Welcome to part 2 of How to Succeed at a New Year’s Resolution. We will explore grieving the loss today, but first some housekeeping.
To explore this topic of resolutions we are using my own goal of journaling as a case study. So, I am going through this journey with you. Let review last week.
Last week we discussed began the discussion on how preparation is the key to succeeding at a New Year’s Resolution. That’s why I am writing these articles several weeks in advance. So, you can prepare for your New Year’s Resolution. Accountability was a big takeaway from last week. Making your goal known to your community adds an accountability aspect to your goal. For example, since last week I am 3 out of 4 for journaling, just because I made my goal public. 75% is way better than my previously dismal 28%. Making my goal public was the new wrinkle to help me succeed.
The other big takeaway was failure. My resolution is introducing something completely brand new to my life. I have to figure out where
Grieving the loss
So, I don’t know about you but the older I get the more things I can see that I haven’t done and will never be able to do.
What cultural wisdom has taught me is to continue moving forward, filling up my life with more and new and different. But I never get the time to grieve the things I have lost. The opportunities that I have missed. The friendships that melt away with each passing year. Moving forward will only get you so far. Eventually, all of it will become too much. A New Year’s Resolution might break you because you know you have to read more books or be at the gym more but you are carrying all this extra baggage around. I get it. I feel the same way. Know what the weighed down feeling eventually leads too, burnout.What cultural wisdom has taught me is to continue moving forward, filling up my life with more and new and different. But I never get the time to grieve the things I have lost. #resolutions #grief Click To Tweet
Burnout is deadly to our goals. It saps us of our energy and our hope. Hope is what we need to have in spades when diving into a New Year’s Resolution. So many of us are burned out though. If you read the last post and
Burnout lets you feel the weight of everything you have in your life, EVERYTHING. It talks to you and holds you back from doing even the mundane things because you have nothing left to give. When I am burned out, I play video games. I neglect almost all but the most basic of my responsibilities. I have nothing to give to everything else (or at least that’s what I have convinced myself of). That means I am not doing some of the most important things in my life. Worse, I am not being with the people who are most important in my life.Burnout lets you feel the weight of everything you have in your life, EVERYTHING. #resolution #didntseeitcoming Click To Tweet
Getting over burnout
The best way to get through or over burnout is to know your limits. It is to chill out, take breaks and do something else other than what you are burning out on. Getting over burnout can be a quick process, but it is usually longer than anyone wants it to be. The reason is that we have a lot of pent up hurt, frustration, failure, success (ironically enough), and exhaustion. We have to get over all of it before we can move past burnout.
One of the ways that things that hit me while I was reading Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof, was that part of his burnout was related to his inability to grieve for many things over the years. For him, it made his burnout time very weepy. We have to grieve
How to Grieve
One of the things you can do, first, is to check out the 5 stages of grief (linked here). This is actual psychologist backed research. This will get you through the deeper griefs along with a trained professional. What I will talk about are the more shallow ones.
For me, journaling is a way for me to write more. I am a happier and healthier person when I write more. What I grieved was my
- What are you grieving? – Did you miss an opportunity? Did you drift from a friend or did you lose something you long thought possible? The first thing you have to do is name your sore spot. Losing all that I learned this year, and losing out on time growing as a writer is my sore spot.
- What happened? – Why did drift from that friend? What cost you that opportunity? What changed in your life this year? Reflecting on what occurred is the next step. I failed to journal or organize myself in a meaningful way. I also failed to write every day.
- What could you have done? – This question now takes into account what was internal vs. what was external. It also takes into account if you could have done something differently. For example, imagine your friendship drifted because you moved away. Well, could you have stayed in the same city? If you moved for work probably not. Then what could you have done differently to maintain that friendship? I could have planned a journaling time and set up journaling prompts.
- What will you do differently next time? This part is crucial to this whole reflective process. You have to come out of grief with a plan. Its ok if the plan fails, but giving yourself some action(s)based on the research you have done allows you to test that research so you can actually grow. This lets you succeed at your goal.
- Let go of the grief. – You can’t change the past. You can only grow or shrink from it. Why not grow? The best way to grow is to let go of grief. Move on. It’s over, which is sad in and of itself. That doesn’t change the fact that we have to move on and let go. If you don’t let go then you miss why we grieve in the first place
The first key reason to grieve was burnout. If you don’t grieve things then they will build up. As they build up the heavier, they get and the more you pile on yourself. Eventually you are just crushed by the weight. That’s burnout. This happens all the time because we are terrible at grieving things. I don’t think it always has to be this long and involved process. I think it took me 30 minutes to decide to journal so that I could write every day and keep a collection of all that I have done this year. It can be quick if you do it on the healthy side of burnout.Eventually, you are just crushed by the weight. That’s burnout. This happens all the time because we are terrible at grieving things. #resolutions #grief Click To Tweet
If burnout weren’t a big enough incentive for you. Imagine this. You drift through life never succeeding at any of your resolutions. You don’t actually grow or change. The weight gets heavier, but never so bad that you burnout. You just drift…. For what? The question becomes are you even alive?
Grieving gives you back your
Grief is a part of life. It is one of the reasons we live. Without grief, did we ever care about anything? No, we need this. You need this today and for parts of the rest of the year. We need to get over our past mistakes and failures and embrace the future. 2018 is nearly gone and that is sad, but 2019 is upon us and we can make it great. You can make it great.
Grieve because you are alive.
Grieve because you need to let go.
Grieve because you want to succeed next year.
Grieve because you have to.
Grieve because we all have failed, and that’s ok because we can do better tomorrow.
Last week we talked about how preparing was essential to our success in creating and following through on our new year’s resolution.
This week we talked about how we have to grieve to let go of and learn from the past.
Next week, we will talk about narrowing down and designing our goals. You may have heard about the SMART goal framework. Well, I am going to introduce you to the SMARTER goal framework.
Between now and next week take some time and reflect on why you are creating your New Year’s resolution. Specifically, look into why you have failed in the past or why hurt or pain point you are trying to overcome. Grieve that failure or pain point and then come into next week’s reading with some freshness to you.Between now and next week take some time and reflect on why you are creating your New Year’s resolution. #grief #resolution #prepared Click To Tweet
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