Happy New Year! I recently took some time off and enjoyed trying new things and getting out of my routine. I’ve realized that it’s easy for me to get stuck doing the same things. And with that comes thinking the same way. I decided to challenge my thinking and try something new. I’ve always thought if I get my morning run in each day, I’ll get a good workout and that’s all I need. Wrong! Research shows that as women age, they need to build strength by working with weights.So I’ve started doing a kettlebell workout three times a week. I thought it would be no big deal. I have strong legs; I run all the time! Whew, was I wrong. After my first workout of deadlifts and kettlebell swings, my hamstring muscles hurt so much I could barely sit down without groaning and holding onto a chair. It was a bit humbling. I kept at it though, and now in week two I don’t have the soreness in my muscles, and I’m enjoying having to stretch myself and try new lifts and positions. I’m also noticing that I feel stronger and can run a little faster.
Researcher and executive advisor Liz Wiseman’s research on burnout shows that people burn out because they’re having too little impact, rather that really making a difference. We don’t burn out because of effort and commitment, we burn out when we feel what we’re doing isn’t working or making a difference. The antidote to burnout is to find greater impact in the work you do. One way to do that is to find work that is more relevant. Stop doing work that no longer matters and try to navigate to higher priority projects. The second thing that helps is to increase the level of challenge in your work. In studies, when the challenge level went up, job satisfaction went up. Look for challenging work that stretches you. Say yes to something you’re not sure you can do or would be good at.
Reflect on challenges you’re already facing in 2022. What are your judgments about those challenges? How are you reacting to those judgments? Are they causing you to get stuck? If people are involved, what assumptions are you making about them? What if you tried to look at it from their side? Does anything shift or change in your thinking?
If you’re feeling stuck about a situation, process or person, it’s ok not to know what to do. This is a prompt to get curious and do some exploring. What feels stale or tired? What are you bored with? Stop and reflect on why you do something the way you do it. After you’ve tried it for yourself, offer this as a guide to your staff or peers. What comes up for them? Share your reflections together. Are there any new insights? Have assumptions been made that weren’t realized?
Let 2022 be the year you try something different, you challenge a long held assumption and you allow for a shift of perspective. Get unstuck!