Looking Forward to Something
Long on the to-do list, I kept putting it off.
For one thing, I felt like I didn’t have time to go anywhere. There's just too much to do.
For another thing, I don't have anyone to go with me. I have no problem traveling alone, but not having someone to plan a trip with makes the planning less fun. Also, it means that I don't have someone nagging at me about a vacation.
So you put it off. Or, rather, I did.
Well, I spent a recent weekend planning trips. Mainly because one of my goals for the year is an actual vacation, and we're in the second half of the year. If I don't get a trip blocked off and booked, it won't happen. And I don’t like missing my targets.
What'd I plan?
I planned a fall weekend at a spa and resort up in Austin to recharge and reground. (Travaasa—I can’t recommend it more highly.)
I planned a winter trip to Belize and Guatemala. I've still got some research to do on that one, but I know where I want to go and generally what I want to do.
I planned a weekend escape next spring to run a destination half marathon with a friend.
In planning these trips, I felt lighter. Excited. Having something to look forward to—something that feels out of the ordinary and kind of "big"—is incredibly motivating. I was a grinning fool on the run I took that morning—it was best run I'd had in a long time. Fast, free, easy. Later that weekend, I got a lot done around the house.
And since then I've jumped at my work—I've got to be truly ready to go on vacation. I need to work hard to earn these vacations. I like to work hard, but I'm relishing it in a new way. Maybe because the rewards are tangible?
Studies show that vacations are important to well-being. Susan Krauss Whitbourne wrote in Psychology Today that vacations break a dangerous stress cycle that severely taxes our physical and mental health. And Jonah Lehrer pointed out in Wired that getting distance from challenges—the kinds of problems that work often poses—helps us better and more creatively address them. For that reason, FrogDog's company policy is that everyone use every vacation day—every year. (Sure, there are times when we make exceptions. But typically no. Rested, motivated, energized teammates are better teammates.)
I’d just forgotten to act on what I knew--and to take my own advice.