Burnout Prevention Tip: Zeroing in on your WHY

When you think about when you're feeling effective and efficient in life, what comes to mind? What are you doing--or not doing--to help you get there?


Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published 30 years ago and continues to fascinate and motivate people to become their best selves in work and relationships.

While all of the "habits" he discusses are helpful, one in particular I've felt has been particularly important for folks who are seeking to emerge out of burnout and into resiliency.


"Begin with the end in mind."


He discusses the idea of visioning as increbily important in maintaining focus and motivation, and I agree.


Consider this-- What is your Why?


List them all. Perhaps you work outside the home because it gives you a sense of purpose, it pays the bills, etc.


Perhaps you are a stay at home parents and the Why is that you can't pay for childcare otherwise, or that you consider it an important value and sacrifice.


When you look at your list, what arises for you? What is your overarching Why?


Perhaps it is to live a full and fulfilling life. Perhaps it is to travel. Perhaps it is to have lots of time off and vacations. Perhaps it is to create a legacy.


Next--What does that look like?


Grab a few magazines and cut out pictures of images that resonate with your Why. For instance, if it is to have a fulfilling life--cut out those photos that define that for you. Try not to think that much--let it be an intuitive exercise.


What are your next steps? How can you make your Why achievable?


For the example above, it is a fullfilling life, and you find yourself with lots of photos of the water and boats, perhaps your goal can be defined as spending time at the ocean. If that's the case--can you narrow that even further to what action steps can get you there? In this example, maybe it is to carve out vacation time, rent a boat, and invite friends or family to join. Think about all the barriers that may be in the way, whether it be childcare or finances. Dream of what possibly could help to lift those barriers. Be as creative as possible. When we are reaching for our goals, our values lead the way, not our negative voices or scarcity mindset.


Finally--Make it happen!


When we make achievable and small actionable steps towards our goals, our visions and our overarching Why becomes a reality. One step at a time.


When we get distracted, disconnected or disvalue our Why, we get lost. Burnout can cause disconnection, or personal challenges that derail us from our goals. We can feel totally at a loss as to why we went into our vocation in the first place. When we are zeroed in on our Why, though, we can lift that up as a big picture and create the life we desire.


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