6 Things to Forget for Your Vacation

by Bill Lampton, Ph.D.

Summer is almost here, the kids are out of school, and your much-deserved vacation is just around the corner. In addition to your regular pre-vacation to do list, consider creating another list - this one of things you'll want to forget.

Ordinarily, you make a detailed list of items to remember for your vacation, such as:

  • Shut down and unplug the computer
  • Leave a message on your answering machine
  • Take passports
  • Confirm flights and hotel reservations
  • Stop mail and newspaper delivery
  • Pack camera and battery charger

That to-do list is helpful, and is generally much longer. However, I suggest that you make a second list-things to forget for your vacation. While your list of what to remember helps by making your trip more functional, your list of what to forget will foster a remarkable reduction in your stress level. You'll bolster your serenity, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Here are six items to forget for your next vacation:

CALORIES
Sure, we all know the benefits of dieting, the health problems that accompany excessive weight, and how much unwise eating habits impact our appearance. Even so, we can-and should-reward ourselves by enjoying on vacation those desserts and delicious entrees we avoid the rest of the year. Yes, enjoy them without guilt, both for the great taste you get and as a reward for your year-round discipline.

During the first dinner of your cruise, let's say you're having trouble deciding between the chocolate cake and the coconut pie. Take both. Tomorrow you'll walk it off on your tour of the banana plantation. Or what if you even gain a few fun pounds? When you return home, your gym membership will still be valid.



COMPANY
The wireless workplace makes constant contact possible, which gives you business advantages prior generations didn't enjoy. If you belonged to the era of traveling sales reps who had to look for a vacant pay phone and keep plenty of quarters handy for long distance calls, you appreciate many incredible improvements in communication methods. Now, you never have to be out of touch.

During the regular work year, you've formed the habit of remaining accessible. "After hours" has become an obsolete phrase. This magnified access has boosted your interactions and your productivity.

Let's note quickly, though, that workplace connections are incompatible with vacations. Vacations imply a radical lifestyle change, with the focus shifted away from corporate life to your family and friends. This year, recognize that people who spend time worrying about clients, prospects, technology, budgets, unreliable colleagues, and the stock market aren't actually taking a vacation. So when you pull out of your driveway, leave those major concerns behind.

CASH/CREDIT WORRIES
Assuming that you have chosen a location that's not unreasonable for your level of income and savings, spend with joy. For a few days, look at expenditures as investments in your emotional well being.

Engage in activities you would customarily think of as frivolous and wasteful. Sign up for the scuba lessons. Buy more souvenirs than you're accustomed to bringing home. Order the catch of the day, normally set at a premium price. Purchase a waterproof camera. Take the half-day boat excursion to a neighboring island.

You have earned every dollar of your money, saved wisely, invested regularly, and shopped for bargains. Why? Merely to enjoy the accumulation? Abandon that approach for a week or ten days, and be extra generous to yourself.

CALENDAR
Whether you rely on a regular paper calendar, a DayMinder, a Yahoo calendar, or even a combination, you regiment your life by the daily, weekly, and monthly cycles. Put all those aids aside the minute your vacation begins. One of the best questions you can ask on vacation is this one: "Is today Tuesday or Wednesday?" Consider every day an extended weekend.

In fact, shun the score keeping. Saying "just three days left" or "just two days left" takes your mind away from the ideal focus--today, with its varied opportunities for fun and frolic.

CLOCK
Just as you change your calendar dependence, don't check your watch every few minutes. And consider your day far more flexible than you're used to. Sleep an hour or two later, unless you're scheduled for an expedition. Go dancing at a spot that doesn't open until 10:00 p.m. Linger longer over lunch.

CONFORMITY
For almost an entire year, you have conformed to what others expect--in your wardrobe choice, grooming, and more. Now be daring and adventurous. Go skydiving or parasailing, or find a place that offers karaoke (quite daring for those of us who don't consider ourselves singers). Wear a funny hat you bought from a beach vendor. Leave your tie and fancy dress at home.

Forget these six Cs, and you'll come back more refreshed than you have ever been in your professional life.

Bill Lampton, Ph.D., Communication Consultant, Speech Coach, and Video Trainer, "Helping You Finish in First Place." Visit his Web site, Championship Communication. Call Dr. Lampton: 678-316-4300

 
  

 
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