We’ve all been there. A little depressed, but not clinically so. A little overwhelmed, but not all that much. A little tired, for no good reason. If you’re at a low point, maybe it’s time to take a step back, reassess, and take charge of where you’re heading. Reenergize with these time-tested and proven tips and techniques.
- Get back to the basics. What are your values? When was the last time you sat down and reviewed them? Are they still in line with who you want to become? If you’re not sure, perhaps a review of Wake Up and Create the Life You Want will help you.
- Remember your mission. If you don’t have a mission statement for your life, read How to Write Your Personal Mission Statement.
- De-clutter. Again, back to the basics. Eliminate all the mind-cluttering junk around you and feel your spirit soar!
- Set new goals. Maybe you’re bored. We’ve all been there. Lou Holtz said, “If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” Try setting some new goals knowing that you can have, do, or be anything you want. Take any old, out-dated goals off your list; at this point, they might just be clutter. For a step-by-step process, read How to Set Goals You Can Actually Achieve.
- Start something new. Join your local Toastmasters club. Go snowboarding with a church group. Get involved in a local program even if it just vaguely interests you. You might be surprised at how much helping others helps you!
- Be positive. This seems obvious, but when things have come to a lull, you’re probably surrounded by some negativity and could use a good cleaning out. Try Surrounding Yourself with a Positive Environment for a good mental dusting.
- Re-think your To-Do list. I’m a big lover of lists, but many people use them to their disadvantage. Too many list items will make you feel overwhelmed and out of control. Make sure every item on your list is directly related to your values, goals, and mission. Anything that isn’t needs to be delegated, or just eliminated all together.
- Make time for yourself. Start saying no to obligations that don’t fulfill you personally. The greatest gift you have to give is your happiness. Take time regularly throughout your day for a “happiness check.” If each woman would make the time every day for One Hour of Solitude, well, there’s no telling what we could achieve!
- Keep track of your time. It’s difficult to know where you need to make changes if you don’t know where all the hours are going now. I use an Excel spreadsheet to make sure my days are spent the way I want. I spend 20 percent of my time on my top payoff activities. You’d be surprised at how much this helps. You might also be surprised to find out that you are majoring in minors – doing all the small tasks that are getting you nowhere. In a future post, I’ll share with you my spreadsheet and the analysis I use to determine my top 20 activities. Register now so you don’t miss it!
- Take it one step at a time. Every accomplishment starts somewhere. If you performed just one task, no matter how small, every day toward your biggest goal, you will eventually attain that goal. It’s a must. For inspiration to get you started, read You Can Change the World, One Day, One Task at a Time.
- Keep your goals to yourself. This is very important. You need to be able to see and read your goals several times a day. I use Outlook and keep them in a separate category that I pull up three times a day. But unless you know your friends, co-workers, and family will be supportive, don’t tell anyone what your goals are. Right now you’re probably thinking, “Why, Debra? That goes against what almost every other goals guru says.” I know, but here’s the reason. Have you ever told someone about a goal you were excited about only to have him or her burst your bubble with comments like, “Yeah, right. I can just see you doing that,” or some other negative comment? Brian Tracy says that he has researched what happens to people after leaving one of his seminars and finds that the number one reason participants don’t make any progress toward their dream is because they shared it with someone else who discouraged them. Don’t take that chance. Keep it to yourself.
- Slow down. I know you want what you want now. I’ve been there. But tackling things slowly and consistently can be much more productive than running around like a chicken with its head cut off, making yourself overwhelmed, and tired. Don’t get me wrong, enthusiasm is good. Just remember to do your strategic planning so that you’re not spinning your wheels. When you’re feeling low, take a day to just stop, breathe, and plan.
- Read. This is a technique that always works for me. Anytime I feel like I need a jump-start, I get out a book. Reading energizes and motivates me. If I need motivation to do something in particular, reading books or online articles about that particular subject always gets me moving. For a list of my favorites, see my Amazon store.
- Get a new hobby or rediscover an old one. What gives you inexplicable energy? Gardening and cooking do it for me. I can’t explain it. You would think that something as physically exhausting as gardening, especially the way I do it, would be an energy drain. It’s not. I love it and when I finally come inside, I feel great. Especially mentally. Gourmet cooking is the same, and much easier to do in the winter than gardening! I think it’s the creativity and success, not to mention the good food automatically built in to the equation that makes up for the hard work. Yes, it takes some effort to get started, but don’t all worthwhile endeavors?
- Get rid of energy “vampires.” If there is someone in your life who drains the energy out of you, you must terminate that relationship. Hopefully that person is not your spouse because that would make things a lot more difficult. (And I’m not going there.) Here’s what I’m talking about. I had a friend once that I met at work. She was very nice and we hit it off great since we seemed to have a lot in common. However, she started using me as her sounding board for her life complaints. She began calling me every day with complaints about work, her other friends, her husband, her father and stepmother, her siblings, you name it. Finally, I stopped answering the phone, and did not return her calls. After four weeks, she got the hint. Was it difficult to do that? Yes. Do I ever regret it? No.
- Find your passion. Are you working in a job or career field you hate? Maybe it’s time to get out. A recent Gallup poll said that a full one third of Americans would be happier in another job. Are you doing what you love to do? For more direction on this topic, read How to Decide What to Do with the Rest of Your Life.
- Join others with similar interests. Just like reading about a subject can get you going, so can spending time with other people who share your passion and enthusiasm for a particular career or hobby. You could sign up for gardening or cooking classes, join a gym, or sign up for basketball with your local church. If you’re a member of a professional organization, see they offer mastermind group setups. Online forums are a great way to share ideas, get help, and meet people with similar interests. Replacing the energy vampires with subject enthusiasts is a great way to give yourself a new outlook on life.
- Appreciate where you are now. No matter what is going on in your life, if you have the ability to read this post, there is something you have to be grateful for. What is it? Great. What else? Create a list of everything you love and appreciate in your life right now. You can write about people, things, relationships – whatever comes to mind. Right down what you love about it, why you love it, and what it adds to your life experience. When you’re finished, you just might not need the previous 17 items in this list!
Thanks for reading today. I’d love to hear from you. What helps you jump-start your life?
This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on January 26, 2007