Updated: May 13, 2020
I’m currently on a plane flying back from Orlando, Florida after spending the week of Christmas with my wife, in-laws, and her family. Now’s the time where most people would joke about surviving it or being glad it’s over but I can’t quite say that, I got blessed with a pretty amazing family that I married into. After spending 5 days relaxing, unplugging from the world, and soaking in all of the sights; I have this renewed feeling of refreshment heading back home. It’s a perfect time with the new year starting this week too! But where does this renewed focus come from? Was it just the relaxation? Or the family fun and time to be away with my wife? Here’s the #1 thing I can come up with:
Vacation is good for you because you break all of the bad habits you have. It allows you to start fresh and spend a few days planning out new challenges and habits you want to start when you get home. I don’t know about everyone reading this, but usually when I’m on vacation, all of my routine’s and habits go by the way side. I stay intentional about my daily book & bible reading, but that’s about it. Whether it's fitness and healthy eating routines or morning and bedtime routines, everything gets thrown off on vacation. I think more importantly though all of the bad habits we get into get broken. Whether you struggle with playing too much Xbox/PS4, laziness, nightly ice cream, Netflix/hulu/Disney+ binging, or any of the other hundreds of things that keep us from reaching our potential in life, your vacation helps break these habits, even just for a few days.
As humans I believe we are very routine oriented people. Whether we realize it or not, we tend towards patterns. Again some could be good, and others not so good. I think routine’s are very important, especially to establish a solid morning and bedtime routine. But I think it’s safe to say that for most of us our routine’s aren’t always the ones leading us to the path of the life we’ve always wanted. I’m 110% guilty of this at times just to clarify. Watching a couple of episodes of a favorite TV show sometimes turns into hours unintentionally spent watching it over the next couples of weeks. I don’t make a conscious decision to replace 12 hours of my productive time in pursuit of my goals and dreams with 12 hours of TV watching, but it’s funny how it just happens that way without us realizing it.
Enter your vacation to save the day! Often times we don’t just pick up one or two bad habits and routines. It tends to snowball into 3,4 or 5 other smaller ones too. Simply by getting away and breaking all of your routines can help you refocus when you get home and things return to normal. Vacations are a great time to evaluate what routine’s and habits are working well for you and which one’s you need to improve on. I strongly suggest spending a day or two planning out the things you would like to change and how you can accomplish them so that you are prepared when you get home to start implementing.
I encourage everyone to get away at least 2-3 times a year, even if it’s just for a few days at a time and is a small local trip. It doesn’t have to be flying to Florida to spend time with your amazing in-laws for a holiday (never know if they may read this someday, brownie points in the bank are never a bad thing 😉). A good friend of mine and top realtor in the St. Louis area, Caleb Davis, said a few months back that he tries to take a couple of days away every month. He said in doing so, he is able to stay more focused and productive the rest of the month and doesn’t mind long days as much when he has something to always look forward to, along with pre-planned time to spend with his wife.
So here's your excuse to take a vacation. Many people feel guilty taking time off or feel like they can't, but I challenge you to try it. It could just be the best thing you do to ensure a productive 2020.