Category Archives for "Work-Life Balance"

Sunday Blues

I lost a lot of Sundays to Sunday Blues. ⁣⁣⁣
For years it was my only day off each week… and I was so afraid of squandering it that I’d sit motionless on my couch, thinking about all the things I could (or should) do… and doing none of them. ⁣⁣⁣
I’d watch the time tick by, counting down the hours until I had to be back at work… and with each passing hour my anxiety would grow… ⏰⁣⁣⁣
And forget about getting a good night’s sleep on a Sunday night… never happened. ⁣⁣⁣
The result: ➡️ MONDAY MADNESS⁣⁣⁣

Let’s be honest- Mondays are usually a little crazy in the veterinary world… but when you add Peak Anxiety and No Sleep… they are hell.⁣⁣⁣
Nobody wants that kind of job (or life)!⁣⁣⁣
But here’s the thing… ⁣⁣⁣
👉🏻The problem wasn’t the job.⁣⁣⁣
👉🏻The problem wasn’t the clients.⁣⁣⁣
👉🏻The problem wasn’t my boss or co-workers.⁣⁣⁣
👉🏻The problem wasn’t even the lack of sleep.⁣⁣⁣
😳 The problem was my inability to separate who I was as a person & veterinarian from outcomes of my cases and the way other people behaved. ⁣⁣⁣
😥 The problem was the false belief I had created that my value was only intact when all patients got better, all clients were happy, and all coworkers got along. ⁣⁣⁣
🐾 Guys, this is no way to live! ⁣⁣⁣
Unmanaged, misunderstood anxiety is killing our profession… because we don’t have the tools we need to deal! ⁣⁣⁣
Joyful DVM is changing that. CLICK HERE to find out how.

Stop Giving Your Power Away


📣The things that people say and do can only impact your mental health IF YOU LET THEM. ⁣

You Get To Choose… every time… in every situation… Your Choice.⁣

Most of us just believe that the way we feel in any given situation is just the way it is… that we can’t change it…⁣

… and this is why we’ve bought into a culture of victimization in our profession as a whole.⁣

🎉 The GREAT NEWS is we can take back the control over our lives, and the fate of our mental health! 🎉⁣

𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫?⁣

I promise, you do!⁣

So how do you tap into it?

➡️ For starters, you have to learn how to recognize and manage ANXIETY.⁣

I’ll show you how in my Free Webinar… CLICK HERE to check it out.

Entitled Clients

Entitled Clients.

You know exactly the ones I’m talking about, right?

The ones who call and demand an appointment the same day, and get it.

The ones who show up late for their appointments, and are seen anyway.

The ones who show up with more pets than scheduled for, and they all get seen.

It’s easy to be frustrated with these types of clients.

In many of our practices, we might even consider these clients to be “Star Clients”.

They have earned this status because they come in often, and pay their bill.

They get special privilege.

But, why?

Why do these people, and in some cases the entirety of our client population, get to come in whenever they want, be seen no matter how late they show up, and bring more pets than they were scheduled for without consequence?

Why is this type of behavior okay?

The truth is simple… and a little painful.


We teach our clients how to interact with our practices.

We cater to these “Star Clients” out of some misguided sense of obligation… and a fear that if we don’t let them come when they want, with whatever they want, that we will miss out on revenue.

So What?

This scarcity mentality is ruining our practices.

Nobody, NOBODY, in your practice wants to cater to these clients. Nobody wants to stay late. Nobody wants the schedule disrupted by the unpredictable appointments.

It’s easy to blame the client… but, that’s the easy way out.

It’s actually not the client’s fault. It’s ours. It’s our “come on in” culture, anchored in fear of not making enough money, that created these clients.

They are not bad people. They are not even behaving badly. They are simply doing what we’ve taught them over time is acceptable to do.

That’s on us.

What we are totally missing is the population of great clients who flee our practices because we are always running behind, for no good reason. We have shown them we don’t respect their time, nor our own, and they have moved on.

How much revenue is lost there?

If you’re an owner, and this sounds like your practice, you have the power to change this behavior and culture immediately. You can institute hospital policies around appointment scheduling, arrival and rescheduling… and you can implement them today.

No “easing in”… just do it.

Save the “come on in” option exclusively for truly urgent appointments… and you’ll find those are actually more rare than you believe.

