Just when you think you cannot sit in one more meeting or achieve one more KPI, summer has finally arrived and your well-planned get-a-way is here! You have been planning this escape for months and you may have also spent weeks on Google looking up key sites to visit whilst on holiday. Most people think that vacations are a way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of work-life when in fact, it is quite the opposite. Now, before you argue the contrary, let me clarify what I mean.
Whenever I meet with clients, I always get them to imagine a figurative backpack; try it with me too. Imagine waking up and completing your morning routines before heading off to work. What do you take with you? A briefcase? Laptop? Wallet? Purse? Umbrella? Mobile phone? You probably don't realize it but as you were getting ready, you also packed your emotions, your fears and and your hopes for a better today that would achieve your better tomorrow. For some, these unconscious backpacks have a heaviness in the lower pit of their stomach, while for others, it feels more like stress or some have been heard as describing it as anxiety. Whether you realize it or not, you carry these backpacks to work, to the supermarket, on dates and even on your summer holidays. We actually never take them off. And this is the inspiration behind my blog today...
As much as we would like to believe that summer vacations give us the opportunity to escape our realities and the hectic life of work in the city, we still carry these backpacks and take them with us...even on the summer vacation. How can we regenerate and reboot if we constantly carry these 'stories of our life and work' wherever we go? Easy, summer vacation is a time to unwind, relax and to reboot our creative energy.
First, the thought of 'escape' should be replaced with 'reflect and reboot'. Instead of using your vacation as an 'escape', use it as an opportunity to 'reflect' on your last quarter and 'reboot' the challenges, the wins not won and the KPIs that were a near hit. Use your summer mode to 'reflect' on the areas of your performance at work and in your life to consider alternative strategies that will enhance your performance and your life satisfaction. Start to remember that whether you want to accept it or not, the invisible backpack that you carry wherever you go can only feel lighter and more empowering if you recognize the areas of your work and life that are effective or not.
Next, share your backpack contents with someone that you trust. It can be a partner, your spouse, your sibling, a friend or even your coach. Unpack the contents and repack the empowering ones. Summer vacation is a time to repack the contents that you consciously want to carry. It is also the ideal time to detach from the contents that no longer serve you. Clear the clutter and tidy up the backpack.
Finally, start to take ownership of the goals and actions that you promise to take. If it's to find a new job or buy a new house or even plan that amazing trip, do it! Use your summer vacation to focus on checking-in with your annual goals and take accountability for the actions not yet taken. If not now, when?
Check out www.mariavitoratos.com for more tips and inspiring ideas for a stronger, more empowered YOU!