Charging up is a daily ritual for most Americans. More than 92 percent of people in this country own a cell phone. A cell phone is powered by a battery, and those batteries need to be regularly charged.

For those of us who consistently use our cellular devices throughout the day, we often run out of juice before day's end. Companies have invented something quite brilliant to remedy this problem: external batteries.

An external battery is a small, chargeable device that stores extra energy. It's perfect for times when people need to charge their phones (or other devices) but don't have easy access to a plug-in.

Several weeks ago, I used some holiday gift money to buy an external battery from OfficeMax for just under $10. The packaging said something like: "Fully charged. Works right out of the box." That was good news to me because my cell phone battery was low, and I was going to be in town for seven more hours before I'd be home and have access to my charger.

After I purchased the battery and got back into my car, I opened the package (not an easy task; teeth were involved). Then I connected the mini-USB cable from the external charger into my phone. Just like that: the phone was charging. No outlet required! It was all made possible by a small square box the size of my palm.

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An external battery is a handy invention. It is a way to energize from anywhere (as long as one remembers to bring it along).

Energizing from anywhere isn't just useful for cell phones. It's helpful for all of us; we all need external batteries of sorts — activities and relationships that we can plug into anytime that recharge our hearts and energize our minds.

We're now a couple weeks into the new year. How are you opting to recharge your spirit in 2017?

The big bucket list goals are certainly great ways to energize: vacations, special dinners, visits across the country to see family. But what about the time in between the big stuff? It's good to think about the smaller, more convenient sources of energy that we can tap into anytime.

People are unique, and the activities that charge us up are unique, too. There are endless options, and many of them are free. The challenge is to make time to genuinely identify what adds to your energy reservoir and then do it!

We all benefit when we are able to connect to the energy sources that charge our batteries! What brings juice to your joints? Reading the newspaper? Drinking a cup of morning joe? Cooking a healthful dinner? Watching the big game? Praying beside your fireplace? Laughing with your partner? Trying a new restaurant in town with your best friend? Talking with your sibling or parent or neighbor?

Are there smaller, even more familiar daily tasks that might be opportunities to recharge? Things you're already doing every day and might be gaining energy from without even realizing it? Watering your plants? Brushing your teeth? Taking a warm bath? Adding raisins to your morning oatmeal? Breathing slowly and with intention?

There are realities of being a human that tend to zap our energy. A few that come to mind: bills, miscommunications, loss, grief, illness, and no-good-very-bad-days. As an antidote to the more soul-dehydrating parts of life, it's beneficial to have external batteries ready in the wings.

What might help you recharge in the year ahead?