Most New Year Resolutions fail, not for lack of know-how, but for lack of energy.
It’s hard to be persistent when you’re no longer resolute. When faced with a watershed moment (aka: 3 o’clock on any given weekday), some people will vacate, some will caffeinate, and some will oscillate.
“Vacate” and “caffeinate” are avoidance responses that show up as procrastinating around the coffee pot, with or without the tacit intention of getting back on track before the 5:00 whistle blows. The individual’s output by close-of-business is rarely impressive.
On the other hand, those who “oscillate” tap into a hidden wellspring of energy that propels them through the end of the day, producing results that may define a winning edge.
In their 2001 article for Harvard Business Review “The Making of a Corporate Athlete,” performance psychologists Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz promote “oscillation” – a rhythmic movement between energy expenditure and energy renewal – as the underlying secret to sustained ideal performance.
A Corporate Athlete may know her assignments very well, and she may possess all the technical skills necessary to complete any task. However, the Corporate Athlete who ignores her self-care needs by neglecting energy-renewing rituals will eventually succumb to burnout and poor performance.
Build Upon the Foundation
The Corporate Athlete must first accept the fact that external conditions (pandemics, bear markets) are beyond his control; all he can do is train to maximize his inner capacity to reach his Ideal Performance State.
It starts with the body. Physical capacity is the first of a four-legged stool, along with mental, emotional and spiritual. Regularly spaced physical exertion builds endurance and promotes mental and emotional recovery which leads to a state of calm, focused confidence (emotional) that unleashes critical thinking (mental) and taps into our deepest values and highest purpose (spiritual).
Manage Your Intervals
Science has discovered that our bodies follow a predictable ebb and flow every 90 minutes to 2 hours. Hormone levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels fluctuate on this internal clock. Limitless energy is available to you when you stop for a renewal activity that follows your body’s natural intervals.
Do one of the following energy-renewing rituals every 90 to 120 minutes:
- Eat a healthy snack or meal
- Get physically active
- Change mental channels
- Switch emotional channels
For me, a 5-minute burst of Johnny Cash is the mental and emotional switch I need to work with my body’s natural rhythm and recharge for the next task on my agenda.
“When people feel strong and resilient – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – they perform better, with more passion, for longer. They win. Their families win, and the corporations that employ them win.” – Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz