Parents (and anyone else): Cut the Crappy Excuses for 2016

I remember almost exactly 1 year ago sitting at dinner with a group of friends and we were all talking about our year. Some talked about their business successes, buying new houses, having more kids, and many talked about the vacations they went on. When I spoke, I talked about how my wife and I had a great travel year of Italy, Key West, LA, New York, and Miami. We went to a lot of concerts and one of the highlights of our year was going to Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. I talked about how I completed the Ironman Florida in November and how in September 2015 I will compete in Ironman Chattanooga. IMG_1853

Once I got done sharing my accomplishments and goals for 2014 and what I expect in 2015, I remember some people saying, “Well, next year you can cut that list in half because of your baby.” Well, if you know me well then you know that someone telling me I cannot do something or will be limited will only drive me harder to push more. Other guys at the table chimed in making remarks about “Working out regularly, buh bye” and “Going on regular vacations, forget about it”. 

We are now in the final week of 2015 and in fact, this has been one of the most accomplished and greatest personal and professional years of my life.

I was blessed in the beginning with Harlow, who has been the greatest joy of all time. Shira and I are some of the luckiest parents in the World to have such a fun and beautiful baby. IMG_0219

Even though Harlow has been an amazing addition, being a parent definitely takes patience and time which patience is not my greatest strength. However, time and managing it is one of my greatest assets and allowed me to accomplish even more for 2015. 

Every October, I set my goals (Personal, Prosperity, People, Play, and Professional) and get them locked and loaded in my brain for the upcoming year. 

In 2015, I achieved so many more goals that I ever could imagine, and many were not even on my list. 

Some of the highlights included: 

  • Speaking for over 400 chiropractors on success in practiceIMG_3463
  • Coordinating a successful nutrition practice alongside Jessica our nutrition advisor
  • Joining a Mastermind group of other people in successful businesses monthly
  • Completing Ironman Chattanooga
  • Starting a 2nd practice in Sandy Springs
  • Traveling to Hawaii, Vieques, Cancun, and Aruba (ALL WITH HARLOW)
  • Completing my book “Eliteness” which releases in 2016
  • Traveling to the CrossFit Games

The fact is many people make excuses for not being able to do things because of kids, and it completely hinders their life. Do some families have reasons because their kid is autistic or has some other neurological problem? Yes! However, over 90% of people have the opportunity and ability to do everything they did before kids, if not more.

The other day I found myself doing a workout with my baby strapped to me and looked at it as a weighted vest.

Video With Baby Workout

Is this article designed to brag and boast about my success in 2015 while having a kid? Not at all and the only people that could think like that are the same people making excuses for where they are personally or professionally while having a kid.

My favorite quote “how you do anything is how you do everything” bleeds into this topic as I have noticed those who make excuses for not living abundantly while having a kid have always made excuses even before kids. The ones who didn’t make excuses beforehand but make them now have become too complacent with their life and are not ready for that next level of growth. 

If you show the Universe you can handle any situation and achieve anything no matter the circumstance then it’ll give you more abundance. I feel the reason I accomplished more in 2015 than I have in any other year is because how much I showed the Universe that nothing can slow me down. IMG_3372

Cut the crappy excuses and make 2016 your best year by going above and beyond what you think you are possible of achieving. 


I know many people were looking for an update from Shira, but due to the madness of the new year and things that she is working on, unfortunately that will not happen. Even though she decided not to write the article, I figured I would share a bit about her side and what she experienced from what we talked about. 

First, in 2014 when we found out we were pregnant, we both talked and made a commitment to each other that “Harlow is being born into our life and we are not being born into her life”. Before getting pregnant we read numerous articles and heard lots of scary stories from parents about how life stops when you have a kid. In our mind, we were about to have the greatest gift in the world, so it was important to keep living our lives and doing what we’ve been blessed to be able to do. 

With that commitment in our minds Shira’s primary goal in 2015 was to raise a healthy and happy little Harlow. Whatever came about, she made sure that Harlow was her priority and made lots of sacrifices to allow her to have the best year ever. 

For instance, we take Harlow out to dinner with us a lot and one of us is usually entertaining her while the other eats or trying to put her to sleep while the other eats. Rarely are we able to sit through the whole meal together as a family of 3 without any disturbances. However, this goes back to our commitment of how Harlow is coming into our life and we can’t not go out because of our daughter. 

When we traveled this year Shira would tell you that the vacations to Mexico and Hawaii felt more like trips than vacations. Shira was busy breastfeeding for the majority, sleeping next to Harlow in bed (which does not mean quality sleep), and having to leave the beach early in the day to give Harlow naps. She was not able to snorkel or surf in the mornings, go for morning runs, or have breakfast with the locals. 

Shira would also tell you that working out was extremely difficult for her to do in 2015 because she would feed Harlow in the mornings and give her her morning nap. Before Harlow, Shira would work out 3 – 4x a week, but once Harlow was born she was only able to get in a lucky 1x week. It was definitely not the year of fitness she hoped for, BUT her primary goal supersedes everything. 

What the two of us experienced was completely different, BUT they were in line with our goals and raising a healthy, happy child was her top priority. Shira’s primary goals were not doing an Ironman, opening more practices, writing a book, or anything else beyond raising our healthy and happy little girl. In fact, after what I have seen this year I would say that her goal trumps anything that I put on my resume for 2015. 

The point of my article was not for people to have a negative feeling, but rather to share with parents that having a kid is the greatest thing in the world and that life does not have to stop. In fact, I can now say from experience that the first year of Harlow’s life was one of the greatest years of my life, in which I was watching her develop and grow to the healthy, happy kid she has become. You will constantly hear from other moms and dads when you’re pregnant the same quotes we made that begin with “You’re not going to be able to do…” but know that life does not have to be like that when you have a kid.  

Life and being a parent are what you make of it, and the journey is something I would recommend for anyone considering going on that ride. 

2 replies
  1. Craig Hersch
    Craig Hersch says:

    Kudos to you Austin! Hope you continue to find the work/life balance. As the father of three daughters (21, 19, 16) know that it does get more difficult as you have more kids and they get into their own activities. A one year old is still an appendage for the most part. I ran tris while they grew up but it is vastly easier now that two are out of the house in college. I always made their schedules and activities a priority and worked mine around them- and I’m glad I did. We are all together in Costa Rica as I write this doing adventurous activities as we always have. Hope you have a similar experience.

    • Dr. Austin Cohen
      Dr. Austin Cohen says:

      Thanks Craig! I am definitely looking forward to that and for now, just enjoying the ride. As of now, there’s not a whole lot of activities besides music class but once sports begins I can see how we will have to adapt. The good news is people like you and I are chameleons who adapt really well in any situation. Keep killing it man and have fun in CR!


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