I’m in Park City, Utah on a family vacation having a wonderful time. Guess what? I initially didn’t want to get away for a family vacation. I mean it is not that I didn’t want to go to Park City. I love Park City. It is a peaceful, cozy town nestled between some magnificent mountains. It is not that I didn’t want to have special time with my family. Then what was it? This is the same conversation that I bet you’ve had over and over again when it is time for you to get away. The conversation goes something like this:
“I don’t have time to go away.”
“I’ve got too much work to do.”
“I don’t have anyone to take care of the kids.” (If it is a get-away just for you or you and your significant other)
When I shared these ridiculous excuses with my husband Greg, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. We have had this vacation planned and paid for months ago. It probably didn’t help much that I was still protesting about all the reasons why I could not go even after we had boarded the plane and were heading down the runway for takeoff!
The minute we arrived in Park City, my whole attitude changed. I was exactly where I needed to be at this moment and time in my life. I needed a change in environment—we all do. This is a concept that I often share with the women I serve. (It is obviously one that I’m still learning myself!) If we stay in the same environment day after day, year after year, it is a real challenge to see your life in any other way. I have an exercise that I use in my Women’s Success Circles called “reframing.” It allows you to “reframe” situations in your life so that you can see new possibilities and silver linings. This exercise works well if you can do it in a peaceful, reflective environment. Being in your home or office with all of your “shoulds” and responsibilities can make it a challenge to be peaceful and reflective.
Still can’t get your arms around making that leap to get away? Here are a few tips that will help you make the decision so that you, too, can get a new, fresh look at your life while enjoying some time off:
- Get it on your calendar in ink – This is probably the best tip I will give you. Decide where you want to go and book it. No matter how many excuses I came up with, the fact was, the airplane tickets had been purchased and the place we were going to stay was paid for. If none of this had been done ahead of time, my excuses may have won the battle.
- Go local – If your budget won’t allow for an extended trip right now, no problem. Just driving one hour from your home and staying in a new environment changes everything. The women who work with me in both my Success Circles and privately at the B&B by the beach in Los Angeles report that a half-day to 24 hours creates dramatic, positive change in their lives. They give themselves permission to “reframe” different aspects of their lives.
- Quality not Quantity – Organize your time away so that it works for you and everyone else that goes with you. For example, we have our time in Park City set up so that everyone gets plenty of time together as a family and plenty of time alone. Our kids attend some of the local camps during part of our vacation. This gives them the opportunity to meet new children and do lots of fun outdoor activities in a group and it gives me some alone time that I desperately need. The statement I just made is sometimes difficult for women to hear–“alone time that I desperately need.” Women with or without children who lead busy lives never get enough alone time. This is a time to reconnect with your Authentic self. It is a time for you to spend “checking-in” with you rather than everyone else in your life. This is a crucial action step to take periodically if you have a desire to live a passionate, purposeful life.
- Limit your Access – Create some “barriers” around your time. One of the reasons I love my work is that I can do it most anywhere, anytime. I have some women that I will work with while I’m away by phone and in person. However, I have designed that time around the activities that I want to do (biking, ice-skating, family, reading, etc.). Be vigilant about not checking email or voicemail all the time. Take some time to “honor yourself.”
As I sit here looking at the majestic mountains and gorgeous Aspen trees, it is difficult to imagine that at one point, I could have missed this time in my life. Don’t miss yours. Smart Women Get Away.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
Copyright 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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