how to renew your energy when the going is hard
During one of my coaching sessions, my client voiced her concern that she just didn’t know how she could muster the energy to keep striving for her goals. Over the last few months, she’s had some great results by balancing her current workload and future career change. She defined her objectives, understood what she need to do and learn, built a route map and has gain valuable new experience and discovered talents to support her aspirations.
Right now. Well, that’s a different story. Things have slowed down. She’s not getting much traction and that’s no fun.
Her commitment is there. She’s putting in the hardwork and nearer to achieving her new direction than ever before, but she’s starting to feel more drained.
Sound familiar? I know I’ve been there. You need to do these three things to renew you energy.
1) Check your feeling
If adding a little or a lot of stretch to your life was easy, you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d be out there living that in full glorious technicolour. Here’s a reality check:
Sustainable change needs you to be in for the game, the set and the match.
You are potentially wasting your energy focusing on every minute by minute forehands and serves. Some will go as you intend and some will get blown off track. This is energy you could be using to progress – harness your feelings towards the bigger end goal: is the game going your way and will you win the match?
If the answer is yes, great. Don’t sweat it, keep doing what you’re doing. Make time to reinforce this positive feeling about your goal, future life, new job and so on – I like Pinterest boards, quotes and postcards on my gadgets, walls and doors. Combining this with a little mindfulness practice envisioning how things would be once I crack it allows me to spend time feeling how that would be.
If the answer is no or not sure. Hmmmmmm. Time to move to my second suggestion.
2) Check your thinking
One of the coaching tools, I’m fond of in this situation is perceptual positions – it allows you to observe your situation from outside to gain new perspective – with which you can alter your thinking about your change journey.
Start by reflecting on how you thinking about your progress and change – this is the first positions of self. What’s your point of view? What beliefs do you hold about your ability, situation and means to achieve your plans? What excuses, barriers and worse cases are you thinking up? Jot these down – this could be a piece of brain writing (simple writing as it comes to you without judgement) or a journal entry to yourself.
Next, put yourself in the mind of a trusted friend or colleague – this is the second position of someone who knows you and your ambitions well. How would they answer if asked what they believe your thinking is? Do you’re best to “be them” in their responses. (Better still – ask them direct and then share your own answers!)
Last, imagine you were a “fly on the wall” looking in from outside – this is the final position of independence. What do you see from this impartial, unbiased perspective? What suggestions and observations about your thinking would you be hearing from them?
Bring all 3 positions together – where are the similarities and the differences – how do you need to reframe your thinking patterns to support your ambitions and renew your energy?
By ensuring your thinking is positively focused, your feelings will shift too. Which brings me to my 3rd element to renew your energy.
3) Check your doing
You’re human with 24 hours in a day and numerous demands on those hours. Whilst your desire, motivation and commitment could be through the roof, you need to strike a balance and give yourself a chance to recuperate to renew your energy.
Get out your diary or journal. In the last 6 weeks, how many times did you find time to do something just for the fun of it? That could be popcorn and a boxset of a favourite TV show or indulging in baking a la Mary Berry. I wouldn’t include things like your regular jog or exercise class – to me these are part of your norms and whilst they do impact your energy levels, they are less likely to give you a bigger boast.
Looking ahead for the next 6 weeks, follow the MoSCoW principle – add the Musts, Shoulds, Coulds and Woulds of your commitments. How much of your time approximately is skewed to the first two, do they help move you forward or perhaps they cover the basics of “existing” i.e. your job, chores, deadlines and the like? My suspicions are that the things that enable you to be reenergised and restored are probably the latter to – only to be squeezed into your day as could do or would do if time, others and waking hours allow.
What would your energy levels be like if you mixed it up? Prioritise some R&R time to the Musts and seek to reduce the former Musts to a minimum or with a longer timeline. OK, let’s be real, I’m not saying drop important items but maybe reschedule, ask for help or amend the expectations on the outcomes.
So if the going is getting hard, renew your energy with these 3 techniques to bring your feeling, thinking and doing into alignment.
Looking back across my 3 energy boosters, which one are you needing to use today to achieve your ideal tomorrows and what is your first step to addressing it? Shout ’em out below.