Lord, help me to do the things every day that will keep my energy high so that I can lead my team with passion. Amen.
I choose to spend some time in Arizona in the winter for a number of reasons. It is warmer than Minnesota. It gives me a chance to do a fair amount of writing, develop new servant leadership curriculum for the upcoming year, and catch up on some reading of leadership books. But most importantly it gets me re-focused on my Extreme Self Care Plan. All these things help me build my personal energy!
As a leader, I always knew it was up to me to set the pace for the energy within the team. If I was feeling down, I knew it would rub off on the team, and they would be down as well. But if I showed up with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm it would be infectious.
If you want to maintain the energy you need to lead well, you have to make dozens of choices every day to do the things that build your personal energy.
The Body-Mind-Spirit Miracle
We human beings are the crowning miracle of God’s creation. We are an amazing system made up of three parts: our body, our mind, and our spirit. In the last couple of decades, scientists and other researchers have been discovering just what a marvel that system is.
Each part of the system affects the other parts. That means that when one part is down, it will affect other parts. But it also means that when one part is down, we can affect it through the other parts.
If you maintain your energy you can be the kind of leader that God wants you to be. You are able to do the things that make you an effective servant leader. Let’s start by thinking about caring for your body. I’ll look at the mind and spirit in upcoming weeks.
Get your sleep. Not getting enough sleep makes you more stressed, more anxious and in general affects your mind. Sleep deprivation makes it hard to feel and stay positive, hard to concentrate, and hard to be creative. When you’re tired, your working memory shrinks so you have limited ability to concentrate, learn, listen, and solve problems. Finding ways to improve your sleep will enhance your ability to effectively lead and serve others.
Get your exercise. Your body is the engine for high performance, so you need to keep it functional and in good shape. Being fit greatly affects your happiness in life. Make it a habit to exercise regularly, i.e. several times a week.
Regular exercise doesn’t necessarily mean a rigorous weight training program or running triathlons. If that’s for you, great, but most people will choose a less demanding fitness program. Make sure that you cover the three main areas of fitness, though.
Do some strength training, especially for those muscles in your torso that affect your posture and breathing. Many of these exercises don’t require any equipment. Do some stretching for flexibility. Lots of people like yoga for this. And do some cardiovascular exercise, the things that get your heart rate up for twenty minutes or so.
Eat Healthy. What you eat can impact how you feel overall and what kind of energy level you have throughout each day. What you eat affects how your brain and mind works. When your body is functioning well, it feeds your brain, and you will find it easier to stay positive. If you want to be a high performer watch what you eat.
Pay attention to how eating affects your energy. You’ll discover that some foods seem to suck energy out of you as your body uses energy to digest them. So don’t eat those before a meeting. Learn what works for you: how often and how much you should eat.
Next week we’ll look at taking care of our Mind and Emotions. Until then, what are some things you can do to enhance the care of your body that will build your personal energy?
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20