Holidays have three distinct phases.
Phase one is all about the recovery – best used to sleep, eat and rest until your shoulders relax and your smile returns.
The second phase is dedicated to the fun factor – laugh lots, eat, drink, socialise, stay out late and be very merry merry.
The third and final phase is reserved for dreaming. Relaxed and rejuvenated you’re able to let your mind wander as you explore tantalising ideas and discover new ways of being for the year ahead. This dream phase is essential, it fuels our optimism as we return to work, confident we have what it takes to turn our dreams into reality.
But as the year rolls out you, your schedule gets tighter, you notice the happier you being nudged out by a slightly tetchier, less appealing you. The version of you who’s trying to keep all plates spinning and everyone happy. As you speed up to jam more in, you hear the disgruntled whisper, “this isn’t how it was supposed to be”.
In 2015 I trekked Larapinta, a 250km trek across the MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs. I did it with my friend Amanda, unsupported, unguided, carrying our own packs with enough food for our 12 day hike.
It was my first trekking experience. I’d never pitched a tent or spent a night in the great outdoors let alone navigate an outback track.
Day 1 we got lost. We followed the yellow flags owned by an electricity company instead of the blue ones that marked the Larapinta trail.
Day 2 we lost each other. Yes, we had a satellite phone, but only the one, so once separated, we had no way of contacting each other.
Day 3 we were rescued by helicopter.
Those extra kms walked on day one took a toll on Amanda. Although she kept going till her feet bled, she ultimately required medical attention and rest.
All the possibility of our adventure abruptly replaced by the pain of failure.
I loved that adventure. I still use it to rev up my adventurous spirit when I’m playing safe and to slow me down when I’m racing ahead. It also works as a constant reminder that if I’m not crystal clear on my direction, I won’t notice when I veer off track.
When trekking you’re given flags to follow, in life you need to find your own.
Slow down in response to the mayhem. You won’t need to speed up, jam in and spin plates if you get really, super clear with your VIPs.
What are VIPs?
Your Values – are your independent and individual judgements for what YOU CHOOSE to value in life. How can you recognise if they’re ‘true’ – If your values don’t influence your thinking or behaviour, they’re not your values.
Your Intentions – the truth behind your goals. Identify your truth relieves the fear, anxiety and stress of being attached to them.
Your Purpose – this is the meaning you give life. You don’t need to save the planet or walk to Madagascar to have a PURPOSE. Your purpose can be as simple as kindness. The key criteria is simply this – your purpose is meaningful to you.
Make your VIPs memorable. Work on them till they are clear, concise and committed to memory.