01/17/2017

A Dying Ember: New Years Burnout

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Good afternoon y’all!

I know, not my regular posting schedule. And how is it January 17th and this is my first post in the New Year?

Well, life.

By January 15th, 75% of Americans have failed to uphold their New Years Resolutions. It’s January 17th, and can I be honest? I’m burned out. Am I part of the 75%? I’m teetering on the edge. But here’s what I propose: just keep going.

By December 31st, my pent up “do better this year” energy is just buzzing with electric anticipation. I shoot out of the gate like a racehorse, while I joyously do ALL THE THINGS! It feels good, I feel energized, and I feel like I’m #makingprogress.

And then like a lightning bolt that’s found its grounding, I become a conduit for the cosmic energy of Positivity and Change to… fall flat on the ground.

The great thing about having a lot of goals and resolutions is there are many opportunities to grow, change, and pivot your focus. If you’re bored of one project, you can flit back and forth between other projects.

The bad news is, there is an equal amount of opportunities for failure. To feel like you didn’t check all the boxes today. That’s okay, I’ll check this box today and that box tomorrow… but day after day, the feeling of “not enough” pervades.

How did I get here?

So this morning, instead of being down on myself, guilty for “having failed” (things that no one but me and God will ever know), I promised to go easy on myself and instead, make a list of the things that are stressing me out and my underlying “why” I embarked upon these quests.

In the spirit of transparency and for always practical and concrete examples, as well as to make a reminder for my future self, here is my list:

  1. Meal Planning: To eat healthier, to buy local foods, to practice frugality.
  2. Vigorous Exercise: To increase heart health and endurance, to continue building muscles, to support my active lifestyle, to remain healthy in old age.
  3. Daily Prayer: To stay close to the Lord, to ask for His Guidance in discerning my daily and big life decisions, to live from a place of Peace, to begin my days with intention, to reconnect to the things that are actually important, not urgent (Urgent /= Important and Important /= Urgent).
  4. Finishing Projects: To practice diligence, to gift the final products, to use what I have before buying more, to build self confidence.

I’ll spare you the details of why I am frustrated with each of these four things.

So how am I going to come back from this burnout? By focusing on one goal at a time, like I said I would from the beginning. To focus on the important things, not the things that are screaming for my attention: to give my soul its food before I pour it out on projects or at work.

Sometimes, we need to rest, gather our strength, and start anew. That is my mantra this week. I feel absolutely scattered, uncertain, and pressured. So this week, I will focus on slowing down, giving thanks, breathing deep, and come Monday (or even tomorrow) morning, I will be ready to continue the fight, to rage against the dying light of my motivation.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~ Dylan Thomas

How do you rest and recharge? 

Inspiration/For a laugh: 20 People Who’ve Already F**ked Up Their New Year’s Resolutions

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