I’ve been feeling more burned-out than usual, both personally and professionally. I find the 6.5 hours of sleep each night and the early morning alarms are slowly wearing down my will to survive. Hours spent behind a computer screen are driving me more insane than usual. And when I rush home from work to take care of my responsibilities, I find myself slipping in a quick nap, which results in a nasty cycle of not having any desire to get off the couch for the rest of the evening.
Safe to say, I’m spent, and with no true vacation in site for 2017, I’ve been desperately researching phrases such as, “How to come back from a burnout” or “Ways to rejuvenate your mind at work and at home”.
Unfortunately, I keep getting these articles that all start off the same, frustrating way.
I’m not exaggerating, I’ve read seven different articles this morning alone that tell me the only way to get out of this funk is to set some goals. It’s frustrating, you see, because a true burnout is complex in the way it affects people at different times.
I’m in the stage of a burnout where I literally can only zombie my way through the day, desperate to climb back into bed for a few extra hours. I have no energy, and no aspirations other than to survive.
So setting goals sounds like the dumbest way to try to break me out of this spell. But since every article out there says it’s the way to go, it got me thinking, how do you develop goals when you’ve got nothing to work towards?
1. Get to the root of what has caused you to give up on your goals in the first place
It’s inherent to have goals; why else would we all put ourselves through years of rigorous academics, hours of manual labor, or painful meetings that seem to never end?
For some, their personal lives are the primary goal that they focus on; love, marriage, a home, children, etc.
For others, professional advancement opportunities are what they long for; a promotion, a raise, more responsibilities, etc.
And then there is, of course, those desires we can’t fight, even if they aren’t at the forefront of our minds day in and out; travel, adventure, new experiences, relationships, and memories.
If we take a look back at what has distracted us from the desires of our heart, we’ll also be able to identify what those original goals were.
2. Refocus and reassess past goals
Once you’ve identified what those goals once were, reevaluate if they still stand true. What have you already accomplished? What are you willing to give up? How has your life changed to affect these goals?
3. Write these new goals down
This step may seem silly, but it’s truly important to make these goals as concrete as you can. By writing them down, they become more real. I’d advise you to take it a step further and confide in a good friend. Once you speak the goals out-loud, you will be more likely to make steps towards achieving them!
4. Do something every month to move towards achieving your goals
Looking for love? Join a Meetup, talk to that cute coffee barista, or just put yourself out there more.
Want to buy a home? Start organizing your finances, talk to a realtor, and begin researching the best home buying programs for your circumstances.
Ready for a promotion? Invest in new classes to enhance your skills, take on new responsibilities, and network in your free time.
5. As your primary goals become more achievable, add more goals throughout the year
There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing that first goal off of your list, but don’t become complacent again once you’ve achieved a few. Add to the list, stretch yourself in new directions, and invest in adventures.
When you start to feel burned-out once again, step back and breathe, and then do something you’ve not had time to do for a long time. Practice self-care as a goal for long-term results. After all, you can’t move forward successfully in all the other areas in your life if you don’t care for yourself first!