My professional focus during my twenties and thirties was defining who I was as a professional woman. This entailed long days and weekends. It also required quite a bit of travel and for a few years 100% travel as a consultant.

My career progressed along nicely. As I took on more and more responsibility the title on my business card became more important to me. Whatever title I had at any given time wasn't good enough; was always looking at the next rung up the ladder that I wanted to progress to. I am competitive there is no doubt about it.

Along the way I got married and in my late thirties we had a daughter; but neither activity slowed me down professionally. Who I was as a business woman in my mind defined who I was as a woman and my life focused showed that.

Finding myself as a single divorced mother when my daughter was four had me re-thinking a lot about my life priorities. I came to the realization that during my laser focus on my career; I had loss the essence of who I was as a person. My title on my business card said more about me than anything else I could point to.

Although it is important for me to focus on my career; it is not my entire life. I learned it is merely one aspect of my life. I discovered that I needed to redefine who I was not only as a mother but as a friend to others and most importantly to myself.

So what did I do?

First is that I effectively learned to pull back the reins on the hours I put into the office without sacrificing my upward climb. I learned to make time for myself, for exercise, an occasional massage or evening out with a girlfriend. I learned to be fully present for my daughter. I learned the joy of volunteering my time to service work. In short, I learned to embrace and expand all aspects of my life.

The key for me in keeping my life on track is organizational and goal setting skills.

Organizational skills keep my life humming along. I can keep track of my daughter’s and my busy schedules. Most importantly I have learned that I need to schedule time on my calendar for the different aspects of our lives.

Goal setting has allowed me to continue to grow as a woman by focusing my energy to achieving the dreams I have set for myself and my daughter. This is more than a once a year activity I do at the beginning of the New Year. It is a roadmap I referred to year round and a reminder of where I need to focus my time.

The result is that today I am productive and have such a deep peace knowing that I am more than the name on a business card.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman who knows the struggles of integrating different aspects of your life. Using her own life as living proof that extraordinary choices lead to an amazing life, she helps other women do the same. She empowers other professional women not to compromise to live an extraordinary life. For additional information, please join her at