Finding Focus in an Overwhelming World: Three Actions to Take to Gain Year-End Clarity

The last few months of the year can be overwhelming. These tips will help you stay focused and centered.

Fullmoney / Shutterstock
Fullmoney / Shutterstock

Balance. More energy. Focus. Inner calm. These are all things we crave in our fast-paced world. But staying centered and clear amidst the demands of daily life is challenging.

It’s not our fault. The amount of intensity and information coming at us is way more than our internal human systems are conditioned to handle. We are burning out, on overload, just trying to keep up. Sound familiar?

About a decade ago, I realized that the pace at which I was operating was unsustainable. Even though I could do and manage A LOT, I knew if I didn’t find a different way, I was going to deplete my most vital resource—me. How I was working was not working. On behalf of myself and my overwhelmed friends and clients, I set out to break the code to:

Do what you love + Take care of who you love + Achieve success + Have an impact in the world + Sustain, instead of sacrifice, your personal health and happiness.

Here’s one piece of wisdom I found:

“Women feel so out of balance because we are so out of sync with the natural rhythms of the earth. To feel balanced on the inside, we must work in harmony with how things actually flow and grow on the planet.”

Think about it. We live on earth. We are physical matter like the earth. But we are not in-tune with the earth. We are more attuned to the speed of the Internet than to the steadiness of the trees. We count time passing and set goals on calendars constructed by man, rather than instructed by nature.

It’s as if the earth is moving one direction, changing speeds in a well-patterned synchronicity, while we keep running harder and faster at a pace we call “normal,” but is anything but natural.

But when you attune your body, mind, and spirit to the natural cycles of the earth, you harmonize automatically, and your work, health, wealth, and relationships become more sustainable, supportive, and successful.

Okay, still with me? Sounds good?

Then the question becomes, “How do you harmonize with the natural cycles in practical ways so that how you work keeps you focused on what matters, in the flow?”

There are several answers. The one I will share with you today is a practice I call the “power pause.”

What is a power pause?

Power pauses are like personal leadership retreats. You press PAUSE on the outside world and your daily demands. You slow down. You go within to access deeper levels of clarity, to guide you to make wise choices about how to focus your life-force and resources ahead.

Four times a year – at the Solstices and Equinoxes – I hold these power pauses for women. Each has a different focus based on the energy of the season. They all give you significant clarity, personally and professionally, as well as permission to stop doing so much, so you stay focused on what matters now.

When pausing at the Fall Equinox, you access wisdom for how to focus this last part of the year, reap the rewards from all the energy you’ve already given, and set yourself up to end the year and start the next replenished.

I held a half-day Fall Power Pause for Ellevate Seattle. Afterward, I put together three actions, each with one question. Use these to get clear on what matters this last quarter of the year.

Restore and rebalance.

What is your body is telling you needs attention or changing, so you don’t run yourself ragged and fall over in a heap on December 31?


“What is out of balance in my physical health and habits? And what one action can I take to restore balance for each?”

Notice what is draining you or is already depleted. Notice what habits you’ve been using to manage stress but aren’t serving you. Shift these.

Reflect and receive.

Reflect on the year thus far and see all you have done and become. One of the reasons you feel overwhelmed is because if you don’t pause to receive and register what has happened, your brain does not register it. It’s called Achiever’s Amnesia.

Inquiry: “What have I already accomplished professionally this year? What have I already achieved personally this year?” Name at least three to five for each.

Refocus: Get clear on what matters and focus your life-force for the remainder of the year there. There are many things you could do or want to do during the last three months, but if you try to do it all you will burn yourself out. Inquiry: “What will yield the highest returns, and the most nourishing harvest?” Consider your work, relationships, and your health and wealth. Choose three for each. Focus there. Release the rest for now.

Write your answers out. Make your choices accordingly. Come back in December for the year-end power pause.

Doing the power pause as a practice for my business, career, team, and personal wellness and wealth has changed my life in ways I hope you will experience for yourself.

This article was originally published on Ellevate.

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