Make This Your Best Year With 8 Mom-Approved Tips from a Life Coach

Make This Your Best Year With 8 Mom-Approved Tips from a Life Coach

Ready to make this year your best yet? Start here.

By Heather Chaet

Confession time: I have a life coach. It’s a little odd to say that, since I never really had a coach of any kind before – I didn’t play too many sports growing up. But participating in this big ol’ game called Life is another matter.

That’s why I’m so thankful that Amy Bloustine entered my life. She’s part coach, part cheerleader, part sister, part therapist, part organizer, part business-savvy mentor, part all-knowing guru of all things. Yeah, that’s a lot of parts, but when you add them up, you get one amazing person trained to help you be the best you you can be.

I asked if she could share a trick to help moms make this year the best one ever. “Just one?” she replied with a small grin. Oh man, did I hit the motherlode of fabulous, totally realistic tips we should try to truly rock our 2016. Read on and see how you can improve your sleep, stop feeling overwhelmed, and even just smile more by adopting a few of Amy’s Life Tweaks.

1. Shift your language to feel less rushed. We are moms. By definition, our days are jam-packed. Think about when you’re talking to someone and you hear yourself say, “I’m so busy!” Your heart starts beating a little faster and you feel the stress building, right? Bloustine says one small change in what you say can affect how you feel about your busy schedule. “Stop saying, ‘I don’t have time for XYZ,’” she suggests. “Instead, use the phrase, ‘It’s not a priority.’” With this minor wording change, you reclaim some power over the hours in your day, which can have a big effect on how you feel.

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2. Get off social media, or at least spend less time on it. We’re all a little guilty of using precious minutes sharing status updates (probably about how busy we are) and browsing friends’ pictures. The antidote is simple, says Bloustine. “Instead of posting on [those sites] that you don’t have enough time to get everything done during the day, get off[line],” says Bloustine. “You might be amazed at how much time you actually have to get stuff done if you weren’t [posting].” Bloustine doesn’t suggest quitting cold turkey, though, just setting some limits for yourself, like checking in once at the beginning and end of the day, rather than browsing constantly throughout the day on your phone (yeah, I’m totally guilty of that!).

3. Speaking of smartphones, don’t take yours into the bathroom. Again, something I’m guilty of doing more often than not. Bloustine says to embrace this alone time and take a break from the constant connectedness – to kids, to work, to emails, to everything – by leaving that little device outside of the bathroom. “Don’t take your phone into the bathroom. First, it’s kind of gross and you might drop it in the toilet and that would really be bad,” says Bloustine. “But really, you’re allowed to have this time for yourself, so take advantage of it.”

4. Get more sleep. We read about this hint all the time, but Bloustine emphasizes that it’s not simply about getting more shuteye, but also changing what you do before you crawl into bed. “Try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier a night,” she says. “But if you can, stop checking emails or texts an hour or so before you go to bed.” Something else she tells her clients to do before heading off to dreamland: “Mentally put your day away,” she says. “At the end of the day, think about what you accomplished, keeping your thoughts positive about the day.” Doing this one simple mental task can make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep. Bonus Mom Tip: This is a great trick to try as part of a bedtime routine for kids that have a harder time going to sleep.

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5. Try to say “No” more. “It’s OK to say ‘No,’” says Bloustine. “Nobody will be mad at you, and nobody will stop being your friend.” Even if you resist the urge to say “Yes” just a few times, saying “No” and placing a higher value on your time and energy is essential for maintaining your mom sanity. “You will have more time to do some of the things that you really want to do,” my coach often reminds me.

6. Make that to-do list specific -- and then tackle it. A mom’s to-do list is a constant, annoying companion, especially if it’s full of vague directives. “When you make your to-do list, be as specific as possible for each task,” says Bloustine. “For example, instead of writing down ‘Go to the bank,’ write it down with more intention and get more specific, such as, ‘Go to the bank -- deposit checks on 1/23/16.’” According to Bloustine, the surefire way to actually cross things off your list is to not try to do all of the tasks in one day. “After making your master, super-specific to-do list, pick two or three things a day that you have to get done. Period. That’s it. If you’re able to get more done, great, but just focus on those two or three items.” I’ve used this tip, folks, and it works!

7. Ask for help, but remember to be specific here, too. Let’s say you really want your husband to organize the garage this weekend. Don’t just ask him to do it with a passing, “Hey, can you clean the garage?” Why not? Because two months from now, when it isn’t done and you’re annoyed and a lovely, um, discussion occurs, you will realize if you had just told him when you wanted it done, it probably would have been done. “When you want to ask someone for something, get as specific as possible with your ask and assign a timeframe around it,” says Bloustine. “They will know what you are asking for and when you need [it], and it won’t be a guessing game.”

8. Repeat the phrase, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” often. During almost every session, Bloustine and I talk about how we are surrounded by so many people, all of whom – just like us – have things they are struggling with and trying to figure out. Sure, you want to be a good friend and a reliable support to loved ones, but be sure to not let their problems become your own. “Stop owning other people’s stuff,” Bloustine advises. “It’s not yours, so don’t worry about it. You have enough to do and worry about.”

Which of these tips do you think will make the biggest difference for you?

Heather Chaet documents her mini parenting successes, epic mommy fails, and everything in between for a plethora (love that word!) of publications and websites such as CafeMom, New York Family, and AdWeek. While her online persona is found at, Heather lives in New York City with her film director husband and one insanely curious, cat-obsessed daughter.

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