I started 2018 in total burn out! In 2017 my partner lost his job and I was the sole earner for our household of 3. My daughter was (and still is) going through GCSE year and needed my presence more than expected. My mother has Multiple Sclerosis which brings chronic pain. She regularly has episodes of pain that requires me to be with her until the pain passes or until she goes in to hospital. Lack of sleep, mental and emotional stress accumulated in a viral infection and total wipe out at the start of January.
I felt utterly overwhelmed but was determined to write down my vision for the year and all of the things I must do – Grrrrr – DISCIPLINE!!!
In doing this , guess what!? I felt even worse. I needed gentle stepping stones and instead I set goals that seemed like mountains, causing me more stress. I decided to change things up – after crying, eating chocolate and binging on Netflix!
These are the goal setting steps I took when everything felt too much:
(In the steps notice the words some and could – rather than definite musts – by using gentler wording it is easier to access inner wisdom when stressed.)
1.Write down where you are now – accept it, be honest – if you feel like crap write it down or at least say it out loud. (Once generally is enough – we don’t want to throw a pity party – that happened with the chocolate and Netflix!!)
2.Write down some of the people, experiences and things you have in your life that you feel grateful for – why are you grateful for these things?
3.Write down where you feel you could be in a few months from now if you took some positive steps. What are some of the things you could be doing in a few months time?
4.What are some of the things that you could start doing to make yourself feel stronger, more in control. If you get stuck with this here is a general rule – if it feels good, brings a sense of relief write it down. If it feels overwhelming, resistance appears – for now, leave it out.
5.Write down some of the people who could support you – do your friends and loved ones know you are struggling? Maybe look at a workshop or groups that you can attend to share experiences with others, and exchange positive support.
6.Take a small action from step 4 and 5 right now. If you can’t implement the actions right now, do them later today. Even if it is texting a friend asking for a chat, and putting a ‘could do’ in the diary…
7.Give this a week or two, keep implementing small actions, nurturing, getting support from friends then reassess where you are.
Of course Goal setting is important to create focus but not if it makes you feel like a failure! Incorporating small actions that are nurturing will help turn the stress levels off – when you are less stressed you will be in a clearer space to set those bigger goals!
Look out for my next blog on goal setting– Goal setting with purpose for 30 60 90 days…..
Hope the steps help you like they did me – have fun and be kind to yourselves!