I have a success philosophy that works pretty well. When you work hard, show up daily, put in the effort you will see the results you are after. Building to this level of focus, commitment, energy, and output takes time, but it is worth it. I have an underlying goal that motivates me and is like the glue for each of my goals coming to fruition. Each and every day I will make progress on at least one of my goals.
If you were to look at my calendar in which I record which goal(s) I have worked on each day, you would see very few days that were totally empty. And if you looked at the week leading up to those days of no progress/effort made towards a goal, you’d find extra work put in before that day off to make up for it. You would see many, many days in which I put in the effort and time on two or three of my bigger goals.
And starting this year, you will see the last two weeks of December looking pretty empty. Why? Because I intentionally am taking these two weeks off from my “I will make progress daily on my goals” philosophy. The truth is, I’m human. And I want to both enjoy my holiday season and be focused on what is important (enjoying the holiday with my family). The truth is, the mind and body will greatly benefit from taking a real break.
The truth is, when you are focused and decisive and intentional with your efforts, you will have likely already achieved your years’ goals before the last two weeks of the year. I’ve achieved my goals for the year, even surpassed some of them. This isn’t to say I will become all out lazy and do nothing for two weeks. What I will do, is set aside that need for daily progress. When I work out, it will be in a relaxed state of mind, focusing on just having fun and enjoying it. (If you find a sport you love, most of the time the hard work you put into it is still fun). When I sit down to write, if I write, it will be to write whatever comes to mind, and not about what is written down and preplanned for me to write about. (Unless an agent calls begging for my manuscript that all vacation mode is OFF! Lol.)
The thing is I have earned the time off. I have put in the time and effort and focus and discipline and sacrifice throughout the entire year, so that I can achieve what I set out to do (I did) and so I can also just kickback and enjoy the rewards of my efforts. All my workouts I put in this year, my body will stay in shape if I go solid month without a single workout. It might take a week or two get back to the same output I put in, but I can truly eat and be merry and not worry about gaining ten pounds. I can take a few naps (hopefully) and allow my body extra time to rest and rebuild before I start pushing its limits again.
Another truth about what happens when you intentionally step away from what you love and work so hard for – you realize how much you love doing what you do. Or you realize maybe your focus isn’t quite where it ought to be, maybe you got sidetracked or have discovered something else you think would be better to pursue. Vacation time gives the mind a break and time to step back and reflect. Reflection time is very important when it comes to success, one must be able see themselves, their decisions, their actions clearly in order to maintain that success. It is so easy lose sight of what it important when you are totally zoned in day in and day out. Reflection time allows you to make better adjustments in your long term goals and to set out again with better clarity and intention.
So this is the perk of long term, focused hard work – a real vacation. Now only if it was on a warm, sunny tropical island with a fruity drink in hand….maybe next year.
*I am including this post as a Beast Mode post, because too often athletes refuse to take a break. They refuse to allow their minds and bodies beneficial time to relax, recoup, and rebuild and doing so only leads to poor decision making which in turn creates a downward spiral in mentality, healthy and athletic output. The more intense lifestyle you live, the higher level of energy and action your life requires of you, the more important it is to regularly step back, sit down and simply breathe. The mind and body need time to replenish in order to be able to rise up to a higher level of ability. So take time today to plan a real vacation – not necessarily to someplace warm and sunny, but to simply unwind and let go of your normal need to excel and exceed.
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