For most, January is the longest month of the year, but for me, it has flown superfast. I got super carried away. My brain was ready to be engaged and I pummeled it almost to pumpkin mush. It didn’t help insomnia was my friend. My brain was on overdrive, then finally on Friday my brain just said, “forget it,” and I crashed. I worked till 3 am Saturday because I had a ridiculous deadline to meet. After that, I slept till Saturday at 3 pm in the afternoon.

My body was tingling with exhaustion that evening. I went to bed early till Sunday morning. My body was still tingling with exhaustion,  I stayed in bed till 1 pm and vegetated on the couch.

My immune system has been compromised, now I have a cold from nowhere and a painfully low concentration span. Simple mistakes I would notice are going unnoticed and 20-minute work is taking me 2 to 3 hours to do.

On Sunday evening I went to bed at about 9 pm Sunday to awake at 8 am on Monday, still exhausted. I have a lot of work to do still. But I realise why I hit burn out so fast. In just 3 weeks of the year’s kick-off.

I just took on too much.  The late nights and early mornings after 3 to 4 hours of sleep. It is wearing on me. I am taking on way more than I can chew and there is a price to pay for it. So a quick audit is in order. Some people may want to kill me for this, but I will have to shed off a number of things in the next few weeks to give me a sane balance of work and play. Because burn out is definitely not going to be what this year is about.

Well, at least I have learnt my lesson earlier in the year, like within 3 weeks to know how I am setting myself to fail. I am not quite sure what your year is like so far. But here’s what I intend to do to prioritize my health and sanity this year. I hope this little guide will help you as it will help me.

  1. Re-prioritise – the work that I really want to do; work which is fulfilling and challenging growth. That will mean being a bit pickier about the work I do and who I work with.
  2. Charity – Limit the number of charities I support. And also limit how many hours I will volunteer a week, if it exceeds that time frame, I may have to walk away and find a less intense charity to support.
  3. Time management – Revise my weekly work calendar to ensure I still have room for personal development, pet projects and ‘me’ time to ensure sufficient rest and recuperation within the week.
  4. Exercise – I have been walking a lot the last few weeks, I just need to make it more regular and eventually graduate to something more intense.
  5. Therapy – Even as I do feel great and in a winning state, I am cognizant of the fact that I have to work on my mental health to stay on my game this year. Therapy begins in the next few weeks. I have a therapist on lockdown I just need to ensure I stay the course.
  6. Prayer – I need to stay grounded in my faith. It keeps me sane and reminds me of what is most important.
  7. Family and Friends – I need to stay in touch and just enjoy being around their awesomeness.

That’s what I intend to use as a guide to staying the course of my life goals and dreams this year. I hope this offers some guidance and direction for you as you continue to plan your year!