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April 22, 2020 34 mins

Best-selling author Romi Neustadt insists You Can Have it All...Just Not at the Same Damn Time. She says the key is ensuring that our goals are

serving our priorities, and never the other way around. Real success comes with letting our authentic selves lead the way, according to this entrepreneur

on a mission to help other women stop confusing having it all with doing it all. @RomiNeustadt.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Part of why we procrastinate is because we're afraid to
do the hard stuff. And it's the hard stuff that
actually moves the needle in our lives no matter what
we do, no matter what our background is or whether
we have a high powered career or not. Welcome to

(00:32):
the road to Somewhere where we talk about exploration, adventure,
major life change, and transformation. It's all about not necessarily
knowing where we're going, but having faith that the journey
will be worthwhile. I'm Lisa Oz and I am Jill Herzig,
and I think you know, one of the things we
talk about when we're here is how to find direction?

(00:53):
Which way should we go? When all the cards are
thrown up in the air? What do you do? And
it's kind of interesting. I feel like a theme that's
been emerging is about focusing, like really being able to
focus to answer some of those questions. Has that been
coming up for you a lot? Uh No? But I

(01:16):
struggle with focus, So I mean that's really one of
my big issues. So maybe that's why I'm missing focusing
on focus. Well, I struggle with it too, But I
feel like there are a lot of voices coming to
us through this podcast saying what you really need is
just to take a minute and be able to focus.

(01:36):
And I don't know. I'm hoping today is gonna well,
I was both really sure our guest today is going
to help with that. She's the best selling author and
entrepreneur business coach, and she has a new book out
called You Can Have It All, just not at the
same damn time. Roman News Sad, thank you so much
for being with us today. I am absolutely thrilled to

(01:58):
be with you. You brought up focus. Can you help
us with focus? It's something it's really something I drew
from from your book and I and now I think
I'm hearing it everywhere because because you're so focused on focus,
talk to us about it. Absolutely. So that's one of
the biggest problems, especially for women. We don't know where

(02:21):
to focus and are trying to be everything and do everything,
please everyone look great while we're doing our endless to
do lists and and trying to just do these unrealistic expectations.
It's keeping us from focusing on what's really important in

(02:43):
our lives and what's important in my life. It's totally
different than what's important in your life. But if we're
not stopping the madness of trying to do it all.
We're never gonna get to what really matters in our lives,
and they're gonna go by too fast and we'll never

(03:03):
get to it. What a shame that is. Is there
a technique you have for determining what you should be
focusing on on what is important to you versus me? Yes?
And I had to come to this because I was
living a life that was running me instead of me
running my life. I found myself with a fast growing

(03:26):
career and to fast growing kids and a marriage I
wanted to nurture, and a self I wanted to nurture
and all these other responsibilities. And I didn't know what
the hell to focus on because I was just trying
to keep from drowning every day. And how did that
What kind of impact did that have on how you

(03:49):
were feeling, how you were feeling physically and emotionally. So
I was feeling completely exhausted and stressed, and I'm not
gonna lie. I was walking around a hell of a
lot less patient, bitchy, and I and I felt like
a failure because I had set up for myself this

(04:10):
life of unrealistic expectations and there's no way I could
hit it. And I had a breakdown. What what what happened?
Tell us what happened? So I got to the point
when everything should have been fantastic. I at all the
things I thought I wanted in my life, all the
boxes checked, but I didn't have time to enjoy it,

(04:33):
and I didn't have the energy to enjoy it, and
I didn't have the peace of mind to be present
in every moment. And I went to my husband John
one day and said, I can't do this anymore. I'm
not enjoying my life. And what a shame because I've
worked so hard to build this. Can I just ask you,

(04:53):
was he surprised? You know, he was not surprised. I'm
I'm very lucky that I'm married to a extremely attentive
in tune guy who happens to be a doctor, and
he he was observing what was going on. Um, we
have a very close relationship, and he could see me

(05:14):
drowning and and like with many folks, he tried to help.
But until I got to the point where I said enough,
there wasn't a damn thing he could say that was
going to change things. Right. What was the first thing
you did to give yourself like a life preserver? What
was how did you stop from drowning? I ran away

(05:35):
from home. Now that sounds dramatic, but but I said
to John, I need a few days. I have got
to hold myself off in a hotel room and figured
this out. I need quiet, I need to be uninterrupted,
and I have to find some solutions. I need to

