Do you have enough energy to create the life you want? Energy is the critical, invisible force that creates your vitality and aliveness. Without it, you drag through life, tired, stressed, and drained. With it, you feel good, enjoy yourself, and have the fuel to create what you want in life. When it comes to energy, more is definitely better and you can create more energy with a few simple steps. Your Energy Account Think of your energy like a bank account. Your thoughts, activities, actions, and interactions all have the potential to increase or decrease the balance in your account. Withdrawing energy lowers the balance; depositing energy raises the balance. To keep your energy account high (which is what you want) minimize your withdrawals and maximize your deposits. It sounds so simple but how can you actually do this? How Do You Keep the Balance High? Here are two keys to increasing the balance in your energy account. 1) Drop the drains. We use energy all day long. That’s what energy is for. However, some things drain too much of our life energy. You might be drained by your job, certain family members, technology, time pressures, negative self-talk, negativity in others, or world problems. What drains you is unique to you. A job, a person, or a task you find draining might not be draining for someone else. Do less of what drains you. This may seem obvious yet it has been a breakthrough idea for some of my clients. Somehow they hadn’t thought of stopping or doing less of what drained them. When they did – surprise! – they had a lot more energy. 2) Do what lights you up. What lights you up is what energizes and enlivens you, what you love, what you’re passionate about. By their very nature, your “lights” are deposits to your energy account. The more you do what lights you up, the more energy you’ll have. Like energy drains, lights are specific to each individual. What lights you up could actually drain someone else and vice versa. People are lit up about many things: a walk on the beach, visiting an art museum, playing with a pet, listening to music, talking with friends. This list could go on forever. The key is to identity what lights YOU up and what drains YOU. Then do more of the former and less of the latter. An Example I’ve been working on a project the last month or so, a project that was taking more time than I thought it would or “should.” I began to pressure myself to get the darn thing done. I started working more and playing less. This drained much energy out of my account without replenishing it so the balance kept getting lower and I kept feeling worse. By the time I realized what was happening, my energy was very low. This “low balance alert” told me I needed to stop the energy drains and do more of what lights me up before I hit NSF (non-sufficient funds) in my energy account! For me that meant allowing myself to slow down, working less on the project, and taking at least two hours every day to do something that lit me up. The first day on my new plan, I worked only a couple of hours on my project. I then took a top-down drive in my convertible on a summery day, went to lunch at an elegant restaurant with a book I was interested in, and spent time visiting with friends. Throughout the day, I kept reminding myself it was okay to slow down and take it easy. By the evening I was on an energy high, feeling happy, calm, and more myself. Just one day of less drain and more lights made a huge difference! I’ll continue to make this a priority until my energy account is filled up. In Your Life If you’d like to increase the balance in your energy account, here are a few suggestions. 1) Assess your energy account. What’s your balance? If you’re overflowing with positive energy, congratulations! Keep doing what you’re doing as it’s working for you. If your balance is not as high as you’d like, try the steps below. If your energy is depleted or draining rapidly as mine was, make restoring your energy your number one priority. Use the steps below to boost your energy as quickly as possible. 2) Notice what drains you. Ask yourself “What is draining me?” and get curious about the answer. Give yourself permission to and be creative about how to decrease your energy drains. 3) Give yourself permission to and do more of what lights you up. If you don’t yet know what lights you up — or would like to know more — ask yourself on a regular basis, “What lights me up?” or “Does this light me up?” Create a list of what makes you feel alive, sparkly, passionate, energized, soothed, and nurtured. Spend some time every day doing something from that list. The more you do what lights you up and the less you do what drains you, the higher your energy balance. Paraphrasing Mark Twain, “What is a woman without energy? Nothing – nothing at all.” Raise your energy balance and make you and your life something – something wonderful. Enjoy!