Live Like You’re On Vacation!

As I am gearing up to go on vacation, I have been pondering what makes vacation so great anyway?  What would I be doing (other than not working) on vacation that I don’t do now?  What is it about vacation that makes it…vacation?

I thought about it and I realized that on vacation I do a few things differently?

1. I walk more

2. I bike more

3. I check out local independent eateries

4. I window shop, especial at locally owned (non-chain) businesses

5. I enjoy the weather (even if it’s rain)

6. I read more

7. I take my time

8. I sing

9. I am curious about my surroundings 

So…what can I do about this when i’m STUCK in my own town?? Well…ALL OF IT!!  I have been testing out my theory these last few days and have had great results.  I went for a bike ride around my neighborhood, walked down to a local river, walked the dog more and further than usual, really took time to observe the sky and it’s wonders, got to work earlier to that I don’t feel rushed, and have been reading more.  The results have been improved mood, more optimism, and more productivity at work and in my personal life.  


Give it a try…live like you are on vacation! 



Keeping a Schedule

When I think back over the last few years about when I felt the most productive and confident, I readily identify the winter between 2012/2013.  I can also easily identify why…I had a great schedule! I was honoring myself by going to the gym, visiting family, spending time with friends, and working with regularity and consistency.  Having a schedule prevented me from overworking, isolating, and/or avoiding.  I was able to meet my own needs and take care of myself by relying on a schedule that I made while in my wisest state of mind. 

I share this with you as I have recently realized that I have NOT been sticking to my schedule! I sat down today and remedied this situation and wanted to share with you some steps that made it easier:

  1. Determine what you value and want to accomplish during a week.  Examples may be exercise, visit relatives, spend time with friends, work, read, create art, hike…
  2. Create measurable goals related to each thing you want to do, such as workout 3x/week or visit grandma once/week. 
  3. Create a blank schedule with one column per day
  4. Fill in the mandatory/inflexible parts of you schedule in blocks
  5. Weigh out the other pieces of the puzzle, filling the week in with as much balance as possible

I really do recommend that you stick to your schedule for several weeks before making any changes.  At first, only make changes to things that were problematic during your trial run.  This might be removing things that you scheduled after work if you find yourself having to stay late at work certain days.  It may be permitting yourself to sleep in on a Thursday or Friday if your week is taxing.  Try to limit the number of changes you make at a time so that you know what is helping and what isn’t. 


Leave Me Alone!

I want to take a moment to remind you of the value of alone time! Whether you are a parent, a student, single, married…you need to take time for yourself.  Optimally this would be time for you to do an activity you enjoy, alone.  I note that of the top ten things I like to do in my free time, they can ALL be done solo or with a partner.  I find value in both.  Hiking, gardening, and crafting can all be done with someone…which is great for the relationship and can be great fun; however, doing them alone allows time for introspection.  Engaging in fun activities alone can help you get to know yourself, bond with yourself, and increase self confidence.  

Often, people who avoid doing things alone because they are afraid of how they will look, they will feel anxious, or they are judging themselves.  I encourage you to challenge yourself on those theories.  I have gone out to eat alone, gone to movies alone, taken rides on my bicycle alone…all can be incredibly freeing if you let yourself enjoy the moment! I assure you, most people are far too busy with their own lives (or smartphones) to care what you are doing.  Give it a try…choose something that you’ve been wanting to do with a friend, and go it alone!