(05:56):
check in with me again and again. I'm really grateful
that he said, yes, go And that was one of
the greatest gifts I've ever given myself. So you you
checked yourself into a hotel. Yeah, yes, so. And and
please understand, I'm not saying that if if any of
your listeners find themselves in this situation, that they have

(06:19):
to go check themselves and all. What did you do
in the hotels? Not like you sat around, ordered room
service all day and watched pay per view. I assume
that's what I do, Ennar, not that there's anything wrong
with that, but this particular purpose, I was armed with
my laptop and a bunch of books and a journal

(06:40):
and focused on figuring out, Okay, let's just get quiet
and let's start exploring. And I happened upon this, this
concept of the one word. I don't know if you've
heard about it, but but this was seven years ago,
and back then, this one word crazy at the beginning

(07:00):
of a new year hadn't even gotten traction. You know,
there were no wash or bracelets or you know, cool
segments on the Today Show. But I really was captivated
by this idea of establishing one word that could encapsulate
everything you wanted for the coming year. And when I
ran away from home, it was in December, and I

(07:23):
loved this idea of being able to focus on this
one concept. So sitting in that hotel room, I declared
that my word for the coming year was going to
be balanced, because I so desperately craved it, and and

(07:43):
that was an important first step. So then from there
it was clear to me that one word in and
of itself and declaring it wasn't going to be the
panacea that I needed. So I kept reading and I
kept thinking and searching, and I had such a huge epiphany.

(08:05):
First of all, I was forty two years old, and
not once in my entire life had I ever stopped
to figure out what my priorities were. And in fact,
my entire adult life, I had been confusing priorities and goals. See,
I thought every time I set a goal, and I
was a goal oriented chick, always have been that I

(08:29):
was saying what's important in my life. But there are
two very different things. And once I started learning the
difference between the two, and right then and there, for
the first time declaring what my priorities were, it started
to change everything. So to priorities replace goals, or you

(08:49):
have both, but they guide you differently. So you have
both and and this is so important, and it rocked
my world. So priorities are the things in our life
right now, present day that are non negotiable to you.
For example, for me, a priority in my life that
is non negotiable is that I make healthy choices every day.

(09:14):
And you say it in the present tense. Goals, however,
are something in the future that you're working toward that
you haven't yet attained, but it's important enough to you
to put your time and effort and energy toward it. Now,
here's what's really important about the relationship of the two.

(09:36):
If your goals aren't serving your priorities, that's when you
feel out of whack and scattered and overwhelmed. And even
if you attain those goals, you're going to feel unfulfilled
because you're not serving the things that you really want
in life. And it dawned on me. I hadn't been

(09:59):
doing that. So when we come back, I would love
it if you would share how you do get our
goals to be in alignment with our priorities. Before the break,

(10:19):
we started talking about getting our priorities in alignment, or
even becoming aware of the fact that priorities are not
necessarily goals, and um, I was wondering if you could
give us some specific techniques because this is hard. It's
a confusing thing for a lot of us. We don't
walk around with a mission statement like we're a corporation,
So what advice would you have for us before trying

(10:41):
to get our lives in alignment? It is hard, and frankly,
I think that's one of the reasons why I had
never done it before. At forty two, I don't think
we take the time to actually sit quiet, quietly and
think about what is is important to us. Not what

(11:02):
are the things that I think people are expecting me
to do or the things I should be doing, but
what is it that I want and to recognize that
it's not about achieving a certain something in the future.
So if I can take you back to that hotel room,

(11:22):
when I was sitting there and and trying to get
in touch again with what the hell I want in
my life to look like, I came up with two
to three things that were completely non negotiable for my
life right then. And that's the question that you need
to ask yourself. And I'm a big believer you can't
do more than two or three big things at once.

(11:45):
We're just We're not wonder woman. So I asked myself,
all right, what what do I want my life to
stand for? And first and foremost I knew that I
had to be a healthy human. So again the priority
of I make healthy choices every day, because I think

(12:06):
all of us can agree it. We are not taking
the time for our physical and emotional and mental well being,
everything else is gonna go to pot And so that
was the first one. Then the next priority that was
super important to me were these most important people in

(12:27):
my life. So the non negotiable priority around them, again
said in the present tense, was I am an active
participant in the lives of my husband and my children.
And at that point I wasn't feeling like I was.
And then the third priority for me, because I was

(12:48):
madly in love with my career and my fast growing business,
was I help women design the lives they really want
because that's what I may able to do in my business.
And so armed with those those priorities, those non negotiables,

(13:09):
that was my first step in saying, Okay, these are
the things I'm going to focus on. And as I
look ahead for the year and the goals I want
to set, they have to serve those priorities and not
anything else. I think a lot of people often get
it the other way around. They think, if this is
my goal, then I must shift my priorities and de

(13:32):
prioritize certain things in order to pursue it single mindedly.
That's just what it takes. And and even more than that,
and this is what I did my entire life was
we're using the two terms synonymously. These are my goals,
so they must be my priorities. It's it's they thought,

(13:52):
you know, I thought it was interchangeable, but it's not.
So how did your goals change? Then? I mean, what goals?
What goals did you put to the side, and what
goals did you push to the center because of this
new sort of rearrangement, this new relationship of priorities driving goals,
not the other way around. So what was really fascinating

(14:14):
about this is I recognized that I was setting too
many goals, and once I knew what my priorities were,
it was very easy to say no to certain goals.
For example, with regard to health um and making healthy choices,
I had had a longstanding goal of being a certain

(14:35):
weight and a certain size. But when I recognized that
my true priority was about making healthy choices, it was
about the health, it wasn't about the size or the
number on the scale, then I was able to let
go for the very first time that year of weight goals.

(14:59):
Feel like I can hear are a thousand listeners exhaling
for the first time in decades out there. You know,
it dawned on me again. I we say, maybe you
can relate, but I'm married to a doctor who is
all about health. But I wasn't focusing on health and
was b assing myself into thinking I was. And so

(15:22):
that was just a huge relief, absolute relief. With work,
when I was really focused on helping women design the
lives they really want. All the other things that I
had set for goals that weren't serving that got redline

(15:44):
because that wasn't what was important to me, and I
was doing them either because of the destructive comparison game
or because of ego. And once I let go of that,
I could set goals that were so focused on moving
the needle for the women that I get to serve,

(16:05):
and I was able to impact a lot more change
with them. What do you do when you're priorities? When
you have priorities and different areas of your life, and
then the goals are in competition because time is finite,
it is a limited resource. Maybe you one of your

(16:26):
goals is to serve women with the you know in
the most effective and productive way possible and entails being
a CEO of a major corporation, and because of that,
your personal health or your family suffers. How do you
if you have priorities that are in different areas, how
do you decide which because you say you can have

(16:49):
it all but not at the same time, how do
you split up those goals and and prioritize the priorities?
So I think we all, if we're being true to ourselves,
We're going to find priorities that are in different areas
and they could seemingly be in conflict, but I figured

(17:09):
out over the last seven years that they're not really
in conflict, and that we actually have time to serve
our two to three priorities at any one time if
we're not trying to do everything else. So what I
had to learn to do, and what I love to
teach other women to do, is relentlessly edit your life.

(17:31):
So that's where the focus comes in. Yes, and and this.
So the important first step is figuring out what your
priorities are and the goals that serve them. That gives
you your road map to know, Okay, I'm gonna spend
my time serving these things and I'm gonna let go
of everything else. But then we've got to get really

(17:52):
clear on where we're spending our time. And too many
of us have no idea where our time goes. And
so I walked myself through an exercise to do it.
I do this every quarter. I teach other women to
do it, and it is jaw dropping when you finally

(18:14):
realize where all your time is going and how much
of it isn't serving the stuff that you say is
important to you, And my jumping mind is constantly adding
things to a mental to do list and none of
them seem negotiable to me. But what you're saying is
that I need to change my orientation towards that list,

(18:35):
and I need to change that list. Well absolutely, If
if there's something on your to do list that isn't
serving one of your priorities or your goals, then you
have to ask yourself why am I doing this? So
there's there's this exercise that I do and I'm happy

(18:58):
to walk you through it, and I think it I
think it could really help you with that figuring out. Okay,
which things do I let? Okay, bring it on, I'm ready. Okay,
So over the next week, I want you to write
down every single thing you do in your life and
how long you spend doing it, like a lawyer billing hours.

(19:20):
Just go out like at that chart, and I mean
everything right down, all of it. And it's kind of
like an eating lock, you know, when you're trying to
take out what you're sticking in your piehole. But if
you're not accurate, or if you modify your behavior because
you know you're tracking yourself, well that's not going to
help you, so you have to be honest. And then
from there you categorize every single thing that's on the list.