You’ll learn that your clients will appreciate your commitment to respecting their time… and you’ll find they are way more understanding when you get behind because of true emergencies. In those moments, they will know you’d do the same if the emergency was them.

And those “star clients” who have been calling the shots for so long… some of them will probably get mad and leave your practice. That’s okay… and great evidence that they were never the great clients you thought they were in the first place.

You’ll find your entire hospital culture and morale will increase… and probably your bottom line as well.  When you focus on good medicine and great customer service, the money takes care of itself.

For you associates out there… I hear you trying to tell me you have no power to change the culture. I say you do.

It starts with a conversation… one you are probably believing will be pointless to even have.

Do it anyway.

Discuss the situation with your manager or owner, explain the problem, provide the solution.

What happens next may not be yours to decide, but the information you gain in that meeting will equip you with what you need to know to decide what’s next for you.

Stay or move on… equally available options, but now made from an informed position, instead of from a position of helpless, powerless victim of your boss and job.

One decision can change everything… someone just has to be willing to step up and have the conversation.

Why not you?

I got a little fired up about this in a recent FB Live. To watch, CLICK HERE.

What Defines You?

What defines you?

What determines your value?

Who decides your self worth?

Most of us have never considered these questions.

Day-in, day-out we just keep going and doing.

We uphold our responsibilities.

We meet our obligations.

We show up… or at least someone does.

But, is it you?

It probably was at some point.

But is it still you?

Many of us find ourselves looking up one day and wondering, “How did I get here?, How did this become my life?”.

It happens gradually, through the going and doing and going and doing.

We stop recognizing the choices we make every day as habit sets in.

And then one day we look up… and we don’t like what we see.

This is not the life we wanted… but we stopped carving our own path along the way, and here we are.

Is this what defines you?

Does the state of your life in this current moment determine what comes next?

Is this a reflection of you value and self worth?


Not even close.

Everything before today is over. It exists only as a memory.

Everything in the future has yet to be. It exists only as a dream.

Today is real. Today you can decide what comes next.

Today you decide how you will be defined.

All those reasons why you can’t have the life you really want… those are just excuses.

It’s time to let those go.

Question everything.

Decide for yourself… bravely.

Your value is absolute.

You are worthy simply because you exist.

What comes next… that’s for you to decide.

You will be defined by something…

How about you decide.

Feeling totally stressed out with life and VetMed, and not sure even how to take back control? Join my free webinar where I share tips on managing anxiety and creating the life you love.

Why Happiness Is The Wrong Goal

Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t I just be happy?”

We ask ourselves this a lot, don’t we.

The bigger question, why is happiness the goal at all?

What do we believe about achieving happiness?

What is happiness anyway?

What creates it?

How do we measure it?

Here’s a better question:  What if being unhappy wasn’t a problem… but just a normal part of the human experience?

Life is 50/50… homeostasis drives our physiology. Our medical education taught us that.

If we take the time to look around, we’ll find the power and pull of homeostasis present in every aspect of the world.

Balance is king!

We actively seek it….  how often have you said you really want work-life balance?

Our emotions are no different!

We experience 50% positive and 50% negative emotions by design.

100% positive was never the goal!

In absence of tangible means of measuring the success of our lives, our minds will latch onto anything to determine if we are doing it right.

In school it was test results and degrees earned that reassured us. We were happy when we got good grades and graduated.

In practice it’s often patient outcomes and happy clients… and when either goes bad the only available conclusion is that we are doing it all wrong.

We aren’t cut out for this.

We are unhappy.

We are messing up our lives.

But happiness, just like patient outcomes, is not a true measures of our abilities, value and worth.

Happiness is not created by the events around us, and the absence of it is not a problem.

The negative emotions are not a problem.

Negative emotions are not evidence that something is going wrong.

They don’t need to be solved for.

They are intentionally part of the human experience.

50/50 positive/negative means everything is going right.

The key is learning to Allow and Process the negative, rather than resisting it, reacting to it, and avoiding it.

When we learn how to do this, everything becomes available.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

We miss out on so much of our lives simply because we are unwilling to feel negative emotions.

It comes down to basic neuroscience.

Curious? I explain it all in my free webinar.
Check it out:

Setting Boundaries in Veterinary Medicine

I very clearly remember complaining to my fellow vets and vet techs about clients, friends, and even family who didn’t respect my boundaries.

