Create Your Life Adventure: Take a Break

Photo credit: Roberto Taddeo

“Because of our routines we forget that life is an ongoing adventure.” -Maya Angelou

When is the last time you really got away? Where have you been lately that has allowed you to mentally leave your work behind, enjoy time off, relax, create a new memory and really do what you want? As summer begins, there is an opportunity to think about vacations, breaks, pauses, immersions and escaping with children out of school and the hurried-pace of activities slowing down. What purpose do breaks serve and do we really know how to get away?

There is no doubt that taking breaks can nurture the body, mind and soul. Our society supports time off in many different forms such as coffee breaks, weekend getaways, the traditional two to three weeks of vacation time and sabbaticals. People have become especially good at getting out of the daily and weekly grind by engaging in activities that fill up their tanks. Meditating, working out, reading books, being outside, daydreaming, seeing movies, socializing, lunching and dinnering, being alone, creating technology-free zones, planning spa days, taking bubble baths, going on short getaways… these are some of the respites that keep us going.

Yet, I wonder if these smaller activities are enough to truly sustain us? Are we taking the longer breaks that allow us to completely unwind and give us joy, fun, adventure and learning? When it comes to long-term health and happiness, are we balancing the leisure interests, hobbies and grounding tools with the peak experiences and big adventures that produce greater fulfillment?

I am as guilty as everyone else about taking time off. I admit that as a Life Coach, I should know better. I work hard, love what I do and I am pretty good about maintaining balance, having solitude, engaging spontaneity and vacationing with family and friends. But what I recently realized is when I made a commitment to grow my business, I would go though the motions of time off but not truly take a break from my work.

I became addicted to my “crack berry” and was constantly connected to my efforts. I would think about creative ideas or new coaching exercises and hardly stop to be truly present while on my vacations. When I finally stopped for a ski holiday last year, I set aside everything Excavive and was able to fully enjoy my trip by skiing, nurturing my relationships, reading a historical fiction book, drinking wine by the fire and resting. When I returned, I re-prioritized my work/life balance and was able to gain the personal and professional growth I had been seeking. Now, I am planning my next big escape, and I invite you to think about your getaways as well.

With the Busyness of Life, Why Stop and Take a Bigger Time Out?

  • to get away from the mundane and routine
  • to create self awareness by noticing who you have become
  • to find new inspiration and creativity
  • to see beauty in your surroundings and situation
  • to remember why you made the choices you did
  • to avoid burnout
  • to check in and see if yesterday’s goals still fit tomorrow’s dreams
  • to connect with the people you treasure
  • to tap into your intuition
  • to have fun
  • to learn something new
  • to rejuvenate, relax and breathe a little easier
  • to get clear about difficult or challenging situations
  • to create a more colorful archive of your life

From spiritual practices to carnal pleasures, I have learned that the everyday habits and positive endeavors support us in creating balance, connection, productivity and grounding. The short retreats, whether they are healthy diversions or dreamy virtual experiences, give us a sense of freedom, re-charge the batteries and are fun. Yet, the bigger adventures help us in reaching our pinnacle. Decide what you want to do daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Replace “someday” with today, and start planning an aspiring adventure of a lifetime.

A Coaching Process to Assist in Creating Your Life Adventure:

1. Make a list of things from which you need a break.

2. Now create a list of things you are longing to do.

3. Decide how much time you need for each one… an hour, a day, a week or longer?

4. Choose your first, second and third priorities, and then generate an action item for each of those adventures.

5. Next, craft a stretch goal… what is a getaway activity, dream vacation or immersion that you long for? Finally, take the next step in making your bigger vision a reality.
Meet Jennifer: Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author Jennifer M. Blair is founder of Excavive™ Coaching and Consulting, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on empowering people to pursue their passions, increase their self-confidence, communicate powerfully and build the kind of lives they want to live. If you love these Blog posts, many have been adapted from her first book, The True You: Tools to Excavate, Explore and Evolve, published in 2011.