How is goal chasing impacting your life?
Are you caught up in checking boxes? Where are you in your box-checking life? Have you surpassed getting the degree? Getting married? Buying your dream home?
Are the boxes you are checking what you really want for your life? When you are checking these boxes, is your level of happiness increasing. Perhaps your level of stress is increasing because checking more boxes is equivalent to more responsibility. Let’s face it, excelling at work while maintaining a home and family is not easy.
You probably haven't realized it yet, but the source of your burnout is because you are checking boxes to satisfy a lifestyle that may not be for you. In your mind, you have convinced yourself you need to achieve a specific goal because it will make you more money, impress your friends, or make your parents proud. The truth is, you will never be satisfied by spending time achieving goals for the approval or validation of others.
So, how do you course correct this lifestyle? You have to get clear on what you want for yourself. When you are clear about what you want, you can decisively take action toward that lifestyle. For example, if you want a simple and stress-free life, chasing goals is probably not for you; instead, you will pursue less stressful experiences.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to clarify what you want in your life.
What do you value most?
When I ask people this question, people always say they value freedom and happiness; however, when I look at their lives, their behaviors produce the opposite of what they value.
How can this be?
The reason for this is a lack of clarity on what you value and how to get more of it. Many people think that making more money and checking the boxes you’ve been told to check will bring you more of what you want; however, it brings you less of it. Checking boxes brings more responsibility to your life; therefore, it will take you more time to manage the responsibility. For example, making lots of money and getting promoted to the highest level of your profession is on your list; you will be spending loads of time pursuing and maintaining that status. Sadly, that’s the opposite of freedom. So, when you get clear on what you want, it’s important to be realistic on what it takes for you to have what you want.
At the end of your life, what will you be most proud of?
Will you be most proud of the boxes you checked? Will you be most proud of the way you spent your time? Will you be most proud of the lives you’ve impacted? This is important to be clear about because to live the life you will be proud of; you have to make the behavioral changes today.
You can start asking yourself the questions above on a week-to-week basis. To ensure you don’t go months or years living a lifestyle you aren’t proud of.
Am I happy with the boxes I’ve checked thus far?
One of the main reasons you’re experiencing burnout right now is you aren’t evaluating your life as you are living it. Furthermore, you’ve convinced yourself that you need to endure some unpleasant experiences to achieve your goals. I’ve been there. I spent 16 years in a career that ran me; I didn’t run it. Even though I was burning out, I chose to believe things will change. They never did until I gained the courage to change my behavior and not let my career run my life.
If you’ve let checking boxes burn you out, the good news is now you have an awareness and can take steps to make changes in your life.