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The Four Burners Exercise For Goal Setting

Do This Wellness Coach's Self-Care Exercise to Get Your Health (and Life) on Track

It sounds cliche, but life can get overwhelming sometimes. Balancing it all — from your career to your relationships to your diet — can make you feel like things are spiraling out of control. First of all, know you're not alone. Even the most seemingly put-together people struggle with time management and organizing their priorities. Kym Ventola, wellness and business coach and founder of Nine Women's Retreat, knows what this feels like firsthand, and her clients also face the same challenges in their own lives. She shared a self-care exercise that will help you get organized and feel less stressed.

Kym recommends doing something called the Four Burners. "Take a piece of paper. Draw four circles — these are your burners, like on a stovetop," she told POPSUGAR. "In the first circle, write family. In the next circle, write friends. The last two circles are health and career." Think about those for a second before you dive into the meat of this exercise.

"The idea is that you cannot have all four burners going or you will burn out (some call this 'spread too thin')," Kym explained. "If you want to be healthy/successful, you have to turn off one burner. To be really successful (however you define success), you have to turn two burners off."


Think closely about what you want to achieve and which two you would turn off. "If health is important to you right now, can you scale back on those after-work happy hours or reduce the number of hours you put in at work? Can you set your alarm and get up a little earlier?" Kym advised. "The important thing to remember is that only you have the choice to take action for change. No one can tell you what's a priority in your life right now. And this doesn't have to be permanent! The Four Burners are adjustable at any time."

So if you're trying to lose weight, you may have to cut back a little bit from some of your other burners. But like Kym said, you can always go back after you've reached your weight-loss goals and readjust where you put your focus.

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