10/25/2013 11:18 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2013

The Secret of People Who Find Balance Better Than Anyone Else

As a friend of mine once put it, "You don't need to get sick to start seeing a therapist." 

I was reminded of this the other week, when I was chatting with a friend of a friend who had just returned from her family vacation. Before her trip, she had told me that she was interested in having some support with managing her workload so that everything didn't feel like an emergency.

However, when she returned from her trip, she told me, "I have been so focused on the kids and all their needs that I really haven't put much thought into managing time. Everything seems to be good and I don't feel overworked as I did before Hawaii."

This statement bothered me for several reasons.

While I believe that its important to enjoy life while things "feel fine," I also believe that it's the best time to reconnect with your personal goals. In this state, you have better energy levels and the time to focus on exploring and locating the deeper causes of what got you into trouble in the first place.

And, there is a difference between "feeling better" and "getting better." 

"Feeling fine" can sometimes be a mind trap. Most people believe that if they feel fine, they are fine. There's nothing to understand, nothing to send some loving attention to. The truth is, thinking you are "fine" can lead to a false sense of security if there are poor time management or stress management habits that have not yet been addressed. And if this foundation is left unchecked, the mirage of feeling fine can go away very quickly.

The point is, when things are good, that's when you have the best energy to focus on you. By the time that you're sick or stressed, it may be too late to begin addressing any underlying issues. But you can nip sickness and stress in the bud way before it manifests in your body and how you interact with others.

And to do this, we need to make it a habit to dedicate the times we feel "fine" to focusing on areas that need some loving attention.

Whether its focusing on eating better, having a more loving relationship with yourself or making time to do all those things you wanted to try but put aside because you had other pressing priorities, balance is a habit, through all times, whether you feel fine or not. Balance is also a choice you can make every day, even when things feel fine for now.

The key to finding balance is to make conscious decisions every day that align with the balance you want to feel, whether you feel fine or not. You can begin by defining what balance means to you. What is this week about for you? How much time do you need to feel fully present for you and for the people in your life? 

You can make a choice today. Why wait until your life becomes an emergency to make that decision to get better?

Catherine Chen, Ph.D., is a speaker and Health Coach who believes that you are important, no matter what you achieve. She works with high-octane professionals to have way more fun and balanced health and lifestyle while being great on the job. If you enjoyed this article, sign up for tips every other week on finding balance at

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.