February 1 – Kicking off a month devoted to sustainable energy

February 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm 1 comment

It’s time to kick off my personal happiness project. It’s hard to believe that it’s already February, by the way, and that feeling only heightens my desire to appreciate everything more each day. The theme for February is sustainable energy and there are 6 resolutions this month, which I think is the most of any of the months. A couple have to do with clutter, a few deal with eliminating drains on my energy, and the final two focus on ways to tap into my energy. Over the next couple of days, I will tackle each broad theme, but today I want to just talk about energy in general.

Admittedly, my thoughts on my energy level are colored by the fact that I fell asleep on the couch last night at 9:25 and slept for half an hour, before being jolted awake. Then, we still had to chores to do, like putting the leftovers away (we were letting the soup cool completely) and preparing our lunches and breakfasts for the next day. Although it seemed awful at the time to do those tasks while being in a zombie half-sleep mode, I think it actually helped me re-wind down, got the last of any pent up energy to be awake out, and then helped me sleep soundly when we finally did go to bed at about 10:45. And sound sleep, of course, is important for having energy.

Sleep is really key for having energy, and I have know for many years I need to get enough of it to function properly. Some people feel like they can get less sleep than the recommended 6-8 hours and be fine, but I am most definitely not one of those people. Sure I could make it work for a day if I had to get up extra early or something, but other than that, it would be a nightmare. As such, I do make sure to get enough sleep. So even though there are evenings when I fall asleep on the couch, I don’t have a sleep deprivation problem. (There are two things causing that: the fact that I am not actively doing something and the fact that we have a super comfortable couch).

I’m talking about sleep so much because, again, it is a really important facet of a high energy level. The other two basic components are diet and exercise. Here again, I am mindful of the importance of each one, and do pretty good with respect to eating well and getting enough exercise. Over the course of the past few years, I’ve slowly been incorporating more fresh food and whole grains, and cutting out processed food. I even make my own granola bars! I don’t believe in making radical changes in a short time frame (it’s not really sustainable) or in cutting out a food group or type of food (except processed which is not a natural food) completely. In addition, I am acutely aware of how yucky I feel when I don’t exercise – I start to drag and get stressed out, so there is really no question for me about making sure to do it 4-6 times a week, depending on the week.

But other than these three things, what else affects our energy? The people we surround ourselves with? Our work environment? Or home environment? Our mindset? Well, yes and more. I think all of these things definitely play a role in how energetic we feel. The challenge is sorting out what we can control – clutter in our home environment for example – vs. what we really can’t – other people, and neutralizing the things we can’t with our mindset.

It is really important to understand our energy level and figure out how to boost it, because without it, everything else is negatively affected. I often think about how I would interact with my hypothetical children, and my energy is a concern for that. For example, falling asleep on the couch at 9:25 really wouldn’t cut it with young children running around. Although, maybe they’d already be in bed 🙂 But the point is, I couldn’t give them my all if my energy were drained all the time – and the same is true for my job, my relationship, my friendship, and even my search for spirituality.

My challenge, as I have been trying to make clear, is that I do a good job with the trifecta – sleep, diet, exercise – and have a pretty good overall energy level, but want to find ways to boost my energy, and make it more sustainable. So, I hope you’ll join me during the month of February as I focus on boosting my energy and reflecting on what lifts me up and what drains me. Happy February!

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Entry filed under: Sustainable Energy.

December Resolutions for Attitude Clutter

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Showing some love « Undefined Ambition  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    […] sure my basic needs are met, so I can be more outwardly showing of love. That’s one reason energy was the theme of the first month. The more energetic I feel, and by extension, the happier I am, the easier it is […]

    Reply

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