365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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Syttende mai

Day 136Today is Syttende mai (17th of May), Norway’s National day.

I grew up in Norway and the 17th of May, next to Christmas, was the far most exciting day during the whole year. The constitution of Norway was signed on this day in 1814 and the huge celebration the Norwegians partake every year is like nothing else, as it brings the whole nation out into the streets and touches the hearts of every young child (it is also called the children’s day) and to those of the elderly. As a child, I would look forward to this day for months. Not only in Norway but in every Norwegian community around the world is this day celebrated with great parades with music corps, speeches, loads of fun games for the children, traditional food, and of course the national anthem being sung with joy, pride and devotion.

I moved abroad 30 years ago this year, and I have only been back a few times to celebrate Syttende mai since then. Last year though, a dream came true when I was back to celebrate the 200-year anniversary weekend, together with close to 50 of our friends that my husband and I had invited, from mostly Sweden. We were super lucky with the weather and had the best time on a gorgeous sunny and warm day.

IMG_9590Today, one year after the celebration I have received so many thank you messages from my friends that all remember the day and weekend we had with such joy and gratitude. How sweet and kind of them to share and let me know! I am forever grateful that my dream to share my cultural tradition with good friends was such a success.

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Breaking down goals

Day 134

Hi! I am Anine and I love to optimize my energy and support you in optimizing yours.

Today I would like to explore how we can make time for the moments that will add energy and joy to our lives.

The moments we long for and want more of, will not come by themselves, they need to be scheduled.

It is not enough to simply get clear about what we want. We will find time to engage in the things we long for, such as; read more books, exercise regularly, spend more time with old friends or a family member, learn an instrument, write a book, explore a passion, go away with your partner on a romantic weekend, begin to mediate etc, when we;

  1. Schedule them in our calendar; either at a fixed time per day, a couple of times per week or month, or block a weekend per year to connect with old friends or your partner.
  2. Act on the goals – no excuses.
  3. Stick to them – even when time gets short.

In order to achieve “BIG” goals, which are long term and requires years in order for us to achieve a level of satisfaction or quality, we can divide our big goal into sub-goals. And – here comes an important part – we make these sub goals part of our daily and or weekly routine. If we put a bit of time every day or every week, we will have a good chance of reaching the big goal one day.

When I commit to something (where other people are involved) I stick to it. I am all in. It helps me to get into motion when other people are involved, and I am committed and know when I need to deliver my part. It is much harder when I am alone in completing a goal, such as studying French by myself.

Most people I meet find it more fun and motivating to spend time with others while working towards most of their dreams. There are some goals where I prefer to be alone, such as doing my morning ritual, or when I write. Each one of us has to find out for themselves what works.

After I began planning and sticking to long term planning, it is quite amazing how much more that I have been able to achieve

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NO – one of the most important words to getting things done…

DAy 133We are 133 days into the New Year. We have still got 232 days to get this year right.

During the last couple of days I have written that we have more capacity to do the things that truly matters to us, than what we may think. Most of us, who are not engaged in what is truly important, are wasting time doing things that do not really add to our overall quality of life, nor help us reach our goals.

The matrix below by Stephen Covey can be used to give us a good overview of how we spend our time and if it adds value to our lives.

As you go through this matrix, why don’t you reflect on and write down which one or two of the quadrants that you spend most of your time!


The first quadrant represents things we have no control over and that are both urgent and important. If we tend to procrastinate, we will often end up spending time in this quadrant and very well know what it feels like to be stressed out, as we have to run to try to squelch fire most of the time. I have in the past had a tendency to spend too much time here.

In the third quadrant we find people who are a bit all over the place, and often being directed by other people or other outside input . Here we find “yes man” and people pleasers, who spend their time with other people’s issues and needs, as they seem more urgent and important than what truly is important to them.

In the fourth quadrant we find slackers; people who are truly wasting their time by doing mindless things that is neither important nor urgent. Many teenagers are here.

The second quadrant represents people who are prioritizers and are consciously aware of their values. They schedule their time according to what will bring long-term satisfaction and wellbeing. These people have developed a strong character and are often achievers of excellence. Don’t we all want to find ourselves in this quadrant?