It was so rude of them.

I felt very angry every time my boundaries were violated…

… probably because deep down I knew I had No Control over the actions of other people.

That created a bit of despair because I believed the only way I would ever be able to enjoy work-life balance was if other people started following the rules… and I knew the chances of that happening were slim to none.

It seemed impossible…  because it was impossible!

What I didn’t know was that both creating boundaries and upholding boundaries actually have NOTHING to do with what other people do.


Yep. Really.

The ONLY PERSON who can violate my boundary is ME.

A boundary is simply a request for another person to behave a certain way, and a consequence if they choose not to do so.

Boundaries are only violated when the person setting the boundary doesn’t follow through with the consequence when the behavior request isn’t met.

(That part about following through with the consequence… that’s the part I missed.)

I thought once I set the boundary, the other person would, of course, follow through with the requested behavior if they respected my position. When they didn’t, I’d become angry, offended, victimized.

I had it all wrong… and I was violating my own boundaries (and creating my own misery) again and again and again because I wasn’t following through with the consequences.

And if I’m honest, I’m not sure I even clearly expressed the consequences…

I had no idea what I was doing.

Here’s the Great News for you…  now that I “get it” when it comes to setting boundaries in VetMed, I’m making it a whole lot easier for all of us!

This is a Critical Skill to master if you want work-life balance, and some autonomy in your life. I talked about all of this yesterday in a Facebook Live Event on the Joyful DVM page. To listen, CLICK HERE.

Want to just cut to the chase?

I’ve got you covered!

I created a New Free Resource: Setting Boundaries Blueprint for Veterinary Professionals. I’ve included word-by-word scripts of exactly what you can say to set boundaries in a variety of scenarios.

It doesn’t get easier than that.

To get a copy of the Setting Boundaries Blueprint, CLICK HERE.

If you have any questions along the way, just reply to this email, or tag me on social #JoyfulDVM @JoyfulDVM

Rewrite Your Vet Life Story

I don’t know about you, but I hit a point in my veterinary career where I’d had enough…

… enough of getting off work late and cancelling plans
… enough of constantly thinking about (and let’s be honest, worrying about) cases every waking moment
… enough pushing through my work week to enjoy a day off

But again, if I’m honest, those days off rarely lived up to the greatness I thought they’d be.


Because…  I’d be thinking about work, worrying about cases, getting calls from the office… and many times dropping by “for just a minute”.


One day I just decided enough was enough, and that the life I’d been living was not the life I wanted to keep living in the future. I made some massive changes, some massive mistakes, and managed to rewrite my own vet life story despite it all.

Was it easy? Nope
Was it fast? Nope
Was it worth it? Absolutely!

I’ll admit, those were some really hard times. But now I can look back and appreciate the value of the journey. In the moment, we really can’t see the forest for the trees…

So why am I telling you this?

Because I don’t want it to be that hard for you… I don’t want you to give in to the lie that says it never gets better… I don’t want you to think you have made a big fat mistake by pursuing vet med.

You haven’t ruined your life.

Really. You haven’t.

You’ve done the best you can with the resources and information you’ve had available to you…  and now you just need More Information & New Resources!

I’ve got you covered!

Learn more at


2019 Reflection

If you’re like me you can’t help but look back at 2019 and consider all the blessings (and challenges) that came with it.

For me, in 2019 there were three things that will forever remain pivotal moments in my life…

1. The fateful Facebook Live I did on the Joyful DVM FB Page back on May 9th where I ripped off the last bandaid and, love me or hate me, started showing up for you exactly as me (tears and all).

2. The inspired creation of Vet Life Academy which continues to evolve and change, but most importantly has positively impacted the lives of dozens and dozens of veterinary professionals… and we’re just getting started!

3. The victorious completion of Coach Certification through The Life Coach School which has helped me take Joyful DVM to the next level.

There are no victims in VetMed.

You are powerful.

Everything you want for your life is in front of you.

So as you look back at 2019, and welcome in 2020, remember there are only wins and lessons. There are no failures. Your journey is always equipping you for what is coming next.

I wish you many blessings in 2020… and when you are ready to take control of your life, I’m here to help you.

I’m hosting a free webinar: 4 Steps to Understanding VetMed Anxiety and Taking Back Your Life. To learn more or register, CLICK HERE.

Let’s make 2020 the best year yet!