RECHARGE IN MINUTES: The Quick-lift Way to Less Stress, More success, and Renewed Energy


© Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

“I’d love to make some changes at work and in my life, but I just can’t get myself going.” “There are lots of things I want to do, but by the time I finish all I have to do, I’m too tired to do what I want.” These are common complaints that I hear from workshop participants, coaching clients, and even family and friends. Living and working in our fast-paced society often means that by the time we’ve finished our day’s work or care giving, we’re too tired to gear up for other things that are important to a satisfying life. We may want to take a painting class, read a good book, or join a gym, but the motivation is hard to find. We may know that our lives would be richer if we’d change jobs, end tumultuous relationships, or take better care of ourselves, but we simply don’t have the spunk to pull off such a shift. Our heads say, “Go,” but our feet say, “No.”

When I wrote Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul, I hoped that it would inspire people to live more of the life they really wanted. So it was very gratifying to hear that the book helped readers to gain clarity, confidence, and inspiration. People wrote that the activities helped them to identify what was really important and deal with personal beliefs and habits that were keeping them from living a satisfying life. They also wrote about a strengthened desire to live from the inside out, and a strengthened belief that they could actually create more peace, passion, and purpose in their lives.

It wasn’t long, however, before the people who had gained awareness and mapped out a different life plan were inquiring about how to get going…or how to keep going when the going got tough. “How do I find the motivation to change engrained habits and beliefs, when most days I’m so worn out I just want to flop?” was a common question. Another was: “Now that I know where I want to go, how do I stay charged over time?” It seems the biggest block to living as we wish is a chronic lack of energy.

How did we get into this state…too tired to engage in activities that would add joy and meaning to our lives? It’s true that fate sometimes serves up a major energy drain such as divorce, loss, or a serious illness, but most of the time our lack of zest is far less dramatic. Over time, we inadvertently slip into beliefs and habits that rob us of clarity, resilience, and motivation. Soon we are working 24/7, ignoring a need to refuel or doing so only once a year on vacation. We wistfully talk of the days when we will have more time for ourselves…to stretch and relax and maybe give something back. So while we’re waiting for someday, we ignore recharging on a daily basis. When there is no daily ebb and flow, we lose our balance. It’s a simple accounting matter. If you expend more energy than you take in every day, you’ll soon find yourself running on “empty.”  

So, what are we to do? Certainly, there are many books that offer the secrets to transforming one’s life. In fact, I wrote one of them: Create a Life that Tickles Your Soul. But, before we can change our lives in any substantial way, we’ve got to change how we function each day. We’ve got to manage our energy as we would any other precious resource…addressing how we generate it, how we spend it, and how we can conserve it. Over the last three years, I addressed that issue with a column in my online newsletter. The intent of “10 Ideas for Expanding Your Life” was to provide simple, yet powerful ways to expand positive energy immediately. I truly believe that by taking a few minutes every day to refuel, we not only become more effective at coping with life’s daily stresses, but also at building a reserve so we have what it takes to move our careers and lives forward.

The response to my newsletter “energizers” was quite astounding. At first, people couldn’t believe that a brief activity of only five to ten minutes could pay such big dividends, but renewed zip and an unstoppable attitude were proof enough. Clients, subscribers, and workshop participants reported new levels of energy, optimism, and motivation. I believe many of these quick-lift ideas will work for you too. Give yourself a little energy boost each day and you’ll find the power you need to pursue even your biggest dreams.

You may be curious about how these quick-lift activities can be so effective. It is no secret that if we want high energy, we need to take care of ourselves physically – with nutrition, rest, and exercise. Like automobiles, our bodies need such fuel to function effectively. But did you also know that a good portion of our energy is actually emotional energy?  You might feel as energized after a visit with a dear friend as you do after a good night’s sleep. Conversely, you might feel more depleted after a spat with a spouse or being passed over for a promotion, than if you cleaned every room in the house or worked overtime all week. To better understand how emotions affect our energy, think back to a time when you heard a loud noise, had a bad dream, or were publicly embarrassed. Can you remember how your body responded? Emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, or regret increase blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, and adrenaline production as they trigger what is known as the fight/flight or stress response researched extensively by Dr. Herbert Benson, author of The Relaxation Response. Often, after such an event, we feel drained. If the stress response goes unchecked, it negatively affects our health.  On the other hand, many mind/body experts (Benson in Timeless Healing, Tara Bennett-Goleman in Emotional Alchemy, Deepak Chopra in Ageless Body/Timeless Mind, Bernie Siegel in Peace, Love, and Healing) have shown us how certain beliefs, emotions, and behaviors actually increase positive energy and accelerate healing. Advances in neuroscience confirm what sports psychologists and successful coaches have been proposing for years: different physiological responses are produced when different parts of the brain are activated by thoughts or emotions. The importance of positive emotions to motivation, success, happiness and health has been illuminated by the work of Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence, Primal Leadership, Destructive Emotions).  It is safe to say that our minds, bodies, and spirit are very much connected. So while it is certainly prudent to manage our diet and exercise, we should not neglect another important factor that adds zest to life: the management of our emotional energy. 

