Energy is everything. You get that, right? If I told you that your ability to reach your goals was greatly dependent on how you invest your energy, would you be willing to examine HOW you are spending your energy each day? Good. Because you should. I see this constantly with my private coaching clients and in the Path Course. Which is why I created a simple tool for you to gauge your energy called the Energy Evaluation (click here to download). In just a few minutes, you can take stock of how you're managing your energy and put yourself in a more powerful place because of it.
Now, when I say "energy," most people tend to immediately think of physical energy, like “I’m physically exhausted” or “I’m physically awake and energized.” But managing your overall energy is more complex than that, so in addition to physical energy, I also want to focus on emotional, mental and spiritual energy.
Take a look at the Energy Evaluation. As you can see, you’re going to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in terms of how full your energy levels are in each of the four areas: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When I say “full,” I want you to think about each one of these areas like a tank of gas. Are you running on empty, or are you driving with a full tank?
Keep in mind that how full you are can change on a daily, and sometimes even hourly, basis. I’m asking you to think about what you averaged, say, over the past week or two just so you can get an idea of where you stand in each of these areas right now. There’s also a place for you to write down any notes you may want to remember regarding your rating. Let’s get started.
For PHYSICAL ENERGY, you obviously want to think about how energized your body feels right now. Have you been active, exercising? Are you rested? Hydrated enough? Do you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Are you eating foods that fuel you or foods that deplete you? Overall, do you generally feel tired or energized throughout your day? Based on all of those questions, rate your physical energy on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a full tank and 1 being running on empty.
Next, EMOTIONAL ENERGY. Without going into therapy land here, let’s look at how you’re managing your emotions. Do you have emotionally-excessive responses to events that happen throughout the day? For example, do you get overly disappointed when things don’t go your way or extremely excited when something good happens? Let go of any judgment here and get curious. In rating your emotional energy, I suggest that an under 5 rating means you are less able to manage your emotions when they come up. An example of this would be if you have a fight with your friend and you’re unable to focus on anything else for the rest of the day, which ends up draining you. Do you experience this often? Or are you able to process your emotions as they come up in a way that keeps you feeling balanced and energized? If you’re able to not let your emotions take over your day and get in the way of your work, give yourself a higher rating. Make sense? Write down whatever number feels right to you today.
Let’s rate your MENTAL ENERGY now. Mental energy is all about focus and concentration. Are you easily distracted (think of how often you check your phone and social media feeds)? Is it challenging for you to focus on one task at a time? Or are you able to stay focused on a project or task for a long period of time? Do you feel mentally energized when you sit down to do work? Write down whatever number feels right for you here.
And finally, SPIRITUAL ENERGY. What do we mean by that? Spiritual energy can mean many things to many different people. In this context I want you to consider spiritual energy in terms of your purpose and values and belief systems. I know that the idea of rating things like this can feel a little awkward, but give it a shot, and think about these questions as you do so: Are your actions aligned with your values and purpose as an artist, and is what you’re spending your time on somehow in line with your deeper values?
Although it may not always be apparent, your spiritual energy has a resounding impact on your life as a whole. Unfortunately, I see so many artists who neglect this area of their life and then wonder why they’re so unhappy. Investing in the spiritual side of your life can come down to the simple things. For some people it’s going to church or temple. For others it’s going to a yoga class, being in nature, or cooking a great meal — whatever resonates deeply. For our purposes here, there’s no right or wrong way to look at this; it’s really more about whether spiritual energy is on your radar and, if so, how much it’s supporting you. Take a moment now to rate how empty or full your spiritual energy tank is.
That's it. I know it seems almost too simple. But, when was the last time you actually checked in with yourself in all of these areas? Awareness is key — in taking a look at your completed Energy Evaluation, you're in a much more powerful place because you can clearly see the areas where your energy is lagging and needs some attention. Do this on a regular basis and you'll likely discover patterns that you were unaware of.
And if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend a wonderful book by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz called The Power of Full Engagement, which goes into even greater detail on how you can manage your energy.