You cannot swing a dead cat without hitting announcements about taking January by storm.
Don’t let another day go by!
New Year New You!
Turn the calendar and turn your life around!
As a productivity coach, this is my prime business time. Resolutions are ready to be made. Change is ready to be had.
I had grand plans. Campaigns and free resources. Blog posts filled with humor and touching anecdotes. Connections and outreach to spread the word about Sustainable Productivity.
I was going to fill the slow weeks of Christmas and New Years with time blocked planning in a schedule that would cause the military to wilt. I was going to Get Shit Done.
I just hit the wall. It felt like my creativity dried up, my mojo and energy bottomed out. My get up and go got up and went. There would be no taking January by storm. It was neither productive nor sustainable.
I limped through hours of my day job, then read fiction and watched garbage TV while crafting. Long time readers know I have been alternating reading the Harry Potter books and listening to the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text (HPST) podcast chapter by chapter.
In the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in what seems to be a throw away sentence in the almost 800 page book, Tonks says she is too tired to stand guard. She needs a break and asks for help. Instead of powering through and putting herself and Harry at risk, she leans on the Order to help her. The way Casper and Vanessa sum this up on the HPST podcast is succinct and spot on: Respite is viewed as a luxury, but it is a necessity. We need to lean on others to help carry the load.
Respite is viewed as a luxury, but it is a necessity.
I needed help for sure. Asking for help is not my strong suit either. I wonder if you might be able to relate? Let’s look at a few ways you might be able to lean on others so that you can get the respite you need.
Handling the Load
Leaning on others can look different depending on the load, the season, the person, the helper, and various other reasons. Here are a few examples of how you might ask for help carrying the load instead of powering through.
- Literally. It is asking your partner or kids to help bring in the groceries. Or going to the store to buy you cold medicine.
- Emotionally. This could look like unburdening your mind and heart into a journal or with a therapist.
- Oppositely. Sure you relax better in a tidy space, but what if your tank is empty at the end of the day? Would it be more restorative to sit down and read for 15 minutes or power through and clean out the closet just because it was on your to do list?
I tell you all this for a few reasons.
It is not too late for you.
It is not too late for you. Ever. Maybe looking back at the 2020 holiday season you realize you packed too much in and you are running on fumes now. It is not too late. Start again with today, right now when you are reading this. Put 10 minutes into your calendar to just sit down. Or take a walk down the block. Or hide in the closet with your book. Whatever might feel restorative to you.
Restorative – not numbing. Hide in the closet with your book, not a bottle. Walk down the block to notice nature and take it easy, not sprinting to see how far you can get in 10 minutes.
Good enough is both.
Good enough is both. Growing up I often heard that good enough is neither. But what if you flipped that around, “good enough is both”? Cleaning out one shelf is good enough for today. Doing the gentle yoga stretching class instead of power yoga is good enough.
Then you can check in with yourself tomorrow to see if there is more space to do more or if you need to continue to give yourself a respite. Maybe instead of taking January by storm, we take small, solid, comfortable steps that are consistent over time.
Before we wrap up, I want to share my 2021 theme with you. I take that end of year burnout seriously and am backing off. Instead of setting New Years Resolutions or picking a word, this year seems to be the year I need to back off a smidge. My 2021 theme is a paraphrasing of St Francis of Assisi:
Wear life as a loose garment.
I will refer back to this often in the hopes that it inspires you to do the same or to seek out a pace to life that matches the season you are in. In the meantime, remember that respite is viewed as a luxury, but it is a necessity. Resting helps create the space in our lives to mentally, physically, and emotionally have room to move.
What about you? Did you pick a 2021 word or phrase? Maybe you set some goals or resolutions. Let me know in the comments or Instagram.