Every day we face situations that can drain us emotionally, lowering our motivation and inspiration. Calling upon my work with clients over the past twenty years, I have focused Recharge in Minutes on ten common low-energy states - from mental overload to mind-numbing boredom; from bouts of self-doubt to fear of moving forward; from being annoyed with people to being hungry for connection – and ten ways to reverse each one. In all, you’ll find 101 quick-lift ideas on how to shift gears and recharge your inner energy fast! Each “power break” only takes five to ten minutes, so you won’t have to turn your life upside down to find more zip. Just stop every now and then to consciously shift your energy from outbound to in. Use these boosters when you sense your energy is getting low, or make them part of your daily routine. In just minutes a day, you’ll restore your sense of balance and feel more in charge of your life. With these ideas at your fingertips, you’ll build up a can-do attitude that makes you virtually unstoppable. When an energy drain is thrown at you, you’ll be able to catch it, shift it, and feel your personal power rise. No matter what low-energy state you slip into, you’ll be able to lift yourself out of it quickly. It’s true that these quick-lifts will not change your life. But, they will perk up your day. You’ll see a difference in your outlook and energy immediately, and the cumulative effect will be even greater. No more collapsing at the end of the day, or wracking your brain for creative ideas. No more overreacting from frazzled nerves, or over committing from blurred vision of what’s important. No more second-guessing your ability to make the changes you want, or getting stuck in disappointment at your streak of bad luck. In the amount of time you’d spend getting a cup of coffee, you can boost your present energy and – in time - lift your life. Of course, every idea offered won’t appeal to you personally…each of us is unique. Try the ideas that you find most appealing. Perhaps some will inspire quick-lift ideas of your own. If so, I’d love to hear from you…and perhaps include some of your ideas in Recharge in Minutes, Volume 2. 

If you read Recharge in Minutes all the way through once, you’ll strengthen your resilience overall and build a whole toolbox of energizers to apply as you face everyday challenges.   Another option is to use Recharge in Minutes as an energy first-aid kit, going straight to the chapter that seems to match whatever low-energy state you are experiencing right now.

In Chapter One, you’ll find ideas to clear your head when you can’t think straight. Perhaps you simply have too much on your mind or too much on your plate. You might feel like a gerbil, frantically running on an exercise wheel, but going nowhere fast. Maybe your mind is racing, you can’t sleep, or things keep falling through the cracks. If you’re fighting fires much of the time, the quick-lift ideas in this chapter will help you to focus.

Turn to Chapter Two when you need a vacation, you need it bad, and you need it now. You may be suffering from the all-work-no-play virus that is so prevalent in our 24/7, busy-is-better environment. It’s not so much that your mind is muddled, but that you are experiencing battle fatigue. You may not be getting enough rest, enough pampering, or enough fun. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter are all about chilling out.

Chapter Three is filled with the right stuff to get you out of a rut. When your energy slumps because you’ve stayed in your comfort zone too long, the only way out is through the unknown. To feel alive, you’ve got to shake things up, stretch, and grow. This is not the time to get trapped in “same-old,” even if your “same-old” has been pretty good. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter are meant to rev you up.

Chapter Four provides ideas on what to do when it’s time for Tums. Look here when something’s got you all worked up. Things went wrong, you’re really worried, or someone’s got your blood boiling. The quick-lift ideas presented in this chapter are about calming down.

Chapter Five is where to look when you are searching for a great idea, but keep coming up empty-handed. Maybe you’ve got one hour to decide on a great birthday surprise, or a week to complete a cost-cutting plan. Perhaps you’re writing a speech and need a powerful close, or are trying to launch your new business on a limited budget. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter show you how to invite inspiration in minutes.

In Chapter Six the theme is on living a meaningful life. Maybe you’ve been following other people’s rules, and are afraid that in the end you’ll regret not following your heart. You might be wondering, “Is this all there is?” Perhaps you have a sinking feeling that life is passing you by, or you won’t leave any legacy behind. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter emphasize creating meaning on a daily basis.

Chapter Seven is about finding energy through relationships and dealing with the low energy that comes with a sense of disconnection. If you’re feeling as though you’re all alone and formerly close bonds are now threadbare or missing, this is where to look. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter will help you to build (or rebuild) your connections.

Chapter Eight will seem like an oasis if your self-esteem has shriveled a bit. Perhaps you’ve experienced a setback, been rejected in some way, or let a great opportunity go by. Maybe you have an inner critic that works overtime or a paranoid side that seems to take everything personally lately. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter are about boosting confidence.

Chapter Nine is for when you face a desirable, but unsettling unknown. Perhaps you are presented with a new job opportunity or a chance to make a difference with your gifts. The prospects may frighten you. “What if it doesn’t work out?” you might think. “What if it’s a disaster?” “What if getting married, having a baby, starting a business, speaking out, or even keeping quiet doesn’t work out?” The quick-lift ideas in this chapter can be used whenever you need to discover more courage.

The final chapter of Recharge in Minutes, Chapter Ten, is for the times when you just can’t seem to catch a break. Maybe you lose your job…and then someone smashes into your car. Or you get chewed out, lose your wallet, and find a leak in the roof …all in the same week. Whatever dark cloud seems to be hovering over you, here is where to turn. The quick-lift ideas in this chapter are about embracing abundance…when it seems to be sadly missing.

So, begin at the beginning if you’d like to rev up your life in general, or pick out a chapter that seems to match your situation at present. Whichever approach you choose, it is my sincerest wish that you find these quick-lift ideas useful and this book a helpful tool for revving up your energy and moving your life forward. Here’s to living true, living large, and remembering to recharge!


RECHARGE IN MINUTES: The Quick-lift Way to Less Stress, More success, and Renewed Energy