because when you’re focussed on something making you happy in the future, it’s really hard to ever be happy with what you’ve got right here in the present. Working on being content with what you’ve got is a much quicker way to happiness. Sound easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be.
Home: Not at all
Seems like your home is not the sanctuary it should be. In fact, just walking through the door raises your stress levels. Too small, too expensive, too messy. You name it.
And it makes family life harder. Everyone on edge all the time because of it. You’ve moved furniture around, bought new storage, painted walls but nothing really changes. You long for a home that fits your needs and that you can be proud of. And that perfect home could be more achievable than you think. These three simple steps can get you there.
Sounds like when it comes to friends, they’ve got your back. You know who to turn to, and importantly they’re always there when you need them to be. With friendships that nourish and sustain you, rather than draining and dragging you down you, life is a whole lot easier.
Sounds like you’ve got some good friends out there, but maybe not as many as you once had, or you’re not as close as you were. Life gets in the way - people move, have kids, get busy and before you know it, it’s been months since you got together.
You know if you really needed someone, they’d be there, but that regular catch-up, the chance to decompress, isn’t there any more and life feels worse for it. And the friends you do have are nice people, but you sometimes wonder if you’d actively choose to be friends if life hadn’t thrown you together. It might be time to think about whether to rebuild some closer friendships.
Friends: No way
Sounds like when it comes to friends, there’s a hole in your life.
Little support when you need it most, no one who knows and accepts you for who you are, no confidante who you can rely on to just listen, without judging or looking down. Whether you’ve lost touch with the real friends of old, or replaced them with the kind of friends that you think you should have, you find yourself adrift without the support and understanding you need. You just want to be able to tell someone how you really feel. To cry without feeling uncomfortable. To laugh and be silly, like you used to. It might be time to take a long hard look at your friendships and ask ‘are these relationships serving me?’
Personal: All under control
When it comes to personal and professional development, you’ve got a plan and a clear set of goals and you’re moving forward. You’ve always been someone with a vision of where you want to get to and you know how to turn that into action. If you’re a real personal development pro, you keep those goals under review, changing tack to move round obstacles and stretching the goal when you can.
When it comes to your personal and professional development you probably have some ideas about what needs to change, you might even have gone so far as to make some resolutions, looked at courses or done some research. But you can’t really claim to have a plan, and you certainly aren’t taking sustained action every week to move you closer to those goals.
The secret to taking action is to get really clear on what you need to do. And here’s the simple way to do that.
Personal: Sadly not
When it comes to your personal and professional development, you’d love to have some! But that would mean knowing which direction you wanted to develop in. And you just don’t. Uninspired, stuck in a rut, unsure where to go, it’s all you can do to drag yourself through the day, let alone think about where you might want to be in future.
As a result you feel like you haven’t moved forward personally or professionally for months or even years.
In fact, now you think about it, you’re not even sure what it means. Training? Promotion? Being a better person?
But there is some who knows. Who has absolute clarity on what you need to do right now to be the better version of you, and to build your better life. And it only takes a minute to find out.
Romance: Yes, yes, yes
Looks like you thank your lucky stars every day for how much you’ve lucked out. So many of your friends are struggling in their relationships, but you’re doing really well. You get along, work as a team, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s not always easy and you have to work at it, but that’s the secret - you don’t take each other for granted and you work at your relationship - making time for each other, listening, working stuff through. It’s great to see.
You can’t complain. You certainly have friends who are a lot worse off. You’re basically on the same page with your partner, share some interests, have some spark. The good times are still good, it’s just they’re fewer, and further between.
But it’s not as much fun as it was. And it feels like it should be easier than this. You do wonder from time to time how much more you’ve got in you. You’re both so tired all the time that there’s not a lot of romance left. Though you surprise yourselves sometimes and then it’s back to where it should be. You’d just like to understand how to be there consistently. Here’s how:
As far as your relationship is concerned, things are pretty much at rock bottom. You agree on nothing, bicker and fight all the time, and hold each other responsible for most of what is wrong. In fact, you don’t really like each other very much. You’ve almost given up trying with each other and it feels like there’s only one way this is going to end.
And if nothing changes, then that’s going to be true. But things can change, if you want them to. [Blog - the mindset change that could save your relationship]Or maybe you’re unhappily single already. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. And now going it alone, and really not loving it. It’s just not how you thought you’d be spending this part of your life. Single-parenting, struggling for money, back to dating again.
But you know what?
There is another way to look at this:
Fun: I do
You live, you laugh, you have a good time. You’ve worked out what brings you joy and you go after it, making sure that you do the things that you love. It’s a great way to live.
Fun? You know how to have fun. And you do it. Sometimes. Just maybe not as much as you should. And maybe it’s not as much fun as it used to be. Some more fun would be good.
Here’s how to build more fun into your everyday life.
Fun: Remind me what fun is!
You think you used to have fun, maybe in your twenties, certainly before you had kids, but it’s been a long time. You never go out anymore, are exhausted when you do, and spend the whole time thinking about when you can go to bed. And there’s not a lot of fun in the daily grind - you’re just grateful if you can get through it all without major arguments or disasters. Sure fun sounds nice, but you really don’t have the time, energy, or probably even the inclination any more. And in truth, now you think about it, you’re not really sure what you would find fun now you’re a grown-up. That’s depressing to think about. You’ve lost the ability to have fun. What does that say about life?
But fun doesn’t have to be a big night out. Or doing something crazy. Here’s how to build fun back into your everyday life.