One of the most challenging aspects of growth is finding the right balance between pushing yourself to achieve your goals and going easy on yourself when you need a break. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout, a lack of inspiration, and imbalance, while going too easy can decrease your motivation and productivity. Thus, it’s a balance that often takes years of practice. In this post, we’ll share some tips to help you discern when to push yourself versus when to go easy to lessen some of the learning curve.
Stay on Track with Goals
Push yourself when you have a clear and realistic goal that you are passionate about. If you have a vision of what you want to accomplish and why it matters to you, you will be more motivated and resilient to overcome obstacles and setbacks. And if that vision is realistic and achievable, you’ll avoid outdoing yourself.
Often used by businesses to increase productivity, setting SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound – can also be beneficial in the personal realm; and, it’s an easy way to remember how to make goals the most helpful. By setting these types of goals, you’ll avoid overworking yourself while making sure you’re getting things accomplished.
Tread Lightly in Particularly Difficult Situations
It’s okay to go easy on yourself when you are facing situations that are particularly stress-inducing or unbalancing. Often, these events are beyond your control; life throws us curveballs that we cannot predict or prevent, such as personal loss, health issues, and global crisis. In these cases, it is important to acknowledge your feelings, seek support, and practice self-care (see more great tips on our blog!). Going easy on yourself will allow you to come back more easily to a state of balance and health.
Make An Effort to Keep Learning
Push yourself when you have the opportunity to learn something new or improve your skills. Learning is essential for personal growth, and without pushing yourself, you lose your full potential for self-improvement. While initially difficult, learning can help you feel more confident, capable, and contented in the long run. Pushing yourself in this case may mean seeking feedback, taking on new challenges, and embracing mistakes as opportunities for growth.
As you work toward your goals, keep checking in with yourself to make sure you’re not burning out. Sometimes, we take on too much or set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, which can lead to stress, anxiety, or complete exhaustion. Thus, it’s important to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to return to a balanced state. Going easy on yourself in this case means prioritizing your well-being, setting boundaries, and asking for help when needed.
Finding the right balance between pushing yourself and going easy on yourself is not always easy, but it is possible with some self-awareness and self-regulation. By following these tips, you can achieve your goals without compromising your health or happiness.