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Lessons From The Road

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I’m following my own advice about building relaxation time in your schedule on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Right now, I’m almost three weeks into a road trip vacation with my husband and son, and (like most vacations), not everything has gone as expected. Here are the lessons I’m learning on the road, to both inspire and entertain you. 

Lesson One: Go With the Flow

Our vacation was planned around my fifteen-year-old son’s race in the National Mountain Bike Championship in Winter Park, Colorado. We hit the road ten days early so he could get some time getting used to the high altitude, with our first stop being the mountains in California. 

The plan was to spend five days hiking and riding in the mountains, but after just one day in, a fire started near where we were. The smokey conditions meant that we were stuck inside with the windows closed, rather than breathing the fresh mountain air as planned. The fire kept burning, so we decided to leave a day early for our next destination, Park City, Utah. 

The night before we left, I bit down on an olive pit in my salad. When it happened, I didn’t think much of it. But after nine hours in the car, that tooth and my sinuses on the same side were throbbing. I thought it could have been from the smoke in California, so I popped an ibuprofen and felt relief for the rest of the evening. 

The next morning, however, it was aching again. After trying to call my own dentist and several local ones, I got in to see someone and had x-rays done. Luckily, the dentist said I could wait until I got home to see a specialist to deal with the tooth, and he sent me on the way with painkillers and antibiotics. 

So less than a week into our vacation, we’d all missed out on our California activities and I was sidelined for a couple of days dealing with my tooth. During the latter, my husband and son got to see Park City and get out onto the trails. The lesson for me in all this was that sometimes, you just have to be patient and go with the flow. I got to have some quiet reading time on my own while the guys got some bonding time, so it wasn’t all bad. 

Lesson Two: Make Time For Connecting

I know that during the pandemic I realized just how important connecting with others is for me. As an introvert, this surprised me! Now, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to make time for friends and family. That’s why I planned to meet for lunch with a friend on our way to Winter Park. We made a brief stop in Grand Junction, Colorado, so I could visit with a friend I hadn’t seen in about fifteen years. It was like old times and we had a great visit with lots of laughs, and I know we were both so happy to have made the time for each other. 

Lesson Three: You Are Not Your Achievements

Our time in Winter Park was much busier than I expected. I thought I’d have more time to exercise and relax, but the reality was that we were there to support our son. We were cooking meals, getting him to race meetings, and cheering him on for the pre-rides. Unfortunately, he probably needed another week to acclimate to the altitude, and he didn’t place anywhere near what he expected. 

Of course he was terribly disappointed, but I was really impressed at how he handled it. I don’t know if I would've been able to be as gracious at his age or to bounce back like he did. He took it in stride, identified where he could have done better, and what was just out of his control. 

This made me think about how we often attach our worth to our achievements. I know there have been many times in my life when I’ve not given myself credit for achievements because I didn't think they were good enough. This was a result of comparing myself to others or because I tied my worth to how well I was doing. 

I see this in my clients all the time, and this type of thinking puts you on an emotional rollercoaster. Your thinking can impact every aspect of your life, including your actions and results. Read this post for more about how you can challenge thoughts like these.

Lesson 4: Shake Things Up

When you do the same things day in and day out with no variety, things can feel a little flat. I love the power of routines, but shaking things up once in a while can give you a whole new perspective on things. Right now, we are in Helena, Montana. Our son is in a three-day cycling camp, my tooth is feeling better, and I’ve finally been able to do some hiking and mountain biking. 

For me, being outside is where I find clarity. When I’m exercising in nature, my mind opens up to new ideas and sees solutions I couldn’t see otherwise, and I’d been looking for inspiration! I’ve been lacking clarity in a few areas of my life lately, and this trip has helped me figure some of them out. 

One thing I’ve been stuck on is how I want to restructure my group coaching for the fall. The way I built The Extraordinary Life Tribe for 2021 was perfect for my clients, as we were all still shut down for the pandemic in many ways. People weren’t busy, and they were seeking connection. A one-year commitment was invaluable during that time, to have a connection, and move their lives forward when everything else seemed to stand still. 

As things opened up, however, I know that I felt like I had less time on my hands, and my clients felt the same as well. Everyone (including me) was ready to get back into the world, rather than on regular Zoom calls. While I was riding yesterday, it became clear to me that I could structure my curriculum-based group coaching in a more condensed way. I can offer the same results, but more quickly - which suits our busier lives. 

Then, I can create a separate container for the group that meets less often, to keep connected and have accountability and support for the goals we set during the coaching sessions. After all, that’s what my previous clients were asking for; why not make it happen? 

The solution wasn’t that hard; I just needed a fresh perspective to find it. 

Lesson 5: Change Requires Change

We can’t ignore the changes that the pandemic has thrown at us, and it is the perfect example that life is unpredictable and constantly changing. What works for you one day may not work the next year or even next week! I’ve been feeling for a while that I need to revisit my productivity habits, because I’ve let things slip and things that were working last year no longer are. 

One of these things is my morning routine. Before the pandemic, I’d swim two or three times a week in the early morning. It did wonders for my energy and productivity for the rest of the day. Then, of course, the pandemic shut the pools down. Now that they’re open again, I’ve had a hard time getting back into my swimming routine, as I put other habits into its place. 

Now I have the opportunity to create a new morning routine that supports my current goals and incorporates the habits that I know work for me. Stay tuned to see what that looks like over the next month or two. 

I am going to be talking about motivation for the next few weeks because September is a great time to restart routines and I want to help you get ahead of the game. Until then, though, I’m going to be enjoying some rest, relaxation, and hopefully more nature-inspired clarity on my vacation.

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