If you are like most of us, you are busy chasing down new goals, new targets and new accomplishments. So many of us keep adding more and more to our to-do lists without strategically thinking through what to take off the list.

Given that often times it’s not just the to-do list that drains us, I’m hoping to challenge you to do a little inventory work on something even more important to consider: relationships.

Knowing where our support network lies and what relationships are toxic can help us build an action plan to free up the emotional energy to use elsewhere.

In order to do this, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions such as:

  • Which relationships energize me the most? Which people at work and/or at home help me feel fired up after I spent time with them. Make a list.
  • Which relationships drain me? Which people in my life exhaust me? Which relationships keep me up at night?
  • And of those relationships that drain me, which will I choose to invest in changing and which ones will I choose to not invest in?
  • If someone is on the “not invest” list, how am I going to protect my energy to avoid trying to change them in my mind?
  • If I choose to invest in the relationship, what one small shift would help most? What difficult conversations do I need to have the courage to start?
  • For those relationships that energize me, how can I ensure I prioritize time with this list? What can I do to deepen these relationships?
  • Last but not least, who do I energize? If someone else was doing this assignment, who would list my name in the answers to these questions?

So often we are busy with the day to day challenges of our work and personal life that we don’t notice how many relationships drain us and we may not always prioritize relationships that energize us. But by spending some time to reflect on each critical area of our life, we can find simple ways to improve ourselves and our relationships. Sometimes just the act of reflecting on our relationships can give back the energy that we need to keep moving forward!