Are you burnt out and on the verge of a mental breakdown?Are you afraid you'll fall apart pursuing your dreams? Here's how NOT to fall apart by staying balanced, even when things get crazy. #lifebalance #entrepreneur #lifehackClick To Tweet
It’s a been year and a bit now since I released my first book, planned a signing event at a major bookstore and celebrated at my book launch party.
Writing books had always been a big dream of mine. As I work to get my next book ready for publication, I find myself looking back at the many things that have changed. I had a huge learning curve with getting my first book ready.
I looked forward to that moment when I had officially “finished”. But that was the thing, there wasn’t really a finishing point per se.
Yes, I had finished a book and it was ready to be sold, but there was the other stuff I had to do too.
Having a full-time job and any kind of life while pursuing your dream can be difficult.
The realities of being a published author are unique. You must create marketing plans, promote, write, polish, edit and learn new things all at the same time. This is my new life and so I needed a plan to keep me sane.
I’m sure some of you can relate even if you are not writers. If you have a business or even a goal you’re pursuing many of the steps are the same. My dream is to become a multi-book author. So that meant I needed to figure out how to live a full life with those around me and hide myself away at times. This is trickier than it sounds…
People often think they can achieve their goals in a vacuum but everything you do affects how and if you will be able to pursue and accomplish your dream. How you take care of yourself and spend your time will have an equal effect on whether or not you complete your goals.
Which tasks should you work on first?
How can you stay healthy?
What do you do when you feel like giving up?
When your dreams and life are falling apart?
Here are 6 ways to stay sane and not fall apart when pursuing your dreams. Each has helped me, and I hope they help you!
6 Ways to Not Burn Out Achieving Your Goals:
#1. Balance and Weigh Priorities
Some of my tasks can be done quickly while others take months of preparation. I call these “Forever Tasks” that does not end. Things like studying how to market better or learning how to write better. I’m one of those people that love official endings. I’m task oriented and enjoy the feeling of a job well done.
Maybe you’re like me and you have ongoing tasks. You might have goals with clear endings and a truckload of random stuff you must do along the way. Well, how do you know when to rest or attack? In my journey, I’ve had to reevaluate a lot.
What things are important to you? What do you need to get to your goal? Do you need coaching? More education?
I’ve learned to balance things by weighing them with things like time, priority and necessity.
- For instance – with time do I have a deadline?
- With priority – how important is this task to me?
- In terms of necessity- is this step a needed building block that will impact another step?
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In my own recent journey towards finishing my new book, rest was a priority. I will talk about that more below.
My book was also a huge priority so I decided I would take a break from blogging and other forms of social media in order to focus my energy. I had to be strategic or I would not have been able to continue to give my best to other areas of my life.
To not burn out achieving your goals, you need to set your priorities!
#2. Be Accountable to Yourself and Others
The first thing that is needed in accomplishing any dream is the act of first writing down the dream/goal and making a roadmap of how to achieve it.
What needs to happen? Which days will you work and for how long? What do you need to learn?
Writing the task down is the first step of being accountable to yourself. If you haven’t gotten this first step down, you will have some difficulty. Make a plan using S.M.A.R.T goals.
Letting other people know about your goal is a cool way to stay accountable.
Some people find it helpful to have other people know about their goals. People can serve as motivators and encouragers for you. For others, it may not help at all. Some gain that feeling of accomplishing a goal simply by telling other people what they want to do. After the celebration of thinking about what you want to do…nothing really happens.
I was like that. For many years I was silent about my dreams only revealing them to a select few. When I became more vocal about my dreams it didn’t change very much. I found comfort in speaking about my goal but didn’t actually get much done. Setbacks threw me off easily.
I wanted to write a book, but there was no actual consistent progress toward that dream.
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It was very frustrating watching years pass and knowing that more years would pass unless I did something different. I had a friend suggest I go to a writer’s conference. It was one of the best decisions I made. So in that way, telling someone about my dream helped me move along with getting things done.
My fiancée at the time also helped me to write by baiting me with small prizes when I got to a specific word count or page number. In the beginning, this was necessary for me to learn how to tap into my own flow.
I found it helpful to know that I wasn’t alone in pursuing my goal. He cared about what happened next. Later on, I was writing so much my fiancée couldn’t keep up. I had finally grown stronger in being accountable to myself. The process of creatively reaching your goals can sometimes be a lonely path.
There are times when you only have yourself to depend on. So opportunities to lean on another person can be great.
Support is such an important part of reaching any goal!
Here are four things you can do to jumpstart accountability in achieving your dreams and goals…
Tell a few supportive friends about your dream
Ask them to inquire about your progress
Get a goal or accountability partner
Your goals can be different, as long as you can challenge each other!
For example, I have friends that I occasionally work with in setting up challenges. We will set aside a few days or weeks for a “goal push” with a specific outcome, and hold each other accountable while discussing the process.
Often our goals are completely different but it still adds a boost to getting the work done. Knowing that someone is working alongside you even if it’s for a different project can be a real encourager.