Today, I want to emphasize the very importance of saying NO to the things that do not lead us closer to our goals and things, which we truly value. We need to learn to say NO, even to the things we enjoy doing, like watching TV and films, talking on the phone, browsing on the computer, spending too much time on social events etc. We even have to say NO to what might seem healthy and good for us – such as doing too much sport, reading etc. – in order to leave time and space for other values and goals.

I consider myself as someone who does not waste a lot of time on mindless things. My problem is that I am a maximizer. I admit it. I have had a hard time saying NO to the things that I am accustomed to and enjoy, such as exercising. For several years I would spend too much time doing various sports – and if I looked around in the gym, I could see that I was not alone.

It is important to take a reality check and see if we perhaps hide and are stuck in our comfort zone by doing things we are used to and feel comfortable with. Anything we do in excess may be a sign that we are avoiding (perhaps out of fear of failure or fear of even success) the things that really would make a difference to the long-term quality of our lives.

Tomorrow I will talk about how we go about prioritizing our time around our values and how to attack BIG Goals.

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Making a leap – part 2

Day 126Expressing ourselves

When we allow fear of other people’s judgment to stop us from expressing ourselves, it is a clear sign that we care more about the external world than our inner world. Opinions in the external world will not make us feel happy and alive – only our purpose, mission and goals will. Only when we live from the inside out, and feel good about the efforts, the progress and the difference we make, will we feel truly satisfied. We know what makes our hearts sing, and what brings music to our lives. We should not look for validation from others; we ought to validate ourselves.

Sometimes it takes time for other people to realize and understand what we are up to. They will validate us perhaps only when we have proven that we are serious about whatever we are on a mission to do. We need to be strong and we need to be determined if we long to express ourselves and perhaps make an impact. Mahatma Ghandi who fought many battles said well what it might take to walk our own path; “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be as brutal as Ghandi experienced his battles. However, if we chose to walk our own path, it is good to be prepared and ready to walk part of that path alone and without necessarily validation and support.

What I have learned from throwing myself into the world of blogging is that I had to let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get motivation from my goal. It is liberating to feel that it is my goal that is driving me everyday – not people’s comments or likes.

What I have learned is that when I let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get my motivation from within, it is very liberating.

Based on my own experience of having a goal, and the difference it has made to my drive and motivation, I would encourage those of you who want to make the leap and express yourself publically, to also set a goal for yourself. Find out why, and your purpose. The purpose and goal will help you feel more assertive and less sensitive to other people’s lack of engagement, comments or likes.

Don’t let fear of being judged stop you from expressing yourself. Live your life for you, not for anyone else.


Live your life for you, not for anyone else.



#Daring to step #OutOfMyComfortZone

DAy 120Why bother?

I have discovered that people who blog are either a bit crazy … or courageous. I chose to look at myself as the latter.

“Why are you blogging?” some people ask me. “It must be lonely?” Are you blogging because you want to be liked, or to become famous?”

The questions are really good I find; it helps me to get in touch with why I am blogging and why I embarked on this challenge of writing every day for one year.

Let me share with you why I blog.

  1. I love to share my knowledge

  2. I love to inspire people

  3. I love to write

  4. I love to take photo’s

  5. I love quotes

  6. I love to be creative

  7. I would love to write a book and I am hoping to reuse some of my blogs.

  8. I love having a challenge

  9. I love having a structure

  10. I love having a daily habit

  11. I love hearing from people that they very much enjoy reading my blogs and are inspiring by them.

  12. I love to live my purpose; which is to inspire people to release their energy so that they can live their full potential.

  13. I love to live life

  14. I love to be fully alive

  15. I love to learn

  16. I love to connect

  17. I love to explore

  18. I love adventure

  19. I love to be courageous and not let fear stop me

  20. I actually love to face my fears and overcome them.

We all have our passions and purpose in life.

Some of my passions are listed above and my purpose is to be a #professionalInspirer.

