How do you recharge your battery? “You fill a bucket drop by drop. You clear your mind thought by thought. You heal yourself moment by moment. Today I make one drop, clear one thought, and get present to one moment. And then I do it again.”
Let’s face it. Life can be exhausting, overwhelming and sometimes down right difficult. We have schedules, dead lines, to do lists, obligations, goals, families, self care and housework. Some of us prepare spread sheets and dinner, pack lunch and suitcases. We rush to trains or buses, commute and catch planes. We lead teams and run households, attend board meetings and PTA meetings. Navigate through corporate politics and wade through the intricacies of raising teen-agers. We attend conferences, seminars and listen to Webinars. Take Pilates, spin class, and try the latest exercise craze. We Facebook, tweet, pin, snap chat and return obscene amounts of e-mails.
No wonder we're all exhausted!
I have recently made time to pause and consider this self created dilemma. The majority of these activities are necessary, yet they slowly drain our energy buckets each day, week, month and year. I don’t imagine our obligations will wane.
So what is the solution?
The answer I realized was quite simple. If our busy schedules and obligations will continually drain our energy reserves; what opposing activities, people, places and things are the antidote? Will counterbalancing these activities #refill our buckets?
At first I stated practicing my bucket list method on a smaller scale. I considered how I start each day checking my e-mails, worrying about my schedule, rushing and making it to my desk with a minute to spare.
Is there a better way to keep one’s energy level up each day?
I acknowledged that getting up an hour easier each morning would allow me to not only have a healthy breakfast and go to the gym, but would also award me an extra half hour to catch up with an out of town friend on the phone. Now, instead of getting to work feeling rushed I feel relaxed. I am ready to face the day ahead, bucket #refilled.
What modifications can you construct to make your day more productive?
Subsequently, I pondered this dilemma on a larger scale. Should I continue to make my weekends extensions of my unreasonable to do list and frantic schedule?
Shouldn’t we savor our precious 48 hours as a time to rejuvenate?
I start each weekend walking with my girlfriend on my favorite local trail. By the time we finished our walk we have talked, considered, unloaded and waded through all that transpired the previous week. We come off the trail feeling energized inspired and ready to face the week ahead. Bucket #refilled!
What can you do to make your weekends count?
A Sunday afternoon movie? Read a great book? Take an e-mail detox? Cook or go out for a great meal with your spouse, significant other, or friends? A trip to the museum?
It does not matter what you choose, the important thing is to make the days count!
Next, I jumped in full force. I annually take off the week between Christmas and New Year. I never go away because quite frankly I am too exhausted to think about packing and planning. This is my time to regroup, reflect, reset and plan for the year ahead. Bucket list in hand I set out to #refill my very depleted energy bucket!
My Bucket List:
• Time with my family • Time with my friends • Long walks and talks with my girlfriends • Sharing a meal with my family or friends • Laughter • Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast • A great book • Afternoon movies • Theater • A day in the vineyards • A great workout or trying a new exercise class • Spending a day at school or learning something new • Overcoming an obstacle • An unscheduled afternoon • A great meal or new restaurant • Cooking • Slowing down to take a breath • Quiet time to reflect • A good night sleep • An afternoon nap • Any kind of self-care; massages, manicures, pedicures and facials • Yoga • An overnight escape • Making a new friend
My experiment worked beautifully. Each day I chose one activity from my bucket list and expanded the list as I went along. The net result, I feel happy, relaxed, rested and renewed. I am ready to face next week and jump in full force. I have the energy I need to make this year count. I am open to all possibilities.
• What is on your bucket list? • What activities will you add to your list today, this week, this month and this year? • What energy zapping activities will you leave behind? • How will you renew, regenerate and keep you energy up each day?
Here is to a happy, healthy and productive 2015.
May you “unleash your full potential” and be open to the power of all that is possible!