5261323540_9b37c82286_zA client I worked with recently was talking about the burn-out he was feeling associated with his work.  He is only 45 years old and now approaching the peak of his career and earning potential in his chosen profession.  He has a great family, involved in the community, has hobbies (an avid hunter and part-time cattleman) and successful in all the categories of life he cares about.  And YET he is already wondering out loud how long he can keep the career part of his life going.

If that sounds like you or someone you know here are 10 ways to reclaim the energy and excitement to work at your best over the long haul.

  1. Refresh – Take a class, seminar, outdoor experience, retreat or anything that will get you a new perspective and new information that you can introduce to your current routine.
  2. Reframe – Change your language to be positive about how you describe things.  There is a huge difference between “I am trapped” in my situation and “I don’t feel like I have too many options, but there may be more than I have not thought of yet.”  Pick positive frames that allow forward motion or growth.
  3. Reimagine – Take a look at new goals.  Maybe the goals (or lack of distinct goals) is demotivating because the goals are unsatisfying or never attained. Ask yourself: What is possible for me now? What would it be cool if I achieved?
  4. Realize – Set real goals that that can be achieved.  There is enormous energy to be realized when goals we care about are achieved and celebrated.
  5. Re-examine – Take time to take a fresh look at your strengths, values and purpose.  We tend to thrive and create virtuous cycles when we are spending time utilizing our strengths in service of something we care about.
  6. Reconnect – Looks for ways to connect with peers, colleagues, friends and your team.  People will always achieve more with a solid team.  The team supports the individual as much as the individual supports the teams.  Shifting focus to others and how we can help them can also stir up new reservoirs of energy.
  7. Repair – Take good care of yourself.  Self-care may sound soft to some, but elite performers take care of themselves through exercise, nutrition and recovery.  You should too. Start with an easy one like getting enough water.
  8. Reaffirm – Connect with your WHY.  Any goal worth going after will involve some suffering.  The way to push through is to be crystal clear on why you are doing what you do.
  9. Refocus – Looking too far up the mountain or too far down the trail can be disheartening.  If the big goal looks like too much and sucking away your will, break the goal down into smaller chunks and focus your energy there.
  10. Release – and finally don’t take things too seriously.  Take the time to release pent up frustration, anger and negative emotions.  Breathing exercises, yoga and simple laughter can do wonders.

Have fun and keep learning!

[photo Flickr creative commons Pascal]