diamond watch final resized
Colored Pencil and Gouache Onyx and Diamond Watch Rendering by Joana Miranda

As I’m racing against the clock trying to squeeze in updating my Etsy site with my latest jewelry, while finding the time to both exercise and eat before I have to go and play an 80 minute Bruckner symphony tonight, I’ve been pondering something I read in a job search email today.  These tips on how to avoid burnout were put together by Project Working Moms…and Dads, too! I found them very apropos and fitting for my mood today.  Here they are, with my additions in red ink:

Put in 15 minutes.
When the thought of sitting down to the computer (or to do whatever difficult chore) late at night makes you want to cry, convince yourself to put in just 15 minutes. At the very least you will get a little something done.

But don’t be surprised if once you begin your task, you get more done. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.

Keep it realistic.
Setting high goals is good, but make sure they are realistic. Setting your sights too high can backfire when you aren’t able to reach them and this can actually ruin your motivation if you start feeling like a failure.

Jot down goals on paper, but keep assessing your progress and make adjustments when necessary. Remember there are many ways to get to the finish line. Keep evaluating because your initial course may not be the best way if it proves to be unrealistic.  (One very wise friend once told me to write down my 3 month, 3 year and lifetime goals on three separate sheets of paper.  I’ve done this exercise periodically since then, and have dated and kept all of these goal sheets.  Looking back now on my earlier goals, I’m amazed at how many of the ones I took the time to write down were actually achieved!)

Keep a gratitude journal.
One sure way to have a positive attitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Jotting down everything you are thankful for on a consistent basis will help you keep things in perspective and realize just how good you have it.  (My sister suggested I do this back in the fall;  I should have thanked her then more profusely for her good advice and actually followed it.  Now I plan to!)

Maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude will help you to feel thankful for this opportunity and keep you motivated to make the most of it.

Get inspired.
Put together an “Inspiration Binder”. This can consist of inspiring quotes and letters of encouragement from friends and family. Be sure to include a letter to yourself.

Putting your own strengths on paper is not conceited but rather a great way to pump yourself up when negative self-talk gets down. Don’t underestimate the power of motivating words.


“Nothing befalls a man except what is in his nature to endure.”  Marcus Aurelius


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