Have you ever wanted less energy?
Of course not! Energy animates us and excites us! Our experience of life is limited only by the amount of energy we have.
But the truth is setting in: we are tired. You know why: family stuff, work stuff, chores, responsibilities . . . but do we know what to do about it?
Here are five simple energy hacks to power your day.
Our bodies were not made to stay idle. I just feel better about myself on days when I work out. I have more energy and more focus. I cannot remember the last time I had a great day that did not include some sort of physical activity.
Not currently working out? No problem! Start with something small. A walk after work or, if your company allows it, during your break, is a fine first step.
Finding the energy to enjoy life can be challenging, but we can choose to have more energy.
A great way to get help you stay accountable is exercising with friends or a group. Ask around or look online. There are almost always social groups focused on an activity you would enjoy in your life, whether bowling, hiking or other activities.
Once you get involved, it’s impossible to forget to exercise, since the group schedules the activity and then invites you. Plus, joining a group is a great way to make new friends.
My spirituality is important to me. It grounds me. It constantly holds my priorities before me and challenges me to grow. It allows me to find that quiet place deep within me and to live from that place. It helps me to be a-better-version-of-myself, and living like that creates a wellspring of energy that pours over into every other aspect of my life.
We all have that quiet place within ourselves. A treasure trove of our deepest hopes and dreams, a wellspring of energy. In the bustle of our modern culture, it takes stepping back to tap into that energy.
When was the last time you intentionally scheduled time to get in touch with the quiet place deep within yourself? Try spending the first fifteen minutes of your day in the classroom of silence. Reflecting on what’s important empowers us to pursue our true priorities in each moment. This pursuit gives us energy.
3. Acts of Love
Ever wake up feeling like your feet are encased in cement and no amount of coffee can save you? That was me this morning. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to get a good night’s sleep, rough mornings happen.
Choosing to love others is life-giving.
My go-to pick-me-up (in addition to coffee) is to perform a “First Five” acts of love. These were my first five today:
- Text my sister to wish her luck on her exam
- Listen to my neighbor enthusiastically discuss his upcoming trip on the way to our cars
- Pick up an extra coffee to surprise a friend
- Have a real, human conversation with the lady working the drive-through
- Walk into the office and greet my coworkers with a warm, inviting smile
Choosing to love others is life-giving. We actually gain energy from these interactions. Starting with those first five acts of love gets the ball rolling in a positive direction.
Simply by opening our hearts and minds to this way of thinking, we begin to see opportunities for love all around us. This love helps preserve and replenish our energy reserves, and further animates our daily lives.
A few weeks ago, I realized I was getting fatigued around the fifteenth of each month. It’s no wonder given how much I was eating. In our company, we celebrate each other’s birthdays with a potluck brunch once per month. Bagels, quiche, and warm, homemade cinnamon buns make every trip to the break room a temptation. I work with some talented cooks and was eating a day’s worth of food at brunch.
I love food. I love eating. This is a problem. There are many days when I am able to put away three thousand calories without even trying, perhaps four thousand. But in truth, I don’t need more than two thousand calories a day. More important, I am most fully alive when I am limiting my intake of food to about two thousand calories.
Extra calories suck the energy out of my days, and my best days require that I have self-control around food.
Our biggest accomplishments start with the smallest of steps.
The important thing here is to try not to do too much. Most diets fail because they prescribe drastic changes that are nearly impossible to reach. Start small—go for the water instead of the soft drink, pack a salad for lunch instead of eating out, use a smaller plate to help limit your portions.
Do one small thing every day to help you keep your diet in check, and you will find yourself filled with more energy.
5. Drink Water
Most people are dehydrated most of the time because of the lifestyles we follow, the food we eat, the beverages we drink, and other factors. Several years ago a friend of mine challenged me to drink a gallon of water every day for a week. It was a game-changer. I had more energy, I ate less food, and I particularly noticed an increase in mental focus.
In the same way, I encourage you to drink a quart of water for every fifty pounds of body weight every day for a week. Getting started is as easy as buying a gallon of water on your next trip to the grocery store, and refilling it each day. Following through is harder than you think. Most days I fail to completely fulfill this core habit, but usually I come in between half a gallon and a full gallon. Hydrate yourself. It is critical to your health and success.
Get Started Now
Finding the energy to enjoy life can be challenging, but we can choose to have more energy. Overcoming fatigue with caffeine can produce short-term benefits, but you will be better off choosing to develop energizing habits.
Our biggest accomplishments start with the smallest of steps. Starting today by choosing one energy hack that speaks to you will put you on a path to a future filled with energy. Tomorrow, try another. Then another. You might be able to do only one thing when you first start, but before long your day will be filled with these energy hacks to fuel you!