We’re heading into a new decade in a couple of weeks. 2020 is not only a new year, but also a turning point. As we start this new decade, it is natural and healthy to consider:

Is your life headed in the direction you want?

Will the path you’re on allow you to live without regrets and truly finish well?  

For too many, life feels like a treadmill. You’re going fast, but you don’t feel like you’re moving forward in a purposeful way. You know your life could be better. You know something needs to change. But you don’t know how to slow down, change direction, or where to start.

Things might even seem great on the surface, but underneath there’s a restlessness. “Smoldering discontent” is how we describe that feeling at the Halftime Institute. You’re craving a life of more significance, joy, and balance, but you feel like you’re missing the mark, despite your best efforts.

Sometimes that treadmill is self-fabricated because of our real or perceived need to keep up with the culture around us. We have to be the perfect provider. Or the perfect parent. Or be a leader in the community. Or conquer that next personal milestone.

If we allow ourselves to get caught up and trapped in that mentality, then every time we look around, we feel like we aren’t good enough. It keeps us on the treadmill running faster or longer than we should.


To take a step forward, you must take a step back.

To be honest, this is something I faced personally. About 10 years ago, I had to take a serious step back and re-examine my priorities. And that was hard. It is not easy to take a step back when you’re running so fast – but it is worth it.

I would not be where I am today, living out my passions and making an impact in the lives of others – all while not running myself into the ground – if I had not taken that step back. It is truly freeing. And it is my great joy as a Halftime Coach to help others make that journey in their own lives. There’s nothing like seeing someone gain clarity on how God has uniquely wired them and how they can make an impact in the world.

From my experience, both personally and through coaching halftimers, it is challenging to go from smoldering discontent to joy and purpose without two things:

First, we have to have clarity on where we’re headed.

Second, we have to have boundaries around the external pressures of our lives. We have to negotiate our new role, our new path. It takes a great deal of intentionality.

So, how do we get there? I’d like to recommend the following action steps to gain clarity and make lasting change in 2020.


3 Essential Actions

#1 – Reflect on the Past Few Years

Here are a few key questions to ask yourself. I recommend going to a quiet place for a couple of hours and journaling around these questions.

What is working?

What is not working?

What do I really want out of my life?

Does my life currently look like what I want my life to look like?

What has given me joy in the past that my current life is lacking?

What gifts and passions do I have that are on the back burner?


Then, from your answers to those questions, take a moment to note any patterns or themes. Ask yourself, “Do I know what I’ve been uniquely wired to do or be?”

Declaring what you really want out of life – what is truly important – and what you’ve been wired to do can bring so much freedom!

Even still, it can be a bit overwhelming as we consider the delta between where we are today and where we want to be – living a purposeful, joyful, balanced life. That’s where #2 comes in.


#2 – Take Inventory of What Needs to Change

As I mentioned above, we not only need clarity, but we must also set boundaries around the external pressures. Some questions to ask yourself in this area are:

What is my primary motivator for how I’m living my life today?

Are there any lies I’m believing about myself that need to change?

What pressures do I put on myself that I can let go of?

What pressures do I allow others to put on me?

How can I reset those relationships or set new boundaries?

What would it look like to live with more freedom and balance?

What kind of support do I need to make this change?

Friends, when we hit that point where we know something needs to change, we can feel so vulnerable. So human. We have to let our guard down a bit, which is hard.

We often can’t do this on our own. We need people around us who can help us, which brings me to #3.


#3 – Enlist Your Personal Team

Every successful person in history has achieved their success with the support and expertise of others.

So, what about you?

Who are the people in your life with whom you can share about how you want your life to change?

Who can help you renegotiate your boundaries?

What kinds of professional expertise do you need to enlist?

For many halftimers, this is when they truly determine the kind of support necessary to make a shift. Your team will likely be a combination of personal and professional relationships. A Halftime Coach can help you know who else you might need to have on your team.


Taking the Next Step

At the Halftime Institute, we love to help men and women gain clarity on their next path and make a game plan to make it happen. We have a variety of programs to fit your style and needs. We offer one-on-one coaching that is self-paced and personalized to you. We also offer cohort-based programs (Fellows Program and Virtual Cohorts) where you’ll sort through your calling and game plan with a small group of like-minded others.

When you join a cohort-based program, you get to walk this journey with real people, have authentic conversation, and work with a Halftime Coach. We’ve helped thousands of men and women turn their smoldering discontent into a burning fire to fuel impact.

Just remember – if you’re feeling that smoldering discontent, that lack of joy, you don’t have to stay in that place. A purposeful, intentional life is within your reach.

Make 2020 your year to live without regret. Stop procrastinating. We’re here to help. Our Halftime Institute team has over 20 years of experience walking alongside people, providing personalized guidance and resources for building a more purposeful, intentional life.

Let’s make it your best year yet!

Bob Karcher
Bob spent a large part of his career in the publishing and advertising industries. He served as a Chief Operating Officer in the Tribune Company, which then owned the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Hoy Publications, and multiple other properties operating in the print, broadcast, and digital media sectors. Following his publishing career, he spent several years in the nonprofit sector, serving in a variety of executive-level staff and board member roles.

Reading the book Halftime and attending the Launch Event in 2010 were foundation-setting opportunities the Lord used to move Bob into the work he now does as an author, speaker, and life coach. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and is a Certified Halftime Coach and Certified Professional Motivators Analyst.

Bob, and his wife Susan, co-authored Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, a popular book focused on helping others discover who they are and why they are here so they can lead the intentional, authentic lives they were created for.

Bob and Susan have been happily married for over fifteen years and are blessed to have a growing, blended family. They live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and enjoy writing, speaking, and coaching on a growing basis.

Learn more about Bob and Susan’s book and watch the book trailer HERE
Read Bob's 3 part Blog series, Who Are The Joneses Anyway?