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"Sorry, coach, I have a headache!"

"And," the call continues, "I don't feel like talking today. Can we re-schedule?"

We've all had moments when we feel we're just to tired to work on that article or resume or special report.

And sometimes a client feels too tired to call a coach -- which means that's the best time to call. Getting derailed and losing momentum can make you even more tired next time.

What does being tired mean?

1. Sometimes you're, well, tired!

If your day included a five-mile run followed by a weight-lifting session, and you've pushed yourself beyond your usual limits, you may be an excellent candidate for a cold drink and a nap.

2. Not enough sleep these days?

Any change in sleeping habits should be taken seriously. Depending on the cause, you may need to chat with a therapist (if you're grieving or anxious), a coach (if you have time management challenges) or a wellness professional (for diet and exercise tips).

3. Emotionally exhausted?

After finishing a big project, many people need time to de-compress and get back into their rhythm. That's why I always urge my clients to reward themselves after completing milestones as well as the final project.

4. Frustrated and let-down when a big effort doesn't pay off?

Let's say you apply for a job, and "wow" the interviewers. You're thrilled -- until you learn the job will be filled internally or not at all. Calling your coach or friend can give you an energy boost.

5. Time for a break?

If you've been working on a project for a long time, or keeping long hours at work, your brain may indeed feel like it's turning to mush. Stop! Do something fun. Recharge your batteries. You'll be more efficient when you return to your desk.

6. You really don't want to do this, do you?

That's what "being tired" often means.

If you have teenaged children, you know the syndrome. They're too tired to take out the garbage or make their beds -- but mention a social event and they're racing out the door!

Fire up your own motivation with action.

Dig in and complete a tiny piece of the project. Often this step will recharge your energy, the way driving a car will recharge a battery.

7. You've been spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Time to get out of that chair and get moving! Get a fresh perspective, or, as psychologists say, reframe the problem.

Losing momentum can be costly.

You think, "Oh no! I've lost a week." Now the project seems larger: you've lost TWO weeksand then three.

Ask anyone who's tried to write a book, finish a project or get started on a career change.

Being tired often signals a need for reinforcement -- a coach, colleague, mentor or other resource -- and some form of change in your time and life.

You could even say that being tired is a wake-up call. Don't ignore it.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com or call 505-534-4294.


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The obstacles you overcome