Wednesday, April 07, 2010

what brings you energy?

my body clock is totally confused right now! luckily, my shift this evening doesn't start until 11 pm, so i have plenty of time to catch up on sleep. i just went for a lovely run in the AM sunlight (and pollen) and am about to curl up with my current obsession favorite. and i'll probably sleep for oh, 6 hours or so.

sound lovely? it is. yes, i'll be in the ER in the dead of the night -- but see, there are upsides.

highlights from the HP: january

as promised, here are some of my highlights and takeaway points from the first chapter. the book is organized by months, each focusing on a different area of life. i can't say i hadn't already had the same idea myself -- too bad i didn't capitalize on it earlier!

for january, the chosen topic is energy -- because, the author reasons, an energized person is going to have a much easier (and more pleasant) time making changes and additions to her life than a tired one.

her resolutions for energy are as follows:

go to sleep earlier. self-explanatory.

exercise better. for her, this meant working with a trainer to get in a super-efficient workout.

toss, restore, organize. translation: clearing away clutter, and implementing an evening mini-cleaning session each night.

tackle a nagging task. ie, getting to the items languishing forever on her to-do list, and getting quick things done right as they come up.

act more energetic. faking it until you make it.

all worthwhile goals, as far as i'm concerned! but the point of this book (to me) isn't to become the author -- even as i do see reflections of myself in her musings -- and adopt all of her habits for happiness. i see it more as a jumping off point to start off from to develop my own program.

so the question is, what energizes me? what could i add to my life to bring more energy and vitality to my days? a few options i can think of are:

get outside more! whether this is for a morning run or just a stroll around the block, there is something inherently refreshing about being outdoors in the sunlight.

eat good food -- with an emphasis on whole foods and fruits/vegetables. i already do this, for the most part -- but could probably improve. i truly feel my best when i am conscious of what i put in my mouth. i don't know why that is so easy to forget, but sometimes it is. (PS: this does not in any way preclude wine or ice cream! these sorts of things -- in moderation, of course -- are an absolutely essential part of my personal formula for a happy life.)

smile more. as an extrovert, smiling -- and engaging with others -- can be very uplifting for me. i sometimes walk around with a scowl for absolutely no reason.

prioritize. identifying the top few things (not EVERYthing!) i'd like to get done at the beginning of each day is energizing because it feels good to have a manageable amount of work on my plate. going in knowing that i have a good chance of success is not only rewarding but very motivating as well.

sleep is sacred: i realize -- this is not very original. because there's just no arguing with this truth.

create an energizing space. to me, a relatively well-ordered space is an inspiring one. therefore, it is worth it to take the extra time to keep things under control in our apartment. rather than an evening cleanup, i'd rather just use the spare odds 'n' ends minutes of each day (in the AM, after getting home from work, etc) to clear spaces, sort through clutter, and the like.

if you were doing your own happiness project, what would your rules for energy be?

i'm still not sure exactly how i'm going to implement my plan, although i am toying with the idea of doing a yearlong project like the author did, only starting with my birthday rather than january 1. at the very least, this gives me an endpoint to my countdown!

all right . . . off to sleep! to follow my own recommendations, of course.



workout: 20 minutes easy yoga (forward bend session from rodney yee's AM yoga for your week DVD

reading: 10 PREP questions and most of the rest of the peds in review article on otitis

i am grateful for . . . fun magazines, and okay, fine . . . this book.


  1. I'd agree with most of yours. Being an introvert, hiding out by myself with a good book energizes me. It's like retreating from the world makes me ready to take it on.

  2. Anonymous2:19 PM

    You've spoke so highly of this book that I really really want it!! So after I finish the book I'm reading now, I plan to get that book and read it!

  3. I like your rules, but I'm with Chelsea on the me-time. And...also coffee.

  4. Ok, so this is not technically a food related post, but I just read this article, and it made me think of you and your blog: First Camera, Then Fork.

  5. I've heard tons about this book, so it's great to read your insights on it.
    I definitely agree with the 'get outside more'. I always feel better after being outside (unless it's raining tons). Ditto for cleaning up a bit - I'm a bit of a slob, but I really do feel better if I've made something of an effort to tidy up my shoes, my clothes, my stacks of paper.
    I would also add to the list (for myself): Spend good quality time with the dogs. We have two dogs, and they are a really positive presence in our life, as silly as that sounds.
    Finally, connect with people - don't just go through the day talking to people without listening to them. This even applies to my husband - take the time to talk about the day, share a smile and a laugh.

  6. Anonymous9:21 PM

    energy boosters:judicious use of music (lady gaga when I need it, but classical/mellow music for the occasions when I get a "solemn/peaceful" does wonders for my energy levels; alone time routinely each day (a continuing source of energy renewal)

    minimize these energy drainers: TV (for the most part), people pleasing to make conversations peaceful/interesting; trying to be somebody I am not.

    I can't wait to see you happiness project take form...lots of thought put in it will reap great long term rewards!

  7. Anonymous9:56 PM

    Sleep and exercise are big ones for me. I can absolutely tell the difference between when I've not been getting enough of either and when I'm doing well.

  8. atilla11:17 PM

    what is this new comment format?

  9. * Sleep. With a small child I can never sleep in in the mornings, so I set off one or two evenings every week where I "sleep in" as in go to bed before 9 pm. That way I am almost guaranteed to get 8 hours or more of sleep.

    * Exercise. Preferable running and peferably in the mornings, but I take what I can get these days. I have recently implemented the "Daycare run" where I take a 5 mile loop with my baby in her stroller before dropping her off at daycare in the morning.

    * Daylight. See above, these are linked.

    * Family time. Singing, playing, cooking or baking together always brings a smile to my face.

    * Staying away from caffeine as much as possible. Someone mentioned coffee but I have noticed that fake stimulants just make me push harder when I should rest and makes it difficult to cue in to my body's signals. If I am tired I no longer dive into the coffee, I make a note to listen to my tiredness and go to bed earlier that night instead.

    * Friends, books and chocolate. Of course!

    * Taking time to think about how lucky I am. I have a wonderful family, the most precious baby, a stimulating and reasonably well paid job, a nice place to live, a (reasonably) healthy body and my whole life ahead of me. :D

    I am excited to see where the HP takes you!

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  11. jlguadag10:19 PM

    I am intrigued by this book! I love how you're not just blindly following the author's ideas/suggestions but using them as a starting off point to think about and figure out what works best for you.

    I recently came across this site and liked it's twist on the traditional gratitude log. I thought you might enjoy it!

  12. You totally just inspired me to buy this book. In fact I am going to tackle a naggin task taxes. man it will feel great to finish those.