It always starts the same way, right? We set goals, make a plan for how to reach those goals, and then it’s “go! go! go! go! go!” until we can’t “go” anymore. We’re spent. Our energy is gone. Our momentum is gone. Our motivation is gone. And we’re burned out, with nothing left to give. Sound familiar?
This happens to me all the time unfortunately, especially lately with homeschooling, starting my Health Coach Certification, and keeping up with this growing blog. I’m always determined to follow through, but it’s just so hard sometimes because life gets in the way. And once life gets in the way even just a few times, the habit gets thrown off. Then it’s so much harder to get started again. I know I’m not the only one this happens to, but it probably happens more frequently to me because I don’t know how to budget my time very well.
Just ask any gym and they’ll tell you how people are lining up in January to start the year in a healthier way, but by mid February they’re empty again. All it takes is a vacation, a busy time at work, or an illness to knock a week off of your schedule. Then not only are you not working out, but you’re getting behind on everything else. It’s a vicious cycle! So, how can we figure out how to avoid burnout while keeping up the momentum so we can succeed with our goals?
Keeping the Momentum and Avoiding Burnout
- Set Goals – Yes, I assume that setting goals is how your whole plan started, but take the time to write out your plan. I always find that writing it out by hand makes it linger in my head longer, and then it is easier to physically put somewhere so I keep seeing it. But if you type your plan out, be sure to print it and put it somewhere obvious! Also, write SMART goals. They’re more specific so you have more of a chance of meeting them when you want to! I have to set specific goals for how many posts I need to write in a week, what hours we practice our homeschooling, and I even have to set goals for play dates. Otherwise, we will never get out to socialize!
- Get Accountability – This is probably the biggest reason that so many of my goals fall to the wayside before they’re completed… I don’t usually have accountability. Sure, my husband is super supportive and he’s always willing to encourage me along, but… life. He is busy, he works hard, and he doesn’t always remember to hold me accountable. And when I’m the only one holding me accountable, let’s just say it’s not that hard to talk myself into a chocolate bar when I’m supposed to be off sugar 😉 But it’s harder to talk someone else into why you need one.
- Prioritize Rest – This one is obviously easier said than done. Once you’re a mom, you don’t really get a great chance to prioritize yourself anymore. Everything revolves around those tiny
little energy suckersperfect humans that you created. They need your help to get up, go to bed, eat, drink, play, and basically everything else. But if we don’t make the time to get the rest that we need, then we end up running on empty. Running on empty isn’t good for ANYONE, and it’s the complete opposite of avoiding burnout. It will lead directly to burnout faster than you can imagine.
- Keep YOU Time – This totally goes hand in hand with prioritizing rest. You can’t pour from an empty cup, darling. I know that personally, if I’ve been neglecting myself, then I snap a lot easier, I feel overwhelmed more often, and I just don’t seem to have as much to give to my family. My “Me” time can be something as simple as a bubble bath at the end of the day, a little bit of coloring book time, getting up early to do some bible reading or devotionals, or even cooking in peace while my husband plays with the boys. As long as it’s something I enjoy that I’m doing alone, then I feel refreshed!
- Check In Often – When you’re trying to keep your momentum up, it’s so helpful to check in with whoever your biggest supporters are every couple of weeks. I usually sit down with my husband and we discuss my goals; how my blog growth is doing, new ideas, how I’m doing with my timeline, things that may be getting in the way, etc. It’s really great because it helps me get everything out at once and look at it objectively through someone else’s eyes. Also, he’s known to have some good ideas, so it’s good to have the suggestions of someone you trust!
Whether or not all of these tips apply to you, one thing is the most important when it comes to keeping momentum and avoiding burnout: Balance. Putting too much of yourself into any one area of your life will cause problems. Focus on the balance, and you’ll start feeling less stress. Trust me on this, I learned the hard way. 😉
What do you do to make sure you don’t get burned out too quickly?