I realise I am late in both the well wishes and also in setting a resolution but I do have a reason and it is a very familiar one.
Every year I reflect and decide on what I want to focus on in the coming year and every year I end up with a long list that never gets completed.
And why? Because like other busy people, I have goals for many areas of my life and I sprinkle my energy over them much as I do when I turn the water sprinkler on in the garden; point, aim and hope for the best.
This is not to say that just like the flowers in my garden, where my focus goes, things do indeed flourish but also just like the weeds, certain events, people and habits also gain the benefit from my energy sprinkler. So rather than well cultivated patches of achievement, my life becomes a hotch potch of mixed growth and no significant improvement in any one area I had highlighted as important.
So this year I decided that instead of making yet more resolutions that will probably yield the same mixed bags of results, I would instead look at my energy and time as a valuable commodity just like that water or money, something to be allocated and invested wisely.
Yes I know that sounds easier said than done. But if, like me, you spend your life constantly juggling what is important, not just to you but to other people and never making time to say no in order to replenish that dwindling commodity of energy, it is no wonder that we end the year still feeling frazzled and no further forwards. Indeed, we may even be feeling resentful of how others seem to take our time and guilty that yet again, we have failed to focus on the people or things that truly matter to us and that will truly make a positive difference to our life and goals.
So what can we do? Well, stop judging for a start and start evaluating. The key thing successful people do that others don’t is they have incredible focus. They get clear about what it is they want and why they want it and then they tailor their thoughts, feelings and behaviours to bring that about. They are great at saying no, at prioritising their time and in focusing on giving themselves what they need in order to achieve their desired goal.
So, here are my tips to help make that happen!
Spend some time getting to know yourself. This may sound obvious but we can often get caught up in being busy and don’t pause to think about what or who makes us truly happy. Nor do we spend time thinking about what gives us energy and makes us feel good about ourselves so we are happy then to give to others. Spending some daily time focusing on this really helps gain clarity.
Evaluate how you feel when with certain people or activities. Once you are clear on where you want your focus to go it becomes easier to think about what does energise and inspire you. Rather than judging or becoming so depleted we become resentful, evaluate the people, events and activities in your life in terms of:
I feel energised, happy, inspired or uplifted as a result of being with them
Time spent with them leaves me completely neutral
I feel drained, anxious, frustrated, guilty, exhausted.
Develop the art of ‘Affectionate Detachment’. This is where you practise the skill of being true to yourself, kind and sincere in your dealings with others yet protect yourself from being drawn into engaging with their negative energy.
Some simple tips for this include:
Never ask a question you don’t really want the answer to! Yes, it is polite to ask someone how they are, especially if they have asked after you. If the only response you want is, ’fine’, then don’t ask! Instead, comment on something neutral and positive and move on.
Be aware of the difference between transient and inherent vampires. Yes, we are all happy to give more of ourselves to loved ones in time of need and that is transient. Inherent energy vampires are the ones who consistently drain you and who are never looking for a solution to their problem just a listening ear.
While the concept of being clearer as to where focus goes, energy flows, I drew inspiration for this blog from a You Tube video entitled ‘The Energy Alchemist’. In it, an ex-monk, Dandapani, shares his wisdom and advice on how to improve your clarity, willpower, focus and commitment to spending your energy wisely.
If you would like any other information or would like to book a session with me to clarify your goals and gain confidence in how to prioritise your life more then please do get in touch! Meanwhile, I hope you make this a happier year for you, focusing on yourself first!