Workaholic mode has been destroying me
Last week, I took a sabbatical from work to reorganize, reimagine, reinvigorate myself and my work. I started my website development business in April 2013. The first few months were slow; in July I didn’t even make enough money to pay my rent. But by the autumn, I was picking up more projects and had a steady income that allowed me to breathe much easier than I did in those summer months. Since then, it feels like the business has grown exponentially and I found myself in full-fledged workaholic mode, working 12 to 14 hour days for 6 days every week. Living in that mode is unsustainable. It’s been destroying me.
It was time for a change
So on my sabbatical week, I asked myself what I wanted to change, what I wanted to do better, what help I needed. I redesigned my websites so they work better for me and reflected who I am now as a developer. I carved out a chunk of work to pass to a friend who will be helping me regularly. And most importantly, I decided what I need to bring (back) into my life.
And the beginning needed to be different
I’ve done this before: said I was going to start blogging regularly, but failed horribly, abandoning my blog just a few weeks later. I’ve done it with so many projects I wanted to work on, skills I wanted to learn, adventures I was trying to plan.
But sometimes you arrive at a point and you recognize that everything will be different. Because it has to be. Because if it isn’t, you won’t survive. Because it’s finally time to begin again. It’s a moment of rebirth.
Ditching lofty resolutions
I knew I couldn’t tackle change like I had in the past: by deciding I would change everything when I woke up the next morning. I had crazy goals: exercise every day, learn a new language, blog and use social media regularly, eat healthy… It was too overwhelming, and changing everything is hard to remember to do. Honestly, by trying to make drastic changes, I was setting myself up for failure. I knew it.
It’s like every New Year’s Resolution I broke in the past. New Year’s never had enough magic in it.
I attempted a lofty resolution again this summer: I wanted to reclaim my mornings (which were often taken over by emails and clients). My friend Erin and I discussed this at length, since she was in the same spot. I even made a list: at least 30 minutes of exercise followed by stretching, some journaling, meditation, and a leisurely breakfast. How often did I manage a morning like this? Only once. It was too much.
Hello, little changes that stick around
This time, change will be gradual. I’ve set small goals for myself, little actions I can take that will have big effects on my happiness. Write on my blog once a week. Pull my bow back 10 times every day. Walk for at least a half hour four times during the week, whether it’s at the gym or in nature. Meditate for 10 minutes. There’s a little list of joy that’s growing, a collection of changes that will be integrated slowly, with new ones added as others take hold. I’ve started with three changes this week, and this blog is one. (Note: A friend recommended irunurun, an app that helps keep you accountable.)
I’m sticking around, and I hope you will too.
Tell me yours
What three little changes will you start with?