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rejuvenate 10680589_sIf you haven’t read them, and you’d like to, here are links to the first four burn out articles.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Welcome back to my article series on burn out. This is the last article in the series.

Today, I’d like to briefly talk about the kind of burn out that happens when your goals go stale. What does that mean? Let’s say you’ve set a goal to have three books published in 2013 (or two new inventions, or five new customers, etc.). You achieved that goal. Now, you’d like to publish three more books in 2014, but geez, that’s the same old goal. How many brass rings will satisfy you? Maybe three books in 2014 is really the most you can do, the goal that’s most realistic for you, and the one that satisfies your career needs that year. So you don’t want to change your goal. How do you make it fresh and fun again?

Renee Rose, author of many excellent spanking romances, most recently The Bossman, has this to say about burnout. “Burn out shows up when we push ourselves too hard. I get burnt out on writing, burnt out on social media, burnt out on blogging! The key is to take notice when it happens and fill your bucket, somehow. Read your favorite authors, take a break, look for the joy again in what you’re doing. Without the joy, you inhibit your success. The simple act of looking for it is the only key perseverance!”

Bossman_small

Using the same example, maybe you can spark up your goal by putting a monetary target on it. Maybe you’d like to receive $X advances on those three books. (Try to keep it realistic, please.) Or, maybe you’d like to write those three books within six months and take the rest of the year off. Possibly, you have some other secondary goal that can be incorporated into your main goal to make it seem fresh.

The important thing here is to add layers onto your goal. You don’t need to change it entirely to make it work; you just need to add a soupçon of challenge to the mix.

One of my primary goals for 2014 was to blog three times per week. Now, I blogged three times per week though much of 2013 already, so maybe that wasn’t a high mark to reach for, but I knew I couldn’t do more than that regularly. So I made my challenge a little more challenging: I decided to write two (or more) article series and do three book reviews for my blog. These are secondary goals that fit in nicely with my overarching blogging goal and make me feel more successful as I accomplish them.

Bestselling author, Elaine Raco Chase, talks about rejuvenating your goals. (Burn out is a main theme in her book, Double Occupancy.) “Rejuvenating my goals – for me it means to clean everything in site with as much vigor as I can produce. The act of cleaning my surroundings also cleans my brain of self doubt about the story, the characters, and the words I have written. I get back to work feeling refreshed, ready to focus and ready to write.” Here’s a link to Elaine’s site.

You can prevent burn out, or recover from it, by rejuvenating your goals and making them fresh. Don’t let the same old things get you down. Make them shiny and new again by rethinking how they’re structured.

To recap our burn out remedies:

  1. Avoid overwork.
  2. Celebrate small successes.
  3. Keep your eye on the prize.
  4. Don’t second-guess yourself.
  5. Keep your goals fresh.

I hope this article series has been helpful to you. I’ve heard some complimentary things about it, and I’m more than delighted that it’s reached so many people who found it timely.

Please join me next month for a new article series on having a positive mental attitude. Don’t be like that woman in the commercial, crying out, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Thank you for joining me!

14 Comments

  1. This is a great series, and thank you for including me today. You’re right about not letting goals go stale, and knowing it’s okay to change mid-stream, as well…

  2. Elaine, whatever you’re doing obviously works! I love reading inspirational blogs/books. This is good stuff!

  3. Great Series…all your ideas helped me on so many levels…I even cleaned again yesterday after I wrote my comment! Helped me write and edit two chapters!

    • Thanks, Elaine. I’m glad you found the ideas helpful. And cleaning to feel refreshed is a great idea. I tend to have a messy desk — somehow I became the repository for miscellaneous household papers — but I find that if I clean it up and straighten out the stacks, it’s a much more pleasant place and can get me over a creative hump. It also reminds me of what’s at the bottom of those stacks, which can be helpful apart from my work.

  4. Thank you for your insight and helpful tips. Like so many others, I suffer with BURN OUT from time to time and must fight to keep myself from throwing up my hands and walking away. Balance is the key and so hard for creative minds to achieve. Seems the creativity (at least for me) becomes so strong it takes over everything else.

    • I understand what you mean, Ashley, about creativity taking over everything. If I didn’t have a husband who insisted that I quit work at a regular time, as though I was still technical writing, I would probably be one of those authors who sits around in a bathrobe, drinking bourbon and writing the “Great American Novel” that happened to be endless and very bad. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  5. I’ve enjoyed this series very much. Thank you!

    Don’t second guess yourself is such good advice. I’m not saying you should boldly plunge into everything w/o thought or consulting anyone else, but the cycle of second guessing, then asking others’ opinions to assist you in second guessing can become paralysing and suck the joy out of everything.

    I also like the layering idea. It doesn’t have to increase the goal, just adds some flavor.

    • You’re welcome for the series, Celeste. I couldn’t have done it without quotes from successful authors such as yourself. I think that really increased the articles’ applicability.

      Thank you for coming by to comment!

  6. This is great snd insightful infirmation, Trish. Great series.

  7. I loved this layering idea. I still need the consistency, but actually get bored with consistency. Did that make sense?
    I also really liked the “cleaning” idea and “filling your bucket” suggestion.
    Thanks for doing this series, Trish.
    I’m still working on catching up on the rest.

    This series has hit me at exactly the right time.:)
    Thanks!

    • “Layering” is a good word for it, Katherine. I’m a person who needs to challenge myself or, like you, I get bored. That’s why I’m always working like a madwoman.

      You’re welcome for the series. I enjoyed sharing some ideas. Thank you for dropping in, Katherine.

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