Energy is not fuel with a certain amount of miles per gallon. Energy is directly connected to your true calling and what you do—what really makes you happy, no matter the outcome.
Start monitoring your energy, and you will see your real motivations for your actions and find out what makes you happy.
A simple plan to get started is this:
- Get a notebook ( or print the free worksheet here >> ).
- Write the date at the top of a page.
- Make 3 columns on the left page.
- Make 2 columns on the right page.
- On the left page, write "Activity", "Energy fueled" and "Energy drained" in this order in the columns.
- On the right page, write "First thoughts" and "Possible motivations" in the columns.
- Repeat for either 4 or 7 days in a row to give you a better understanding of why you might be lacking in energy and what to do about it.
Every morning, take 2 minutes to write down the main activities you have planned for the day in column 1. Also notice how you feel when you write them. Are you looking forward to it? Are you already tired just from thinking of it?
- Morning walk
- Making dinner
- Spending time with the kids and spouse
- Clean and prepare the house
Every evening, take 10 minutes to sit down and feel into what each activity did to your energy.
Did the workday fuel you, or did it drain you? Did specific tasks in the workday fuel or drain you? Make a cross in either column 2 or 3, depending on the answer.
You can be as detailed as you want.
You can also focus specifically on one area of your life, where you want to find out why you are not feeling as you want to.
One area focus example:
- Morning meeting with the team
- Preparing for presentations
- Going through emails and responding
- Director strategy meeting
- Material for listed clients
Then you do the same here: go through each activity and feel into how it made you feel. Make sure you do not go into your head to make reasons for why you do it—just allow yourself to be honest from the heart, with no explanations.
You might surprise yourself.
The activities you thought you should love you might feel drained by, and vice versa. Or perhaps you know more precisely how you feel already, but you just ignore it and push through it. Be aware that feeling anxiety/fear about, for example, a meeting does not necessarily mean you don’t like it.
If you have trouble finding out what’s really coming from your heart and how it is really fueling or draining your energy system, start paying attention to how tired, irritated, sad or angry you feel, or to other feelings you experience just after the activity.
Then you might say, "But hey, Kristina, I love going to the gym and doing my workout... AND I'm tired as (beep) afterwards!" That's right—but I bet you are tired "in a good way" physically from the workout and not mentally in a "heavy way." If you have areas in your life where you KNOW you really love doing the activity and how it makes you feel, then use this to detect how the other areas either fuel or drain you.
The last two steps in the evening are:
- Write down any/every first thought on why it fuels or drains you. Do not try to find explanations you do not really feel or experience. Only write down what you know to be true for you.
- After this, go to the last column and write down what you believe your real motivation for doing the activity is. Examples: “I love playing with my kids, I am afraid of quitting, I am the happiest doing this, this is what I know how to do.” etc.
We can work for many hours on something we really love and feel called to do without getting tired, restless or stressed—for those activities, time simply just flies by without you noticing!
If you do not feel mainly energized by your activities, the chances are that you will benefit from looking at why you do them, what your motivations are, and how you can change the activity into something you actually do get fueled by. Or think about how you might start feeling refueled by the activity if you change your motivation and how you go about it.
One thing is for sure: if you are drained in energy by certain activities, whether they be personal or professional, you need to look at your motivation for doing them.
Note, though, that you cannot decide what fuels you at a core level, but you can discover it and do much more of it! The benefit is that it brings you joy with every gallon of energy for many, many miles within the process!
If you want help with the discovering process and what to do with it afterwards, feel free to contact me to schedule a free 15-minute clarity session to see if a collaboration is the right solution for you.