There are important things in life that most of us neglect. We get caught up in working and hustling and just trying to get stuff done and we forget to “stop and smell the roses.”
Hustling is great. Work ethic is important. Climbing the ladder is noble. But is that all there is to life? I certainly hope not. We need time to decompress and recharge the battery.
I have this set of “Vacation Rules” for my clients. These rules are guidelines for the client to follow when they go on vacation. These clients have had great success in the process of approaching their fitness goals. Most of them express their concern that “vacation” can sidetrack them and negate all the progress they have made.
Some of that concern is just self doubt and fear. Some of it is based on their own personal history. In the past their progress has been stopped dead in it’s tracks by not being able to get out of “vacation mode.”
It is an understandable concern. We have all been in that particular scenario. “Holiday Mode” is another very similar event. The fun and decadence of an extended and joyous time is difficult to let go of once it is over.
So here are some of my rules for vacation.
Rule #1: (This rule supersedes all other rules. No other rule can interfere with Rule #1.) YOU MUST HAVE FUN!!!!!!
Vacation is supposed to be fun. You are supposed to enjoy yourself. You are supposed to indulge in the finer things in life. So, enjoyment and fun are the top priority on any vacation. All other rules should be cast aside if Rule #1 is not happening.
We didn’t work hard all year and save money to go on vacation and not have fun. We all need to forget about bills, work, school, and all the other ancillary things that cause us to run around like crazy people on a daily basis.
This is about health, right? So how healthy can you be if you don’t recuperate? How effective will you be at your job, parenting or school if you are stressed and tired all the time? Not very!!!
Rule #2: Develop a gameplan for your vacation. This is based on personal preference and personality. Some feel that worrying about working out and eating well will ruin their fun. If that is the case, then don’t! Yup, eat and drink like a fool because having fun is the most important thing.
Other people, who have already embraced the fitness lifestyle, would be stressed if they DIDN’T workout and eat pretty well. Well then, workout and eat well if that is what makes you happy.
Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We want to have fun but we also want to continue on the fitness path we have already started and have invested time and energy into.
There are 3 million ways to develop a gameplan for vacation. There are just too many variables to discuss here. But I will give you an example.
I had a client that had lost 32 pounds while working with me. He expressed concerns that he was going to ruin his progress by going on a ten day business trip with his adult son in Reno. He had been on this trip before and knew what it entailed.
We talked about what he wanted to accomplish. He fell in the middle (wanted to have fun but still wanted to be concerned about his fitness). We came up with a simple plan. He was going to workout every morning at the hotel gym (even if for only ten minutes). He was going to eat clean for breakfast and lunch. Then he could “do his thing” at dinner and beyond. The final instruction was to scrap this plan if he wasn’t having fun.
Ten days later he returned. He started to tell me all the details of his trip but I stopped him. I said “Stop……I have one question for you. Did you have fun?” He proceeded to tell me that it was the best trip of his life. He bonded with his son. He went to some great shows. He ate and drank and was merry. Then, and only then, did I let him tell me about the other details.
As it turned out, he followed the plan pretty well. He worked out 8 of the 10 days. And he followed the eating plan as we devised in the same manner. How do you think he made out? How about LOSING 1.5 lbs along the way? He was ecstatic!!!! I was too.
I told him that even if he had gained a few pounds, it is nothing we couldn’t correct in about a weeks time. Which leads me to the final rule.
Rule #3: Immediately get back into the routine that was successful for you before vacation. ASAP or sooner!!!! This is paramount to your long-term success. You need to identify “modes” and be able to move in and out of them with grace and speed. Get that accountability factor going for yourself.
I have found this methodology to be very effective over the years. Vacation is some of the best moments of our lives. It doesn’t have to come at the expense of our fitness and future happiness and health. So enjoy yourself and then get back in the game. Life is more than hustle and stress.