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6 Steps to Power Up Your Performance With More Balance and Fulfillment




Do you ever feel like one area of your life is off track and your performance in another area drops? Maybe you’ve been going through challenging times in your relationship which is affecting your results at work or you’re stressed, overwhelmed and burnt out at your job which is manifesting in your health.

The reason why coaching to the whole person is important, rather than just focusing on one area of life, is that creating balance and deep fulfillment in all areas is the key to increasing overall performance. As one of my clients was going through a very challenging divorce for example, he started having difficulties with his performance at work.

When he was able to build resilience and navigate his divorce in a different way, it allowed him to eliminate the distractions in his head to focus and get back on top of his game at work which resulted in meeting his quarterly targets and managing his team more effectively.  

Here are 6 steps to creating more fulfillment and balance in order to power up your performance:

Step 1: Take Inventory of your life

Where are you standing right now in each area of your life? Consider career, money and health as well as social and intimate relationships, personal growth, fun and enjoyment and physical environment. Rate each area based on how satisfied you are on a scale from 1 to 10. This shows you exactly where you’re off balance and what other areas might be affected by it.

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Step 2: Discover what’s needed

What would it take for you to be more fulfilled and balanced? What has to be different in each area for you to be completely satisfied, to rate it as a 10? Get into detail and be bold. What would the ideal scenario for you look like?

Step 3: What will you make a priority?

Often times imbalance shows up in multiple areas of life. That’s completely natural and only gives us more opportunity to increase well-being and fulfillment. In order to avoid overwhelm with all the things that you might want to change, it’s important to prioritize. What we think is the priority is not always what TRULY is the priority. What’s the first step you choose to take towards more fulfillment? Pick one to two areas and start there.

Step 4: Set yourself up for success

Determine what works best for you. After you discover WHAT you want to change, determine the best approach for HOW you can accomplish that goal. There are many different ways and supporting structures. Get clear about how you work best and most efficiently.

Step 5: Determine your blocks

Knowing yourself well is not only beneficial when building on your strengths, but also in knowing where you might get stuck. Establish what challenges might come your way when moving forward and find solutions for them beforehand. This not only saves time and energy but also helps with tackling your obstacles with more confidence.

“It’s OK to not be OK, as long as you don’t stay that way.”

Step 6: Hold yourself accountable

Increasing your levels of fulfillment and creating more balance in your life and work is certainly an indirect way of powering up your performance. Not being able to see immediate results might lead to prioritizing other duties and procrastination. Holding yourself accountable to following through with what you decided on, always focusing on the bigger purpose and the advantages is therefore crucial for your success. Find an accountability partner, a coach to help you with achieving your goals, or determine how you’ll reward yourself after completing your mission.

Change is the only constant and often times it’s uncomfortable. As humans we tend to feel safe in what we’re familiar with and even when change means getting to a better place, it can be hard to hold ourselves accountable. Make a plan to stay on track and review your goals and process regularly.

It can be very beneficial to partner up with someone in the process of creating more balance and fulfillment in your life. Staying on top of your game is an inside job, something that can not only transform the quality of your life and your relationships but also your performance at work.

How do you power up your performance? Comment below!

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Cheryl Keates is an expert at inspiring change for higher performance with more balance, and deeper fulfillment. Combining a holistic approach to psychology with her vocation as a Professional Certified Coach, she facilitates leaders in powering up their performance, leading with confidence, and increasing their emotional intelligence. Cheryl has spent 25 years working with C-level executives developing strong relationship building and communication skills that have generated impressive results across a number of sectors. Cheryl is a Psychology graduate of New York University, an Adler Certified Professional Coach and a Xerox Trained Sales Professional. Her work assignments have included roles in Canada, the United States and abroad.



  1. preeti

    Mar 15, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Totally agree on especially the part of holding yourself accountable! It does give a different perspective to it altogether. Good post:)

  2. Aaron Force

    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Great article! I really liked the tidbit about prioritizing. To me, that speaks to intentionality which is so key. We empower our success, our health, our vitality all with intentionality. Really appreciate your input!

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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