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“Is this even worth my time?” Can we help this mom make space for her passion project?

Photo Courtesy of Julianna Broadwater

Want to find time for your most important life goals? In our new feature, Timehacker, we match readers with the right coach to help them find that time, develop new habits and get started. Then we check in on Day 21 to see how it’s working out.

THE SUBJECT: Julianna Broadwater feels like she uses her left brain all day to be organized and plan events for Google in Kirkland, Washington. Her infant daughter keeps her up at night, and she struggles to juggle home duties with her husband, a freelance photographer whose schedule is always changing. She has little time for hobbies, or fun, and, with a long To Do list of important stuff, she feels she doesn’t deserve it anyway.

THE GOAL: Julianna has been wanting to start a website and blog about “green” make-up and beauty for people of all ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds. But she worried it seemed unimportant, even silly. She’s passionate about raising awareness and changing the cosmetics industry: parabens, common chemical preservatives used in make-up, for instance, have been found in breast tissue and breast cancers.

“But I never thought I could get my act together to do this,” she said. “And the one big thing holding me back was my fear, ‘Is this even worth the time?”

THE TIMEHACK: We had Julianna work with Kathy Korman-Frey, founder of the Hot Mommas Project, the largest digital database of women entrepreneurs, role models and mentors in the world. Because of her research on women and self-efficacy, Korman-Frey is also known as the “Confidence Guru.”

Korman-Frey suggested five Timehacks:

1. Get Some Clarity. If your goal is important to you, then it’s legitimate. And once you’re clear that it is, you’re more likely to find the time for it.

2. Create a Time Oasis. Carve out five half-hour blocks of time in one week to work on the project. They can be 30 minutes a day, scattered throughout the week or stacked together on the weekends. Whatever fits with the family schedule. Write. Interview experts. Set up photographs. Take the time to move forward.

Sign up for the 21 Day Timehack Project

 3. Set Specific Goals. Map them to the Time Oasis Blocks. Korman-Frey suggested Julianna keep a bi-monthly editorial calendar to plan for upcoming posts, and to set up strategy for getting the word out and building readership.

 4. Find an Accountability Partner to check in with weekly for support and momentum.

5. Set Boundaries. This is a passion project. The key word is passion. You find time for it until it’s not fun anymore.

 THE PROGNOSIS: Julianna’s first block was her own attitude. She’d have to decide she “deserved” time for her passion project, or she’d keep pushing it aside, Korman-Frey said. Talking with and getting support from her husband for both the project, and the time she’d be devoting to it would be key to helping her feel she did deserve it.

“And lacking a process around this project was the biggest challenge to making it happen. Julianna, herself, is fully capable of making just about anything she wants to happen, happen,” Korman-Frey said. “So Juliana + Process = Success.”

DAY 21:

Juliana’s blog,, is up and running. She’s gone from one or two visitors to more than 150. And she’s made her passion project a family affair. She sets up shots and her husband, who also serves as her accountability partner, takes photographs. And sometimes, the photos feature their daughter’s arm or hand as she toddles into the picture.

Though Juliana set certain goals on her editorial calendar that she wasn’t able to meet, she readjusted and has kept going. She even began finding indie boutiques to visit and people to interview as she traveled for her work.

“It’s going really well. And it’s really fun,” Julianna said. “I was worried this project was silly. But having someone like Kathy listen and nod and say, ‘Oh, that’s really interesting” – it was like getting a vitamin B12 shot of confidence.”

She’s had to learn, she said, that if she wants time for other things, not to be so militant about dust bunnies and keeping the house tidy. “Sometimes I do what’s in front of me, what’s louder, instead of what’s most important,” she said. “But I’m trying to be more mindful about what my goals are.”

One tip from Korman-Frey she found helpful in the short term: When she was procrastinating or avoiding a task, asking herself, ‘Will I be proud of myself if I accomplish this?’ made a difference. And one tip for the long-term: Envision a one or two-day retreat to Think Big.

Though she’d eventually like to expand her website, to make it more of a resource for people wanting to change the industry and make green choices, for now, it’s just about having a creative outlet.

“For a lot of women, you start to define yourself in binary terms: I’m a mother. I’m an employee. I’m a friend, a wife. But I feel like I’m rounding myself out as a person,” she said. “My Mom loved make-up. That was one of my favorite memories, being three years old and going to make-up counters with her and putting my fingers in all the colorful pans. And my daughter, right now, she thinks this is hilarious. It’s so much fun to do with her. And I feel like she gets to see mom’s working. Mom’s a mom. And mom plays, too.”

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