Barbara Schwarck
Neuro Emotional Coach, Speaker and Author

It’s August, and We’re Not Flying…


Tips for a Successful Staycation

Have you ever gone on vacation, spent thousands of dollars or euros or shekels just to come home feeling exhausted, depressed, and wondering what went wrong?

Each August, tens of thousands of people leave – might I say “flee” – Israel to go on vacation abroad.  Some are visiting family, some combining pleasure with business, and many are just taking a break from the routine since school and camp have wound down. A change of scenery is good – and then some.  

This year, for the obvious reason, most of us will have to stay in Israel. Many are also choosing to avoid much travel within Israel while the coronavirus numbers remain high.  For those of us who are struggling financially, this may not be so bad, however, in my many conversations with clients and friends, lots of people are feeling frustrated and stuck.  SO, what can we do to adjust ourselves one more time to this new normal which includes travel restrictions both leaving and coming to Israel?

To answer this question we need to take a deeper look at the purpose and meaning of vacation; something that has gotten lost for many, as I hear my coaching clients, as well as my friends, tell me that they need a vacation from the vacation.  What?  A vacation from the vacation?  

According to Merriam-Webster “vacation” developed its now most common meaning of “a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation” in the late 19th century. Since then it has been used to describe a variety of periods away.  We mostly talk about vacation around different periods like “hachofesh hagadol” – the summer vacation, when schools are closed and the entire family vacations together. 

This year, so many of us that travel abroad have to adapt and stay put. I want to share a few tips with you to make this perhaps your best staycation ever.

Ready? Let’s start with some of the basic steps or ground rules for each project.  Sounds like work?  Well, maybe it is a little bit of work but I can assure you that it will be worthwhile and that you will be able to get the maximum out of your time together.

What is your intention(s) for this year’s vacation?

When I work with my coaching clients on achieving their goals, I always ask them a few questions before we get to work.  One of the essential questions for everything including life itself is: “What is your intention for” … fill in the blank.  An intention is different from a goal. It is a directional quality, a state of being-ness something that you want to feel inside.  For example, I want to feel rested or connected to my family or uplifted and renewed.  We often hold these hopes inside when we go on vacation but never talk about them.  When you don’t express your intentions to the other people who you are going on vacation with, it is entirely possible that all of you will lose out.  

Task 1: Sit around the table to talk about your intentions.  What is it that you would like to experience?  Listen to each other and assign someone to be the note taker.

Once you have written down all of the intentions your goal as a family or group will be to see if there are a few common denominators that you can agree on.  If everyone wants to have fun this is something to deem important.  If a few of you want to have fun but the rest want to relax see if there is a way to combine these things.  One can rest and have fun at the same time.  This is a great team-building exercise and will bring you even closer together as a group.  I suggest that you have no more than five intentions for the entire group.

What are your goals?

Now that you have your intentions written down it is time for you to write down some goals. Goals?  Yes, each year when we go on vacation we have goals.  We may not talk about it, but we have them.  Goals are things like, I want to sleep in or I want to hike a mountain or I want to see as many cities as possible.  These are all goals.  Most of us associated goals with work and getting things done but goals are a great way to get what we want.

Keeping your intentions in mind, go around the circle to identify your goals.  Each of you can have 3 goals.  Before you share them with the group, take a look at them and decide if they are in-line with your intentions.  If they are not in-line with your intentions, make adjustments.  Once you have clear goals, share them with your group and decide which of the goals fit in with the 5 intentions that you decided upon as a group.  Make sure that each person gets to keep at least one goal.  If this seems like a lot of work, remember, your overall intention is to have the best staycation ever, a time where everyone gets what they want.

Task 2: Identify three goals and align them with your intentions.  Share them with your family, or those you are vacationing with. 

Excellent.  Consider that the hard part is over.  You are clear about the most important things that will allow you to have the experience you always wanted to have.  The rest will be easy.

Let’s put it all together and plan and take action?

Now that you have your intentions and your goals it is time to put some meat on the bone and put it all together.  Let’s say my intention is to relax and my goal is to sleep 7.5 hrs. or more each day, I need to figure out how this will work with the rest of the family who wants to go camping for a week in the mountains. Well, this can be easily achieved when each party shows a little bit of flexibility.  Perhaps there are some days that I go to bed earlier and some days that get to sleep in.  Maybe on the days that we go hiking I go to bed earlier and the days are structured that the hike finishes at a reasonable hour. 

Task 3: Identify one or two volunteers who will put together a master plan for the vacation.  Schedule a time for all to review and make adjustments. 

Congratulations!  You have just completed a complete guide to manifesting an actual vacation that will be rejuvenating and restoring, even if you can’t travel abroad. 

Be sure to reflect on the vacation afterward and decide if it was worthwhile to go through this process.  I would love to hear from you.

About the Author
Dr. Barbara Schwarck, CEO of Clear Intentions International, is an award-winning, dual-certified coach and creator of Neuro Emotional Coaching. She has coached more than 1000 CEOs, professionals, thought-leaders, and private clients that work with her on personal growth. She is the author of From Intuition to Entrepreneurship: A Women’s Guide to Following Her Dream, and articles that have appeared in Thrive Global, Sivana East, The Wellness Universe, Ladies Home Journal, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and more.
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