Give yourself rewards as you make small victories
This can be a trip, a break, a treat, a movie… anything! It doesn’t have to be expensive either. You don’t need to go on a trip around the world. Take some time for self-care, or even schedule in some much needed me time. Whatever you can do to give yourself a treat for working hard.
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Be accountable to your audience
Who’s waiting for you to accomplish your dream or goal? When I find myself slacking off or discouraged I focus on who I am trying to help, and those that are interested in what I have to say. It’s very motivating to think about who is waiting for your product or book.
#3. Remember that Life Matters
I work full time in another career that I love. In order for me to accomplish anything, it requires me to be organized with how I use my time. I’ve found that so much of what happens in my life, my relationships and my health and affect my productivity.
For instance, if I’m having difficulty in one area of my life the stress of it can actually kill my creativity. It’s important to find a way to cope with the stress in your life.
Do you need a counselor? Mentor or life coach? All of these things can help with perspective.
Guess what? You’re not invincible!
Physical health is something that often gets ignored when you’re pushing toward a goal.
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When I started writing more frequently I also started having more pronounced back pain. All the hours of sitting and writing took a toll on me. At one point I was worried that I might never get better. It took a lot of work to get my back pain free and normal again.
Now I had special home therapy, and appointments to add to my already full schedule. I didn’t have the luxury to ignore what was happening. But using up that time to take care of myself is better than not having mobility and being in pain.
Taking care of yourself through eating well, getting good sleep, exercising regularly, and general health maintenance will maximize your brain functioning and keep you on the path to longevity in production.
Staying healthy helps you to rebound when it seems like your world is falling apart.
Here’s how you can get the most out of your weeks:
- Plan your grocery list based on meals each week
- Plan your grocery and meals ahead of time once or twice a week.
It will save you so much time from thinking about it and feeling guilty. You are less likely to eat badly if you’ve planned your snacks and meals ahead of time. You will also save money. My job sometimes doesn’t always allow me to be in an office. Sometimes I’m out all day commuting within the city. I usually pack all my food for the day and keep it with me.
Being busy and pursuing your goals is not an excuse for not eating healthy!
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#4. Plan to Use Time Savers
I’m surprised at times on how many people don’t do this. It amazes me when people allow last minute planning to get them stuck in traffic and find themselves running out to get that one thing they forgot the day before.
- Shop midweek or evenings when stores are more empty.
- Stick to a detailed list.
I hate waiting in lines with a passion so I plan my days so I generally never have to.
- Do all your errands on the same day so you have days to stay focused on your goals.
Cell phone free
- If you don’t need your cell phone for your work, then give yourself a prolonged “cell phone free hours” during your day. You’d be surprised to see how much of your time during the day can be drained with answering simple messages.
- There are many apps that can help track your time on the phone. Space and Moment are two apps that help with this.
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These small changes can make a huge difference in your week!
I encourage you to search your life for things you could do to help give you more time, organization and health during your week. It will free up time to get busy with your goals.
I’m a human, you’re a human!
Once in a while, I try to pretend that I’m not human but that never ends well. Trying to be strong and powering through your goals while ignoring signs of needed rest can lead to burn out.
I have a friend who works in the mental health field. One day, last year she was very frank with me. I described a few things that I was going through and how I was feeling and she told me that I was on the verge of a breakdown. She assured me that if I didn’t slow down that It would take me twice as long to recover once something happened. I listened to her and pulled back as much as I could.
#5. Rest Is Important
Rest has become a priority for me.
I like to set resting goals because if I don’t I will constantly not make time for it. It can be one of the hardest things to plan for. Most of us look at downtime as the time to cram in social events, last minute projects and other people’s emergencies.
I’ve been guilty of this many times but it is something I’m still working on.
Sometimes I block out a week where I will not be doing errands or extras, and weekends when I can focus on my own goals, rest or enjoy family time.
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The difference of setting this time aside can be like falling asleep where you fall or planning when you will go to bed, having a bath, putting on your pajamas and brushing your teeth beforehand.
If you plan ahead the time will be more profitable I promise.
The physical strain, emotional turmoil, and delay from your goals because of recovery is not worth it. The destructive process of long-term denial of rest just to power through your goals is a bad idea.
If it feels like your dream or life is falling apart, you need to rest!
#6. Faith, Set Backs, and Opposition
Lastly, I want to encourage you to look for ways to express yourself spiritually.
My faith helps me deal with setbacks and oppositions because I know that there is a greater purpose for each difficulty I go through. Or better yet, each difficulty can be used for a greater purpose.
Over the years I’ve seen how I’ve been able to move forward and get stronger and wiser year to year and I’m thankful for the support I have in my faith and faith community.
I know for a fact that I will be strengthened on the other side of my failures and I have lots of hope for the future.
It encourages you to keep going when your dream falls apart.
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As you pursue your goals don’t forget to set aside time to remember what’s truly important about life.
Be thankful for how far you’ve come and celebrate yourself.
Remember that the gifts you have will impact the world around you!
How will you keep yourself from falling apart?