Today I even stepped into another world, the world of Twitter with # hashtags and all. You can find me on

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Dress up your gadgets

DAy 118Stylish gadget accessories for men and women

I am a proud owner of the most gorgeous ‘smartphone cover’ on the market from The Case Factory, a company that my gorgeous Italian friend Angela Martarelli and her darling Swedish husband Mats formed a few years ago. Yes, I know that I committed in yesterday’s blog to not spend as much time on my tech gadgets and I have followed my commitment. But talking about gadgets does not go under my new rule…

I get hugely inspired by entrepreneurs and the guts and courage they show daring to go after their passions and dreams, which is why I would like to introduce Angela and The Case Factory to those of you who are into gadgets and who also appreciate quality and style.

What inspired Angela and her husband to form their own company in 2012 was her great grandfather, who himself started a business from scratch transforming leather into beautiful products in the early 20th century. Angela and Mats decided to follow in his footsteps and their company is selling gorgeous unique high quality leather cases all over the world from Japan to London and New York.

Angela and Mats have passionately invested themselves into creating an extraordinary leather accessories company where they design, create and sell handcrafted exclusive leather cases and covers for smart phones and tablets. Their cases are in; calf and nappa leather, printed animal cases, real reptile skins and even fur cases. These cases are beautiful, nice to hold, and also work as great protection; for example my phone has fallen on the floor many times and has never caught a scratch.

Angela and Mats won a Swedish award in 2014; The Best Accessory Price of the leading Swedish fashion magazine Damernas Värld – and I think that it is just the first of many more awards to come. I am so happy for them that their hard work has paid off and for their success..

Wherever I go with my phone, people comments on the beautiful case shown in the picture with the quote above. It is possible to view and order their products online at

I wish you the best of luck Angela and Mats in living your dream and with continuous success.


In control…or being controlled?

Day 117

My name is Anine Ekelund, and I am a tech addict…

Well that is perhaps an exaggeration … because I do have the ability to turn my gadgets off, and I am not on them non-stop. But still – I think that I do spend too much time on my phone and laptop. If I was to count how many times I look at my phone throughout the day, it would be many. Too many!

How about you? Are people complaining about you being on your gadgets? How efficient are you with your time? How about counting the number of times that you look at your phone or Ipad, and how many hours you spend on the computer daily! Then compare that time with how much undivided attention and time you give your family members and friends. Try guessing your ratio today and then write down the actual figure after you count tomorrow. I think that you will most likely be surprised – if you are anything like me, or perhaps most people in today’s tech dominated world.

I want to change my behavior to be more efficient with my time, and even more importantly – to be completely present with the people I meet – without checking my phone, texting or reading anything (unless I am with my father – who also loves to socialize and is as bad as me when it comes to being on his phone :)).

The only way to get a healthy relationship with tech gadgets, I think, is to have certain rules; in the same way, as it is good to set some guidelines for how often and how much we drink alcohol. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, when we get lost to our gadgets and they take over the control of our lives we will suffer consequences, which sometimes can be quite severe.

Children carry their teddy bear just as adults walk around with their phones, Ipads and other gadgets. Is there any difference to a teddy bear and our gadgets? They both give a sense of satisfaction and security. A teddy bear is soft and cuddly and quite innocent, but our gadgets – when used in excess – create a false sense of security.

Our ability to let go of our gadgets says a lot about our personality. If we cannot let go and be fully present with people or with tasks – without checking our tech gadgets often , we have a problem that can have dire impact – to ourself. It can also impact our relationships – who most likely suffers from lack of attention, attentiveness and courtesy..

To those of us who argue we have to be available and check our phones or answer them, despite being with other people, or when working, ought to rethink! WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONTACT US. We decide when we have time and would like to be available to answer.

One rule in our family is that we do not use our phones during meals. We do not answer a phone ringing or send an sms while we are enjoying each other’s company and conversations. It is very hard to have a meaningful exchange with someone who is half there with their attention.

Some rules that I want to live by – from now on…:

  1. My phone should never be at table when I eat with others.
  2. While having a conversation with someone, I will not check an sms or answer the phone if it is ringing. ( or I will have my phone on silent  and in my handbag).
  3. In the evenings, I will not be on my phone or on the laptop – except for max 30 minutes to attend to urgent matters. I will remind myself, that there is always a tomorrow when I can answer people.
  4. In the evening, I make sure to spend time with my family or friends, read a book, watch a film or the news – in order to invest in my relationships and in myself.

Do you have ideas on rules which you would like to commit to?