I talk about bucket lists a lot, but today I want to talk about a completely different kind of bucket. This bucket isn’t about the goals you set for yourself; it’s about the energy you have to pursue those goals.
Pretend that you are holding a bucket (go ahead and imagine a shiny jewel-encrusted bucket if that’s your thing). This bucket is filled with water that you need to grow your beautiful garden. The water is your daily allotment of energy, and the garden contains all the goals and dreams you have for yourself.
Still with me? I assure you, I’m going somewhere with this metaphor.
Unfortunately, your bucket has a small hole in the bottom, and water is leaking out slowly. It’s not your fault! All of us have a finite amount of energy, and various things we encounter in our days can drain that energy right out of us.
Let’s say your alarm clock doesn’t go off in the morning and you’re running late. That’s a few drops of water leaking out of your bucket.
Someone cuts you off in traffic and you can feel your blood pressure rising. A little more water leaks out.
You eat a big greasy lunch and feel sick and bloated all afternoon. The hem of your pants comes undone and it rips when you step on it. Your cell phone dies right when you need to make an important call.
All those little annoyances and inconveniences drain your energy slowly throughout the day. Your bucket is leaking water so by the time you reach your garden (ie, when you think about your goals), you have nothing left to give to make it grow.
When your energy drains out of you, then you’re just a leaky bucket.
The key is to find a way to plug those leaks so you can hold on to your energy as long as possible. That way you’ll have the strength to achieve your goals.
Take a moment to mentally go through your day from the moment you wake up until you go back to sleep. Write down anything you can think of that drains your energy. Consider things such as unpleasant people, things that are broken or unusable, and things that get in the way.
Next, figure out the best way to fix each one of the leaks in your life. If you’re drained by trying to figure out what to wear in the morning, you can fix the energy leak by editing your wardrobe and getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit or make you feel fabulous.
If you’re drained by never having a pen that writes well, go to the office supply store and buy a pack of your favorite kind of pen (and throw away all those used-up ones!).
If you’re drained by listening to your complaining friend, tell her upfront that you only want to hear what’s new and good in her life.
Slowly, you’ll start to notice a change in your energy levels by fixing these leaks in your life. And since you won’t feel so drained, you’ll be able to focus your energy towards doing the activities that bring you closer to your goal.
Tomorrow morning, imagine you’re holding your bucket of water. Decide what you need to do so you can hang on to your precious energy for as long as possible. Then get out there and tend to your garden!
How do fix the leaks in your life?
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