You’ve worked hard all year, and now it’s time to take a break….the question is, what makes a great vacation? After all, you only have a limited amount of time and you want to make the most of it. We’re glad you asked!
Taking a vacation doesn’t have to be difficult. A vacation can be an amazing part of your year….a time to recharge and make great memories with friends and loved ones.
The problem is, the human experience doesn’t go away just because you have a week’s worth of free time. Let me explain. Just because you have a week off, it doesn’t mean your marriage is going to improve if it’s been on the rocks awhile. This applies to every area, including personal debt, health, spirituality, fitness, etc. It’s great, that you have a week off, but if you’ve let the chickens out during the last year, be sure they’re going to come home and roost!
Maybe by now, you’re not so excited about your upcoming vacation because there are issues you’ll have to deal with. Relax, there’s hope. You can still have a great vacation. In fact, it can still be your best vacation yet. Here are some tips to help. But first, a bit of wisdom.
The scriptures say, “Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest.” Before you get all out of sorts about the slacker bit, think about what the writer in Proverbs 6:6-8 is saying. Although you lack wisdom, it’s yours for the taking if you’ll take time to take ONE small step.
If you’re thinking about stopping for an extended period of time, it MAY do you some good to stop beforehand. Look before you leap. Huge change doesn’t happen over night, it’s a result of lots of baby steps. Ants are tiny, but they are able to do great works over a period of time, by carrying out small, simple tasks on a daily basis. By the way, a slacker is someone who avoids pain. We all get that. Most people prefer comfort and pleasure. Let’s be honest. Those aren’t bad things. Beware: don’t allow yourself to gravitate toward ease and the path of least resistance. It’s easy to stop doing difficult things that will improve not only the quality of your own life, but the life of others.
1) GREAT VACATIONS DON”T HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT, SO MAKE A PLAN A failure to plan is a plan to fail. Sit down with a cup of coffee, some paper and a pen. (Yes, paper!). There’s just something about writing things down. Now, write down 5 or 10 things you’d like to do on your vacation. If you’re planning on a stay- cation, still take the time to make a list. The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.
2) DON’T LET A LACK OF FINANCES BE AN ISSUE You’re not taking a break to spend money, you’re taking a vacation to spend TIME. You can have just as much fun at the local public beach as you can in California. Your wish list might include visiting an old friend. Do some gardening, complete an unfinished product, meet with a spiritual mentor, etc. Write down whatever comes to mind, you can always edit later. The list doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on it. At this point, you are brainstorming.
3) PUT YOUR PLAN ON PAPER! You don’t have to stress and work on it for your entire vacation, but you can take an ant step. For instance, if it’s personal debt, plan on taking a book out from the library that will educate you. Plan on meeting or talking with someone who seems to have their financial act together, over coffee. Balance your checkbook. Look at your bills and identify needs and luxuries. You get the idea.
The key is balance! Too much of a good thing can be a not so good thing and this includes vacations. Scrap your fitness routine for a week and you’ll see what I mean. Sleep in every day until noon and you’ll understand. Go on a drinking binge and eat fast food every meal….Ignore your relationships. You get the idea. Disrupting a routine you’ve worked hard to establish will derail your growth and progress.
Congratulations! If you’re about to take a break, you have a wonderful opportunity to experience your best vacation yet! Hot dogs on the grill with some good friends can be just as wonderful- if not more- than an extravagant meal at an expensive restaurant. Besides, that kind of meal won’t take you ten years to pay off!
Whatever you do, if you’ve worked hard all year, be sure to carve out some time to relax and enjoy your loved ones
Regardless of where you are on your journey, rest assured you are loved more than you could ever imagine! A vacation isn’t the time to beat yourself up because you’re such a crummy person. You may not feel like it after the year you’ve been through, but rest assured God loves you and wants to spend time with you and your family. He got you through the year and he’d love to get you to the next level if you’ll only trust him.