Are you overworked at your job? Under pressure to manage your household while still running a business? Trying to juggle relationships, responsibilities, and your health? Let’s be honest; it can all become very overwhelming. In fact, I bet you probably end some weeks shouting, ‘I need a vacation!’ 🙂 It’s totally normal.
That said, it’s day 47 of our 52-day wellness and self-development course, #Mission52 and I can tell those of you partaking in it are already burnt out. No judgement here. It’s okay. Got goals?
Of course you do, that’s why you take the #Mission52 classes. So let’s talk about burnout.
First off, I hope you understand what burnout is, and I hear you. I truly do. There are times I just want to be left alone. But life doesn’t work like that – not if you live it purposefully, anyway.
So, when it comes to your daily goals, it can easily get rough pretty fast.
Aspirants and successful people alike are susceptible to burnout when it comes to achieving daily goals. I especially witness this seasonally – either at the beginning of the pursuit of a big goal or right around mid-season, when the going gets tougher – when goal-getters are pumped up to put their intentions into motion and then they hit it too hard.
On the flip-side, I’ve been guilty of pushing too hard and ending up feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even financially drained. The bottom line: too much motion combined with too little recovery can derail your efforts.
Without recovery, we can take a nosedive right into burnout – which ultimately leads to a delay in reaching goals
However, I’ve learned over time that without recovery, I don’t get faster, stronger or fit in all the areas I seek to strengthen. Our minds and bodies need time to rejuvenate and prepare for future activities that will steer us towards our goals. We do ourselves (and our bodies) a disservice when we cut out recovery from our routine – because our physical and mental muscles breakdown without a chance to rebuild. This can cause an emotional drain. Without recovery, we can take a nosedive right into burnout – which ultimately leads to a delay in reaching goals.
You might be standing toe-to-toe with burnout if you experience any of the following:
- Muscle soreness and persistent fatigue – If you’re pursuing physical fitness, for instance, this is normal following a tough workout or for newbies a couple of weeks in, as your body adapts – but if it lasts longer than that it probably means you are overdoing it. Generally, exercise should build strength & endurance, not the other way around.
- Low energy – If you have a passion for what you pursue, every activity should make you feel good, not bad and drained. In addition, if it’s zapping your energy to the point of altering your mood or you find yourself obsessing over it – it might be time to ease up, go back to the drawing board and assess your progress.
- Overuse ‘injuries’ – In physical fitness, for instance, when someone hits the pavement too much or does the same workouts over and over again – without recovery – injury follows. If you find yourself getting sidelined after a few weeks of doing what you think should be getting you closer to your dream, you need to check yourself; are you incorporating rest days? Are you balancing high intensity days with low intensity days? Some people can be up and down for long periods of time while others may need to incorporate more “slow days” into their daily routine to avoid burnout. Is that you?
- Lack of motivation – This falls in line with low energy – if you find that you can no longer get yourself out of bed to send those emails, make those calls, attend that meeting, got to that networking event, or hit the gym like you did at the beginning, you might want to ‘dial it down’ or ‘change it up’. Finding a sustainable plan for your goals that incorporates variety and helps you hit milestones will keep you motivated for the long-term.
I know what you are thinking; “I’ve been there” and are probably afraid that if you take a day off, you will either lose momentum or fall into a pattern of skipping on achieving your daily goals more regularly, right? The truth is, you are more likely to fall off the “wagon” if you don’t provide yourself with rest because you will end up burning yourself out, or worse, giving up on the goal entirely, before drowning yourself in regret.
Being strategic about your daily goal achievement so that it is sustainable, yet effective, is key to your own personal success.
Here are a handful of ways to avoid burnout and focus on recovery:
- Implement rest days
If you are an aspirant, or have taken a lot of time off and have now started pursuing your goals again – you’ll need 1-2 rest days per week. This doesn’t mean you have to lie in bed all day. So if you are antsy to move a bit on these days, do an active recovery. You require a strategy that relates to your recovery, as you’ll want to give specific areas of your [mental, emotional, physical and even financial] goals time to ‘rest’ before pushing them again. Therefore, if you find yourself, for instance (for those pursuing physical fitness) doing a lot of lifting, make sure you alternate muscle groups to ensure proper rest. If you’re starting a business, make cold calls and do paperwork at home rather than going out to pursue business.
By keeping realistic, effective expectations towards your daily achievements, you’ll also prevent burnout and boredom – which could lead to a loss of motivation
2. Vary activities:
This applies to all aspects of your pursuit. By mixing up intensity, playing with intervals, timelines/deadlines for achieving your daily goals and speed, as well as increasing resistance – you’ll avoid a plateau. This is why personal coaches add variety to your activities, for it not only boosts your motivation, but it also ensures endurance and growth. By keeping realistic, effective expectations towards your daily achievements, you’ll also prevent burnout and boredom – which could lead to a loss of motivation.
3. Focus on ‘fueling’ yourself:
Depending on the type of daily goals you pursue, making sure you provide your body with the proper nutrients following a ‘sweat session’ is key to recovery and future performance. For example, if you move from one meeting to the next in different parts of the city in the morning, it’s a good idea to follow that with a meal that includes proteins and carbs. Stock up on whole foods, quality proteins and lots of good fats will help you ensure you have the right ‘recovery fuel’ to keep your body (and momentum) going.
4. Catch some sleep:
Sleep is vital for recovery, just as it is important for your daily productivity. If you aren’t getting adequate sleep, or get restless sleep, not only will it affect your recovery but it will hinder your progress the following day. Everyone has a different sleep requirement to be on the top of their game each day – figure out what that number is for you and stick to it. And, if you are feeling especially tired from a long day, listen to your body and get the extra rest.
Are you struggling with burnout? Do you have trouble figuring out how to balance high intensity activity with low intensity ones? Please share your experiences below!