5 Ways You Can Avoid Burnout and Keep Your Goals A Priority
As we step into a new year, we often feel exhausted from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We are wanting to create the changes we know we should, and we are often wanting to become the best versions of ourselves. January is a confusing month - we feel broke, burnt out, exhausted, but ready. Ready to create change, ready to hustle to get to those goals, and ready to finally “do it.” But, oftentimes it doesn’t stick. Studies show that by February 1st, a lot of people have already quit their proverbial New Year's resolutions.
It’s normal. It’s human. But, that doesn’t make your goals unachievable. That doesn’t mean that you have to feel this way, it means that you started a dream broke, exhausted, and burnt out…When you think about it, did you even give yourself a chance?
Did you know that habits take, on average, 90 days to create? Did you know that lifestyle changes can take up to 6 months? Most of the time when we start something such as budgeting, a fitness plan, start a business, etc. we will hit large roadblocks within the first 6 months. That’s the time when it’s easiest for us to give up. We want to see results right away, but what makes success is the small things that you do day in and day out. Not the big things, but the small, daily actions you can stick to… your habits.
Whether your goals are to start a business, grow your cow herd, buy another quarter of land, or completely renovate your house yourself; habits and daily action are what will make the difference.
Here are 5 Ways You Can Avoid Burnout and Keep Your Goals A Priority without feeling the overwhelm of December trickling over into January.
1. Stick to a budget. Let’s be honest, after Christmas it may seem like it is a little late for that, but that doesn't mean you can’t sit down with your finances in January and get serious. Money makes people uncomfortable. Sitting down by yourself to look at your spending habits can be uncomfortable. My advice: lean into it. When we avoid things, they often get worse, so allow yourself to be uncomfortable and explore your finances with a gentle curiosity.
- Why are you uncomfortable?
- What do you need to stop doing?
- What do you need to start doing?
- What can/should or do you have to continue doing?
2. Practice Self-Care. Barf. Yep. I’m telling you that again. (Roll your eyes.) But I am serious. Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care isn’t always bubble baths with candles and tea either. (Sometimes it is though!) Self-care is working on wellness in your whole body, in 5 areas; social, spiritual, physical, mental, and financial. Here are some quick ways to add self-care to your daily life without adding more to your to do list:
- Send someone a quick text when you think of them
- Take 3 deep breaths as you wait for your truck or tractor to warm up
- Practice boundaries. Learn to be okay with saying no to things when you don’t want to do it or are exhausted.
- Prioritize tasks. Focus on what you have to get done. Create a calendar of the things you need to do by importance. Do the most important tasks first.
- Practice discipline. Create a budget and stick to it. Learn to lean into will-power and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is when we GROW.
3. Practice Presence. Allowing time for your brain and body to rest, taking a deep breath before getting out to roll out the next bale, smelling the distillers you feed, taking a moment to appreciate your beautiful herd, listening to the sounds of the combine, smelling the fields as crops grow, smell that morning coffee, turn your phone on silent during supper time, read a book before bed without having any technology on.
4. Create Braindumps. Braindumps can look like a variety of things and can happen in a variety of ways. They can be everything that is on your mind that is hindering you from sleeping, an escape list from things that drive you nuts, or writing about your feelings about a situation that makes you feel stuck. Braindumps can be your daily to-do list, writing down all of your ideas to make your business grow, or even writing down everything that you are grateful for in that moment to look at later. I especially recommend this for unresolved feelings or situations. Studies have found that expressing your feelings in a safe way, ideally in some form of writing when you can't get it out verbally, can be beneficial for putting your mind at ease. (Then I highly recommend doing like Monica, Phoebe and Rachel and burning these memories in a make-shift sacrilegious ceremony…just try not to get the local fire department involved. HA! Kidding... Sort of.) Essentially, braindumps take everything about a situation and get it written out and off your mind.
5. Create a bedtime and morning routine. We are often told about the “5am Club” and how important your morning routine is, but I always say that your morning routine starts before bed the night before. Your success with your morning routine will reflect how strict you are before bedtime. What do I mean by this? If you have trouble sleeping because you stay on your tech until 1 am, it will be impossible for you to get up at 5 am to workout and practice mindfulness, because you’ll be exhausted after getting only four hours of sleep. However, if you plan ahead, create a “tech cleansing” time before bed, go to bed at 9pm, read a book, and get a good sleep, it will be easier for you to get up at 5am to workout and practice mindfulness. Your bedtime routine might look completely different, but regardless of what you do, it will be easier to create a morning routine.
Once you build these habits your body will recognize the cues and will know exactly what to do. When you, for example, start the tractor, your body will know it is time for three deep breaths and thus time to be calm and take a moment. Your body will begin to expect that and prepare you for that moment when you start putting your boots on or grab your keys. You’ll begin craving braindumps when you feel overwhelmed by something. You’ll get used to sticking to your budget. You’ll notice less need to scroll through Facebook or Instagram mindlessly once you start practicing presence. You’ll feel less burnt out once you realize that you simply cannot pour from an empty cup and practicing self care is essential for you to be your best. Once you practice self-care regularly, it will become part of your routine. Once you establish morning and night time routines, your body will understand the cues and gear you up for bedtime and the day ahead. All of these things work together to combat exhaustion, burnout, decrease stress and anxiety, and decrease symptoms of depression. If you’re ahead of the game and started these already, have you noticed a difference yet? I’d love to hear from you!
Just remember, to take it day by day and when it is hard, gently remind yourself of this:
You have survived 100% of your hardest days. You can do this, you can try again in a minute or tomorrow. Every breath is a new chance for you to succeed.
Erica Leniczek, BSc., BEd., CPT, PTS, Mindful Educator
Owner, The Brand Erica