How to set goals that don't lead to burnout

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As September rolls around, hopefully you are feeling energised from your summer and ready to set yourself some new goals for work. New research from Arizona University has uncovered some insights into how best to set these goals in such a way so as to avoid potential burnout.

Key tenets from the research include

- Being sure that the goals are self set and not imposed upon you from on high - i.e. finding congruence between your organisation’s goals and your personal goals

- Seeing the big picture and how each person’s goals inter-play to achieve the overall bigger goal

- An increased responsibility on Managers to look for signs of stress in their Staff before burnout sets in, and an increased need for personal responsibility in this space - to know yourself well enough that you recognise potential signs of burnout in advance

While the research of Michael Baer et al perhaps doesn’t yield any results which we don’t already on some level intrinsically already know, what I would add is that in my Coaching clinic and in my Organisational Psychology business, I see stress levels steadily rising. I regularly find myself assisting People with how to manage their stress and with knowing how to say “no”, and I regularly find myself talking with Managers about the importance of goal congruence and of the critical need to “see the person behind the job”.

With talk of another recession being around the corner, the pressure it seems is on to make enough hay while the sun shines. What I would say however, is that now is perhaps the time for you to take this advice to heart. It is not rocket science. In fact it is in many ways a common sense view ( backed up by oodles of research). Either way, if we want to make that hay, we have to have engaged and motivated employees to help us. And we all have a personal responsibility to make sure that happens.