Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vacation Perspective

Even if you don’t actually have a summer vacation planned, it’s still possible to make use of the vacation perspective.  What I mean by that is to use taking a vacation, a weekend away or even an afternoon hike to gain perspective on your life, goals, plans and daily activities.

Try this.  If you’ve recently returned from a vacation or are planning one in the near future or have a get away weekend or daytime outing planned, consider being on the lookout for a new perspective on your return.
First, plan ahead.  Be open to seeing your life, home, work, relationships, or daily activities from a new point of view.

Here are some examples:
  • Am I enjoying the physical space I’m living in?
  • Am I keeping the schedule I want to be keeping?
  • What do I want to be doing more of?
  • What do I want to be doing less of?
  • What’s missing for me in my home or office?
  • Am I spending time with the people I want to be spending time with?
  • Am I doing work I love and is it satisfying to me?
  • What changes do I need to be making in other areas of my life?
Second, be prepared to take notes very soon after returning from your vacation, weekend away or daylong outing.  Write down the first reactions of what you see or think about.

Here are some ideas:

  • How long have those piles of clothes, books and papers been sitting in the corner?
  • I just looked at my calendar for the week and notice there is no down time for me!
  • I loved reading 4 books at the beach.  How can I schedule more time to read?
  • I notice I’m avoiding returning certain phone calls.  What’s going on here?
  • I’m feeling really refreshed and energized from my trip.  What can I do to retain that feeling?
  • Am I getting enough rest?  Maybe I need change the time I go to bed or get up in the morning. 
  • Maybe it’s time to consider a job that makes me happier.
Third, set aside some time to do some thoughtful analysis. This is important to do.  The “newness” of your vacation perspective will disappear quickly.

Here are some sample remarks:
  • I can’t afford to paint right now, but a new plant might spruce up the living room.  There are probably other small things I can do to fix up my apartment.
  • I need to schedule in more recreational and downtime during the week.
  • I need to set better boundaries between work and play.
  • There are people I want to be connecting with and I’ve gotten out-of touch.  I want to begin to re-connect. 
  • I think I’ve been avoiding some calls because I hate telling people “No.”
Fourth, schedule time to make the changes you’ve become aware of in this process. Break down each change into specific tasks and schedule time to do them.

Here are several ways to organize your follow-up tasks:
  • Use your planner, to block out specific time to do tasks.  Even if you need to adjust the time later, at least you’re now more conscious of what needs to be done. Tasks are more likely to be completed when written down.
  • Create mind maps for projects.  It’s a great way to make sure you’re not skipping any steps.
  • Use open-ended lists to add new ideas and tasks as they come to you.
  • Create a simple collage or find a picture representing completion of your tasks and projects to keep yourself focused and motivated.
Enjoy your summer vacation plans.  Remember to get even more from your time away by using “vacation perspective” when you return.

Take good care,


If you find yourself wanting some support on gaining perspective on your life, contact me for an informative discovery session via phone or in person. Phone (800) 552-WRITE, that's (800) 552-9748 or write to me at susan@susanborkin.com to find out more.

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