BY JUDI LIGHT HOPSON
TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE/TNS
Are you feeling kind of blah these days? Is your energy way too low?
Many of us know the feeling of hitting a brick wall. We feel burned out and used up.
All of us need to remember that food, exercise, and vitamins are only part of our physical and mental health. We also build up energy through our thoughts.
If you’re feeling drained, ask yourself these questions:
Am I excited about my goals in life? Setting an important goal or two will get your juices flowing.
Do I need to fine-tune my goals? Your goals might need some detailed attention. For example, we can confuse a wish or a dream with having a true goal.
Are my goals divided into reachable steps? Knowing how to plan your success route is critical. All long-term goals should be divided up into short-term goals you can reach in stages.
“I really wanted to build a new house,” says a college professor we’ll call David. “I’d feel excited one minute and exhausted just thinking about it the next.”
Change in thinking
David’s brother advised him to buy a simple hard copy notebook and plan the basic steps of building a new house. He listed major steps, such as buying property and finding a builder. Next, he listed minor steps to support each large goal.
“When I first started writing, I felt kind of conflicted,” says David. “I’d feel energetic one minute and blah the next. Building a house seemed like a lot of work!”
David finally made the decision to go ahead. “When I found a great builder who could communicate well, I was home free,” he explains.
The change in David’s thinking improved when David knew his builder could be trusted. “I’d found a true partner to help make my goal a reality. The people we bring into our circle of life are key to reducing our stress.”
Going after goal
The happy and lighthearted feeling we get when we decide to go after a goal really kicks in when the right people show up. Shaky people make us so nervous about reaching our goals, it takes the joy out of setting big goals.
“I was stressed out throughout high school and college,” says a woman we’ll call Deborah. “It seemed I had no one to lean on. Just myself.”
Deborah’s life changed when she graduated and joined her uncle’s real estate firm. She quickly had a built-in support system.
“Suddenly, my mental and physical energy skyrocketed,” says Deborah. “If I set a goal to sell three houses within a certain period of time, I could feel it happening. My co-workers were always geared up in full swing to help me.”
Paul, a young father from Virginia, says setting exciting goals is very key to his having more energy. Paul believes his body needs less sleep and functions better, if he has some exciting goals he is going after.
“I’ve learned not to set more than two big goals at once,” Paul insists. “For example, I set a goal to improve my income as a sales rep by $15,000 this year. I’ve also made up my mind to start contributing this year and every year to my kids’ college funds.
Setting goals and learning how to hit the target on each will change how you feel about yourself, your community, and your family. You’ll spend more time celebrating life than complaining about life.
Having no big goals will make you feel stuck and exhausted.
Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips.” She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org.