Avoid Burnout: Do the Limbo Regularly
"If you can't jump over life's hurdles, limbo under them." - unknown
As I read this quote, my memory flickers back to a broadcast of the summer Olympics. I watched the efforts of the pole-vaulters leaving the confines of gravity, soaring into the air, and straining to arch their bodies in order to clear that incredibly high pole.
Those who executed well walked way from the landing with their heads held high, the bar untouched. Those who weren't so fortunate, limped away bruised and winded.
I have to admit, I don't think I have watched this sport since. Not so much because I don't respect athletes, but because it seems like such a lonely event. I never saw anyone on either side of the pole cheering, "You've got it!" as the athlete gives it his best effort.
Contrast that image with doing the limbo . . . quite a different picture. The limbo is a group activity filled with fun music and plenty of laughter. It's a party in motion.
Okay, I confess. I was not an athletic kid, so I struggled with doing the limbo about as much as pull-ups. I was a butterball with bad knees. But unlike pole vaulting, at least my feet were still on the ground and there was music playing. And when I fell, the landing was not quite so hard . . . mostly because there were plenty of smiling folks ready to lend a hand and help me back on my feet.
These were friends and acquaintances, some who had attempted and made it, as well as others who attempted and fell on their backside, as did I. That shared experience somehow made both the beginning and end of the game more enjoyable even when I was reluctant to participate in the first place, or when I was feeling winded.
Looking at my life, I realize that I have often raced through life and faced challenges as the lonely pole-vaulter. But now I realize, I can choose to "limbo" with others through challenges and opportunities, rather than go it alone.
I've found this works well with either my business or personal efforts. The more I learn about the mind-body-connection and what it takes to create new habits and maintain wellness, the more I know I must be willing to pursue such with the help of a "community."
For example, I know that once I write something down, I am more likely to do it, but I struggle with taking the first step. But when I'm there "at the limbo line" with others, I'm likely to face the challenge with some encouragement, and that helps me wriggle through. After all, when I fall or get tired, there's more than one person to help pick me back up.
Limbo line . . . here I come again! Want to join me?
Goal setting in the various quadrants of your life is the first step to 'getting into position' to limbo through your pursuits. It's a little uncomfortable to lean back, I mean, look back on your life, but you've got to assess where you've been in order to decide where you want to go or end up.
Once you look back, you can choose what you can/will/must do now to influence a healthier pace. Try these three steps for now:
I. Get into Position
Rate your satisfaction with the following areas of your life, using a scale of 1 to 5 with ‘5' meaning This area is balanced and will have good long-term results, and ‘1' meaning, This has absolutely got to change or I will have to pay for it with negative consequences.
____ your health
____ your relationships (with God or people)
____ your finances
____ your work
Once you've rated each area, choose at least two areas to work on this month. Set a goal for each priority area. What do you need to begin doing? What must you stop doing? When will you do it?
II. Be 'SMART'
Write goals that are specific, measurable, action to take, realistic, and schedule a time for the actions needed - the smaller steps - to accomplish your goals.
Two areas actually GIVE energy, both physical and mental, that will help you dance through the goals in the other areas of your life. They are Spiritual and Physical Health. Most energy and enthusiasm for another area will be supported by healthy choices in these areas.
III. Join the Limbo: Who will you tell?
Who will you give permission to ask how you are doing with your goals, or even better, invite to partner with you? If you want wellness, not just for today, but hopefully for decades to come, I encourage you to not just set goals, but share them with friends, family, your small group, etc. and get in the habit of reviewing them frequently with others, and adjusting them each month.