Combating Beginning of the Year Burnout
Blogger: Rachel Kent
When we start a new year we all set high goals for ourselves and, unfortunately, it’s pretty likely that we won’t be able to live up to our expectations of what we hope to accomplish each day. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed when we don’t reach our daily goals and then by March we’ve given up on our new routines all together. I have a few tricks that I use to help me overcome burnout and I hope they help you too.
1) Don’t punish yourself by cutting out fun. I find that if I haven’t accomplished what I want to during a work day that I won’t often allow myself to read for pleasure at home. I feel like if I don’t get my work reading done that I have no right to read something else. This is NOT the right way to think. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy some personal time you won’t have a healthy mindset for your work time. It’s a spiral that continues to cause harm rather than good. For me, it’s because of my love of books that I want to do my job so if I cut out my pleasure reading I’m cutting out the joy that inspired me in the first place. Then work becomes work without the joy and that’s not what any of us wants!
2) If you don’t complete what you wanted to one day, don’t pile it on top of your next day’s goal. Restructure. Start fresh each morning with a positive mindset. If you keep adding incomplete work to your goals for future days you will overwhelm yourself. If you don’t finish a task one day, restructure your next day so that the day’s work can fit into that one day. You will have to prioritize, but it’s important to make sure you aren’t just piling on overwhelming expectations for yourself.
3) I bet you have a goal for physical health too. It’s true the the health of your body affects your productivity at work and your happiness. If you aren’t doing well with getting to the gym or keeping up an exercise routine on your own find a workout accountability partner or gym buddy. This is always how I’ve been able to keep up some level of physical activity and it seems like when I try to rely only on myself my workout plans never happen. Also, doing a little something each day is better than nothing at all. If you don’t get to the gym one day try running up and down the stairs for 15 minutes or do a brief session of stretching and squats.
4) This one might be the most important. Stop comparing yourself to others! Every person is different and accomplishes things at different rates and through different methods. Wasting energy worrying about if you are writing as quickly as a writing pal of yours or trying to feel better about yourself because at least you are accomplishing more than Jane Doe won’t help you at all. Focus only on yourself and your daily tasks and you’ll end up feeling better and getting more done. This applies to your health goals too.
Here are a few questions to ponder and discuss:
1) Do you fall victim to punishing yourself by taking away your joyful activities? How have you seen this affecting you?
2) We are a week or so in to the new year. How are you doing with your goals?
3) What tricks do you use to help keep yourself on track for accomplishing your tasks?
4) Have you ever been able to keep up a resolution for an entire year? If so, what was it and how did you do it?