Finding a balance between the demands of your daily fast-paced routine and self-care can be a persistent challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, teacher, mom, corporate climber, or retired from the rat race, this elusive target always seems just out of reach.

So how can we nurture our wellbeing while also pursuing our dreams without burning out?

We often chew on this topic around my virtual water cooler, because we know that the answer to this question allows us to create the conditions for holistic success. So how can we tell the difference between what really counts and what ends up being a distraction—or what I call a shiny object? You know, those things that seduce us into dropping important life plans and joining a rock band. Stuff that seems ah-mazing at the time but ends up pulling you away from your health routine, spiritual practice, and financial wellbeing (while adding crows feet and belly fat).

When it comes to shiny objects, people are like barracuda. We get mesmerized by the sparkly, swirly stuff.
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Have you ever seen those spooky fish underwater? I have. In fact, back in 1980, I was the youngest kid to be certified as a scuba diver in New York State. I remember my dad telling me not to wear jewelry because barracuda would try to eat me. They don’t care if it’s a hoop earring or a hook at the end of the lure; they just want to chomp the twinkle. Needless to say, I tinkled in the ocean the first time I dove through a school of those toothy fish.

Shiny objects can also feel close but not quite right, maybe even forced. They leave me wondering: What’s the benefit for me after I give my time and energy? Opportunities are core to my mission, they feel like a near perfect fit, and I can easily identify rewards that are in line with my goals and values. Opportunities feel exciting and expansive.

So how do we prioritize what truly matters?

While our lives are filled with countless opportunities, every commitment we make brings us one step closer or further away from our dreams. Some quickly propel us forward. Others stop us in our tracks. The good news is that no matter what we choose, we always get the chance to grow. Our triumphs teach us and so do our challenges. That said, I’d sure as heck love to limit the so-called setbacks as much as possible!

Be brutally honest with yourself. When you think about the potential shiny object in your life, does it light you up like a Christmas tree? Can you see yourself committing to it for the long haul? Or is it an escape from something else—something far more important? For example, the second I get a book deal, I can’t wait to renovate or buy some new, useless gismo that requires a thousand hours of training. I’ve wasted my time with shiny object business deals, men, health experiments, fitness routines, and so on. By the way, I’m usually more attracted to disco lights when I’m bored or impatient. Sound familiar?

Two ways to overcome a shiny object affliction.

One: Get clear about your core values.

I love how my friend Danielle LaPorte talks about creating goals with soul. Excavate how you want to feel in your skin, heart, and career, and then act accordingly. Reverse engineer it from that space. Feelings first. Outcomes second. Ultimate alignment. Check!

Two: Walk. Pray. Sleep. Never say yes right away, even if you’re 100% sure.

Best to take a walk, talk it over with the chipmunks, pray about it, and sleep on it. Personally, I also don’t ask for too many outside opinions until my gut has had a chance to weigh in. After all, my intuition knows best (and so does yours). Many times, my answer looks something like this: Good, but the timing is off. So I put a pin in it and stick with my regularly scheduled program! And if the opportunity isn’t a fit, it’s a no thank you, my dance card is full.

I’ll be honest, I have to be very mindful about committing to the practice I’m sharing with you. If I’m not careful, I can easily regress into a people-pleasing “yes” Pez dispenser, who periodically loses her mind and agrees to everything—especially around the holidays! Do you know what I mean? Have you ever felt an absolute “no-way-Jose” in your bones, and just as you’re about to politely decline an offer, your brain gets possessed by a boundary-eating zombie who moans, “yesss, yessss, yessss!”

Join me. Put your energy towards the experiences that make you exhale. The universe is extremely generous. We will never miss out because there’s always another chance headed our way.

I talk about this exact topic in my new program, The Spotlight Crash Course.

Are you ready to ditch the shiny objects in your business? Because I know so many of you have missions and messages that you’d love to share with a wider audience, I’m offering 25% off until December 20th. This course gives invaluable guidance so that you can focus on what matters most: Your vision. Check it out, plus you’ll also get 3 free audio preview trainings.


Peace, barracudas & zombie hunters,

Kris Carr

Kris Carr is a multi-week New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and health advocate. Kris is the subject and director of the documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, which aired on TLC and The Oprah Winfrey Network, and the author of the award-winning Crazy Sexy Cancer book series. Her latest books, Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen, will change the way you live, love, and eat! Kris inspires countless people to take charge of their health and happiness by adopting a plant-passionate diet, improving lifestyle practices, and learning to live and love like you really mean it. Her motto: Make juice not war! To learn more and join the Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution, check out Kris’ website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.