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5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Have you ever been super excited for a holiday, only to get back feeling highly disappointed? It isn’t a great feeling at all! We all want to come back raving about the great holiday we had, yet for some of us, we might come back feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. It’s doesn’t need to be that way!

I am a HUGE fan of traveling; in the last 2 years I’ve been in over 16 countries; you might say that I am a bit of a travel junkie! The truth is that we all have different reasons for travelling, however, I think we still share something in common: we all want to get the most out of our holiday – whether the objective is just to relax and disconnect, or have an action-packed planned trip, or even both!

Here are 5 of my secrets to getting the most out of your holiday and why!

1. Connecting with the WHY

You always get better results in life if you are proactive and not reactive. Sometimes we just do things and we don’t even question why we are doing them. When we start to ask ourselves, “why do I want this?” or “why am I doing this?” we can start to shape our experiences into more enjoyable ones that match our desires.

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Be more purposeful in creating the type of experience you want; when you know what you want and why you are more likely to have it. You always get more out of your holiday when your why is being answered.

Before traveling, check in with yourself and ask yourself:
• Why am I going to THIS city/town/country?
• What would I love to experience? And Why?

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

2. Planning for fun

I know you will have fun on your holiday regardless, but why not plan for fun as well? I always include fun activities on my to-do list; that way I prioritize them. I include them in my week and I have more fun in life. This is the same idea; planning some fun activities helps you to destress, focus on less, and you have less hassles.

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For those of you who don’t want to pre-book tours, you can still plan to have fun by exploring the local activities available, and you will save money and see more in the end. Don’t waste time thinking what you are going to do that day, plan for fun – it works!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

3. Opinions always count!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant or stayed in hotel that was absolutely terrible? Don’t you wish someone would have warned you? Reviews are so important; most often websites will only tell you what they want you to hear, but when you read people’s actual experience, you get the low-down on what it’s really like.

You don’t want to be disappointed, to waste time, to have a bad experience, so whatever you plan to do, check out the reviews! You might also come across some other great recommendations or ideas by doing a little bit of research beforehand.

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“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” – Matthew Karsten

4. Be open to learning

When you are traveling, there is so much to take in and learn, from the people, to the food, customs, way of life, culture, and geology (to name a few). What you focus on expands, so if you are open to learning more, you will, and you will have a much better time. You will understand more and you will also go back with more knowledge.

Every place that you travel has a history, monuments, and important things to see, which gives it its uniqueness, and it should be a large part of why you are visiting there. Informing yourself and educating yourself on the place you are in will add to the richness of your travel because you will understand more. After all, they say that traveling is one of the best forms of education.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

5. Be Present!

Finally, you can’t underestimate the power of being present. If you want to make the most out of your holiday, being present should be high on your list. Most of the time our thoughts are in the past; thinking about things that have happened, or will in the future; thinking about things that might happen, or what we must do.

Being present in the moment is in fact the only place our thoughts should be directed most of the time, especially on holiday! Take in the smells, the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. When you try the food, really taste it, smell it, understand the culture of the country and how it’s influenced its cuisine, for example. You will remember so much more and enjoy your holiday on another level.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

Just like any experience in life, we make it what we want to be; we are in control. Direct your focus on creating a holiday that is unforgettable. Put all your energy into enjoying it, exploring it, understanding it, and making the most out of it.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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