Life coach Cheryl Richardson says that creating your best life has more to do with what you remove from it than what you add to it.

Everything undone, incomplete or unresolved drains your energy. Not being honest with yourself and avoiding conflict drains your energy. Every action you take uses energy, and every action you don't take uses energy.

Identify and Eliminate Your Energy Drains.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and drained, you might have difficulty knowing what areas of your life to work on changing. Most of us are unconscious about how our mental energy is used throughout our daily lives. Becoming conscious of where your energy flows can be very revealing.
Core Questions: Learn what are you avoiding.   Lifestyle expert Cheryl Richardson says there are potentially three big energy drains in your life:
  • Not believing you have a choice
  • Not being able to say "no"
  • Not finding support
Answer the following questions:
  1. Are you avoiding or neglecting an area of your life? Why?
    For example: Cleaning out the basement? Going through your wardrobe? Writing a family member? Look at what you're avoiding in your life and ask yourself why.
  2. Cheryl says there are "cords of energy" connecting you to past, present and future—everything undone or incomplete in your life drains you. What are you worrying about? Trying not to think about? From what areas of your life are the cords pulling? Write these down explore the reasons why.
  3. Identify what areas the cords flow easily to. Which areas of your life please you? Write these down.
  4. Finally, ask yourself, "If I eliminated these drains, how would my life change?"

Now review your answers. You've taken the first step to recognizing what is draining you in your life.     Could your energy drains be causing illness and disease? Learn the signs.
Are you so overwhelmed by everyday life that you don't have the energy to deal with setting new goals for yourself? Do you feel drained? Do you know where you are spending your energy unproductively?

Read the following statements and decide whether your answer is true or false. For every section start with score 0 and for every true answer add 2 points, false answers do not yeild any points. At the end of the quiz, read more about what your score means.

Section 1: Relationships

  1. There are people in my life who continuously drain my energy.
  2. I have unreturned phone calls, e-mails or letters that need to be handled.
  3. I have an unresolved conflict with a family member.
  4. I lack quality friendships in my life.
  5. I feel a void in my life created by the lack of a romantic partner.
  6. There is someone I need to forgive.
  7. There is a relationship I need to end.
  8. There is a phone call I dread making, and it causes me stress and anxiety.
  9. I'm currently involved in a relationship that compromises my values.
  10. I miss being part of a loving and supportive community.
Section 2: Environment
  1. My car is in need of cleaning and/or repair.
  2. My wardrobe needs updating and/or alterations.
  3. I'd like to live in a different geographic location.
  4. I have appliances that need repair or upgrading.
  5. My home is not decorated in a way that nurtures me.
  6. My closets and/or basement are cluttered and need to be cleaned.
  7. Repairs need to be done around my home or apartment.
  8. My home is cluttered and disorganized.
  9. I miss having more beauty reflected in my environment.
  10. I watch too much television.
Section 3: Body, Mind, Spirit
  1. I eat food that's not good for me.
  2. Something about my physical appearance bothers me.
  3. It's been too long since I've been to the dentist.
  4. I do not get the sleep I need to feel fully rested.
  5. I'd like to exercise regularly but never seem to find the time.
  6. I have a health concern for which I've avoided getting help.
  7. I have emotional needs that consistently go unmet.
  8. There are books that I'd love to read but never seem to find the time for.
  9. I lack personal interests that are intellectually stimulating.
  10. I lack a spiritual or religious practice in my life.
Section 4: Work
  1. I no longer enjoy my job and have a hard time showing up each day.
  2. My work is stressful and leaves me exhausted at the end of the day.
  3. My office is disorganized, my desk is a mess, and I have trouble finding what I need.
  4. I'm avoiding a confrontation or conflict at work.
  5. I tolerate bad behavior from a boss or coworker.
  6. I am not computer literate, and it gets in the way of my productivity.
  7. I lack the proper office equipment that I need to do my job well.
  8. My work does not allow me to express my creativity.
  9. I know I need to delegate specific tasks but I am unable to let go of control.
  10. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that enters my life in the form of mail, books, magazines and e-mail.
Section 5: Money
  1. I have tax returns that are not filed or taxes are not paid.
  2. I pay my bills late.
  3. I spend more than I earn.
  4. I don't have a plan for my financial future.
  5. My credit rating is not what I'd like it to be.
  6. I do not have a regular savings plan.
  7. I do not have adequate insurance coverage.
  8. My mortgage rate is too high, and I need to refinance.
  9. I have debt that needs to be paid off.
  10. My will is not up to date.

Based on Clean Sweep© 1994 Coach University
Your score on each section represents the amount of energy you spend thinking about things you've been putting off and putting up with every day. If you're like most people, you probably scored 14 points in each section.

Now you know what areas of your life drain more energy than the others. Write this score in your journal so that you can keep track of your progress as you eliminate your energy drains and focus more on your Absolute Yes! List.
As you take care of the things that distract you and drain your energy, you'll immediately feel an energy boost!


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