(19:46):
So everything that's serving your priorities gets a P, everything
that's serving your goals gets a G. Everything that you
must do gets an M. And the must do things
are things like personal hygiene, going to the bathroom. I said,

(20:07):
you write down everything eating, okay, and then you're going
to have things on your on your list that you
do that you think you should be doing for various reasons,
and that gets an S. And the things that you
think you have to do, they're expected of you, and

(20:29):
that gets an H. Alright, So what I figured out
for myself and what I've seen with thousands of other women,
it's the shoulds and the hates, the h the should
and the hate. I'm sorry I said have before, but
it's it's age for hate because the shoulds and the hates. Okay,

(20:51):
that's where the time suck is coming. That is diverting
us from spending our time serve our priorities and goals.
And so I bet if you did this, Jill, and
that mental to do list you're constantly adding, I would
be so interested to know how many of those things

(21:13):
are actually hates and should because I know my life
was full of them. And once you figure out, okay,
within that what things do I delegate and what things
do I delete? That's when you find the time for
the things you really want. When we come back, we

(21:35):
were going to talk more about those things that we
really want. Before the break, we were talking with the
room just about making time for the things we really want,
and before we move into like making this really granular

(21:58):
and applicable to everybody, just not super powerhouses like you
wrote me, but the average woman. I just want to
add one more thing that probably doesn't come into Jill's timeline,
but may come into a lot of people like myself,
where we there, there's another thing. It's not something we
should or want or have to do. It's procrastination. It's

(22:23):
doing stuff that you don't want to do and you
just do to avoid doing other things. So you actually
overcame procrastination. So if you could just help those of
us who haven't figured it out yet, just really quickly. Absolutely, So.
Part of why we procrastinate is because we're afraid to
do the hard stuff, and it's the hard stuff that

(22:46):
actually moves the needle in our lives, no matter what
we do, no matter what our background is or whether
we have a high powered career or not. And by
getting rid of all of the things that aren't serving
our priorities that we're declaring are important to us in life.
If they're not on our to do list in the

(23:06):
first place, then we aren't going to procrastinate with them.
They're not there to do it. I Instagram though, like
people scroll through Instagram. That's not on your to do
list for anyone, Well it's not. And and what I found,
and this was happening with myself, is that a lot

(23:27):
of us are going through that endless scroll hole of
social media as a form of relaxation. It's it's numbing, right.
We know that biochemically it gives us a shot of
of those good chemicals that that just calm us down,
but we're not actually getting the benefits we need from it.

(23:50):
What we need to be doing instead is making the
time for true healthy activities like going for walks or
doing yoga, or are taking the time to have just
quiet breathing or meditation if you're into that. But we
often say, well, I don't have the time for those things.

(24:10):
Yet when you do that week long intake of everywhere
you're spending your time and how long you're taking it,
you will see how much social media scrolling you're doing
and see instead, wait a minute, I got twenty minutes here,
I could go for a speed walk in the sunshine
and clear my head. So okay. So your book is

(24:33):
called how to Have It All. You can have it all,
just not at the same end time. But when I
was reading it, I kept feeling like what it What
it was really telling me is having it all is
not doing it all, Like we're trying to do everything everything.
I mean, one of the things you talked about in

(24:55):
the book that really resonated with me all that my
kids are older, is when you're the mom of younger kids.
And I don't know if this falls and the dad's
so much, but particularly if you are the mom of
younger kids, there's this whole second shift of work that
you are kind of expected to do. And I used
to put it on myself incredibly heavily, like I need

(25:17):
to you know, I need to show up and go
on several class trips, and I need to be the
person I need. For some reason, I decided I needed
to be class mom. One year turned out to be
the year that was like the most insane for me
from a job perspective. Nearly blew my brains out from
it and also did a really bad job. I was
a really terrible class mom. And you know, I mean,

(25:39):
I kind of loved that. There's very permission giving your bucket.
It really says you can't do all that stuff. You
just can't, so say no to a lot of it
and tell people sorry, I just can't do it. But
that's so hard, it's hard to even get those words out.
So I'm on a mission to give women permits shin

(26:01):
to stop doing it all. Because here's the thing. I'm
living proof. You can have it all. Whatever you're all
looks like, but you sure as hell can't have it
if you're trying to do it all. Now, all those
things that you've listed jail that I need, I need.
What you're actually saying is I should. Well, they were

(26:25):
shooting all over the place, and we as women need
to stop it. But I think a lot of that
comes from being insecure about what we really want in life.
We are just immersed in comparing ourselves and this culture

(26:47):
of insta perfection isn't helping us at all. But we
need to get really clear on who we are, who
we're not, and what's important to us and learn to
say no without apology, without fear of being judged. I
have to be honest with you. I'm like you. I'm

