Quick note about this post: This one has writing activities so you can play along as you go. So grab some paper and a pen or prepare your favorite digital notes app and get ready for some reflective fun!
The burnout in the air is palpable. In a society that rewards constantly doing ALL the things, it can be hard to quiet the noise and the allay the pressure. Many people I know feel done with the capitalist demands of “doing and/or producing something” or always being “on and available” at their jobs, and this has culminated into a tidal wave NOPE.
It seems that if anything good came out of the pandemic it’s that more people are realizing they are not interested in this “grind” anymore. Some have taken the leap and switched to a new job or left the corporate world, pursuing paths that bring more happiness and joy to their lives. Others just seem to be done with “it” even if they are not sure what it is. For some, it just feels like things aren’t good, even if they don’t know what to do about it.
Where to Begin?
There are many ways to approach burnout, and I’d like to share some that worked for me.
Quick back story
Mike and I opened Reimagym in August of 2020. This is our first business. We had some ideas on how to run it, based on some research and seminars we’d been too, but we knew we wanted more guidance.
We joined a group that was called the Leadership Society (but has since changed names and forms). Although this group was about how to be a good business leader, there were some valuable tools and lessons I learned to apply to my life as well.
During the program we did monthly check-ins on questions such as:
- What are the best and worse moments from your last 30 days?
- Why do these moments matter?
- On a scale of 1-10, how much time do you spend on: family and intimacy, purpose, our health, social interaction etc. ?
These questions were a great way for me to see the bigger picture of my life. I did not know it yet, but these questions were designed to get at my underlying core values.
STEP 1: FIND YOUR CORE VALUES
Your core values, in the simplest terms, are a set of beliefs or opinions that influence how you live your life. To discover your values, take a moment to think about what matters most to you.
- Who do you look up to and why?
- Where in your life do you find yourself in a flow state?
- What are your best and most painful moments in your life and what do these experience tell you about your core values?
My business mentor also said: “Think about the places you end up feeling annoyed, especially with another person. It’s probably because they are going against a personal value of yours.”
I find answering these questions helpful to unearthing those values that might not be so obvious.
The benefits of knowing your values are many. It can increase your confidence and make decision-making easier because you can identify whether a decision aligns with your values or not. Knowing your values can help you choose career, know whether/when to change careers or help focus your search to specific jobs/vocations.
With your answers to the previous questions in mind, read this list of values below and select the 10 words that resonate most with you. If you need a larger list, check out this one.
Accomplishment Accountability Achievement
Commitment Community Competence Confidence
Consistency Dedication Determination Discipline Ease
Efficiency Empowerment Endurance
Enthusiasm Excellence Experience Family Fearlessness Flexibility
Friendship Fun Gratitude
Independence Joy Knowledge Leadership Mastery
Once you have your top 10 values, narrow that list down to your top 5. Then, narrow those 5 down to your top 3 (in order of importance).
My top three are:
- Continuously learning
- Making a difference
Once you know your values, you can look at the supports in your life. These we call your Big Rocks
STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR BIG ROCKS
Your Big Rocks are what is most important to you, the people, places and activities that you can’t imagine your life without. To discover your Big Rocks, think about what makes the biggest positive impact in your life now. What activities or people make you feel fulfilled?
Additionally you can ask yourself these questions:
- What things do you want to prioritize in your life and in your future?This might include friends and/or family, service to others, your health and wellness, your career, or your hobbies.
- What are the things you’re most passionate about?
- Who are the most important people in your life?
- What is that special thing that people count on you for — that you also enjoy providing?
Some examples of Big Rocks are:
- Friends and/or family
- Service to others
- Leisure activities
- Other hobbies
Spend a few moments and prioritize what’s most important to you and then create your list. Just like above, you want to start with a bigger list and whittle it to your top five and then your top 3.
My top three are:
- Friends/family connection
- Health and Wellness
STEP 3: WRITE YOUR PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
A mission statement defines what’s most important to you in your life. It highlights how you want to spend your time and energy— your own personal guide for saying “yes” and “no” in a sea of possibilities.
There are several ways to write a Mission Statement. You can free-form write it if you prefer an unstructured approach. If you like a little structure, or you’re just starting out, you may want to use a formula.
- Because of my values of [first core value], [second core value], and [third core value], thriving for me means spending my life doing [big rock] and [big rock] with __________, and prioritizing ____________. ( adapted from the GGS Free Menopause Course)
- From the Leadership Society: Answer these questions:
- What’s the one word you want engraved on your tombstone to represent your impact in the world?
- Next, write a few thoughts as to why you chose this word.
- How can your life path or the choices you make support your goals around that one word?
- If the answers to these questions were condensed into a one- or two-sentence personal mission statement, what would it say? 
My personal mission: I’m on a mission to share my knowledge of health and wellness so that people can (re)discover their inner and outer strength and awesomeness.
Additional Thoughts on Mission Statements
The mission statement you write now is not forever. The idea is to come back to it often, not only to help with decisions, but because as you learn and grow your mission changes. This is natural and right.
MISSION STATEMENT TO THE RESCUE
When you have a mission statement, you can use it as a north star from which to make all future decisions.
So, don’t put that writing tool away yet.
Based on what you wrote for the previous activities, and knowing how your life is structured now: Where do you need to make some changes? Do you need to cut back on some commitments (both work and personal) to find balance? Which commitments and activities don’t align with your missions statement? Can they be delegated? Do they just need to be a hard no?
To be in greater alignment with your mission statement, do you need to acquire a new skill? Change jobs? Tip the scale towards more personal and playful activities?
Once you have a clear idea of the where you want to go and the changes you need to make, there will be many more steps before you are living your mission. The changes and steps won’t happen in a snap, so be patient with yourself and others.
But you’ll get there because you’re prioritizing it.
You’ve got this!
I wish you a creative and fun journey as you go through this process and start living in alignment with your mission. If you like, let Mike and me know how it’s going!