You have all the tools you need to manage your 168: self-reflection, avoiding surprises and the brick wall (and knowing what to do when you encounter them), building new habits, and becoming more planful. Now it's time to bring these tools together and in real time. This is where things get interesting and challenging.

It's like when you first learn a dance step. Going through the moves slowly, it doesn't seem that hard—left, right, left, turn. Then they put the music at tempo and you can't figure out where you are. That always happens to me when I take part in a Western line dance. As soon as the music starts, I'm the guy facing the wrong way, and there is an army of dancers marching toward me. (Julie has to come to my rescue, turning me in the right direction.) Or it's like when a football coach marks out a play with xs and os for where the players are supposed to move. But when the ball is snapped, suddenly what looked so simple on the coach's diagram becomes very real—and four huge defensive linemen are ready to mow you down.

And so it is with life balance. You're trying to become more planful, but new priorities keep popping up—as well as many distractions. You are trying to build new habits, but that takes so much energy when you're overwhelmed. Welcome to life!

In this chapter, we're going to go deeper into life balance in real time, amid all the pressures and unexpected things that can potentially derail us if we're not self-reflective ...

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