(27:08):
not the class mom. I love the class moms. I
love them. I have so much respect for them. And
I love the women who do it because it is
serving one of their priorities. It does not serve one
of mine. And I recognize that I would do a

(27:30):
half ass job of it, and those kids and that
teacher deserve someone who can really give it the attention
that it that it warrants. And so I had to
learn how to say no to all those things, whether
it's what did you do with the guilt, because sometimes
it's other women or other people who will respond to

(27:52):
your resistance by saying, oh, come on, you can do it,
or well, so and so so and so man is
to you know, bring homemade homemade cake to the big sell.
People can be spiky, they absolutely can. And and actually
I write about certain stories and in my book that
personally happened to me. What was a game changer for

(28:17):
me was that once I got clear on what was
important to me, and I was going to stop living
according to other people's notions of what I should be doing.
Once I got really comfortable and and grounded in what

(28:37):
my life was going to stand for. When I would
get an eye roll or a snarky comment, I recognized,
like the book the Four Agreements, the first agreement where
it's it's clear it's not about you, I recognized this
has nothing to do with me. That's their stick. I'm

(28:58):
really clear what I want, And instead of apologizing for it,
when declining an invitation or declining a request to sit
on a committee, I stopped saying I'm really sorry I can't.
I started saying, I so appreciate you asking, but I'm
not able to sit on that committee because I just

(29:21):
don't have the time to give it the attention it deserves.
But I know it's going to be a huge success,
and I wish you all the best. So the things
we're talking about right now, I just have to examine
a little bit in in that there there. I hate
this word so much, but there's a certain level of

(29:42):
privilege to being a class mother, and you, all three
of us are in two parents, two parent income. We're
in a married couple, we have two incomes, we have um.
We we have the ability to say no to things
that aren't serving us. And I think a lot of
people out there don't have that luxury, and they're in

(30:04):
maybe doing two jobs and raising kids on their own,
and their time is being taken by things that don't
necessarily serve their life purpose because they're just right now,
their purpose is just to feed their kids and get them,
you know, educated and out the door. So for people
who might be listening, who are in a situation where
they don't have the luxury of choice that the three

(30:25):
of us have, how do you apply your priorities and
goals to someone who's struggling like that? And there is
no doubt that I get to live a life of privilege,
as do you. But I have over the last decade
worked with a number of women who are single mothers

(30:46):
who are in incredibly difficult financial positions, and they are
working so hard to get themselves and their kids out
of a hole, and they don't have the basic basic
things that that I might take for granted. But the

(31:07):
same way of thinking and methodology and the tools and
the tips that I teach can apply to anyone. And
what I've seen these women do is they are able
to figure out what their time is worth and say
no to things that some little things that don't serve them.

(31:30):
For example, I worked with a woman who lost her
home in a in a divorce and was working a
second business to try and keep them afloat. And she
had this notion that one thing she had to do
for her kids every night was to cook dinner, and

(31:52):
she was putting that pressure on herself. Yet she was
working a day job and trying to grow a side business.
And when I taught her how to think about what
her time was worth, and her her ability to look
in the grocery store and see that pre wash vegetables

(32:13):
cut up and pre wash vegetables were in fact not
an exorbitant amount but actually just a couple dollars more,
and that by doing that and assembling a meal, it
was buying her a lot more time to invest in
working her second business at night. That was just game

(32:33):
changing for her. And and so these these concepts can
can help women no matter where their means are at
the time, and hopefully and what I found is by
adopting them piece mail. I'm not saying you transform your
life overnight and are able to do all of this,

(32:54):
but if you shift your way of thinking, then as
your circumstances change and improve, you're able to have more
choices and make these kinds of decisions and also not
allow yourself to be ruled by fear fear based decision
making and instead possibility based decision making. I love that.

(33:19):
Thank you so much. I definitely feel like possibility is
going to be making some more decisions in my life.
I really appreciate you being here today. Thank you so much.
I loved it. So you can check out Romy's book.
You can have it all, just not at the same
damn time. You can also connect with her at Romy

(33:40):
new stat dot com and at Roman new Stat on Instagram.
Thanks everybody for hanging with us. Until next time. The
Road to Somewhere is recorded in New York City. Make
sure you share, subscribe, rate, and review us, and let
us hear from you. Where are you on your journey?
Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter at pod to Somewhere,

(34:03):
Email us at road to Somewhere at iHeartMedia dot com.
Special thanks to our producer Alicia Haywood. Thanks for joining
us on the road to Somewhere. Available on the I
Heart Radio app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get
your podcasts.

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Jill Herzig

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