It’s likely that you’re getting ready to take some time off and go somewhere special, allowing the notes of summer to sing their final song before they fade into the cacophony of fall.
Vacations can bring incredible relaxation and peak moments of pleasure, fun and connection, but they also come with great expectations, and sometimes they take unexpected turns that cause you loose your bearings: Your travel companions have different needs and wants. Someone gets sick. You loose something of value.
Consider these five simple steps that can keep you standing in your authority no matter what happens — leadership skills that can make what you have planned even better. These suggestions work if you are going solo or with a group. Follow according to your situation.
1. Pick a title for the vacation — A title can provide an overarching theme, and act as a through-line and a guiding force. Your vacation may end up actually having a different title and work out differently than you planned, but naming it upfront can help you get specific on what you’re going for. Here are some examples of vacation titles I’ve written before great vacations: REAL Rest. How to Fall More Deeply in Love. The Exploration and Assimilation of a New Country. A Drama-free and Delightful Reconnection with Family.
2. Surprise Yourself — Sure, if you’re going to the beach, you’ll swim, surf or snorkel. If you’re going to a new city, you’ll visit the standard cultural places and sites. But:
Go hunt for crabs. Take a train ride to a random place you don’t know much about (my spontaneous trip to Prato in Italy was a complete highlight of that vacation).
A client went on vacation badly needing to rest. But when he got to the resort, there were so many fun things to do that he found himself running around instead. So he decided in the middle of his trip to let his family go off without him, and he devoted two full days to living with no pre-planned schedule. He simply committed to doing what he was moved to do when he felt like it, connecting with his family when it occurred naturally, eating when he was hungry, and doing a lot of nothing.
3. Have a Huddle — If you are traveling with others, gather them to hear their ideas, needs and desired titles for the vacation. Listen to each other. Create together. Negotiate if necessary (you may not feel that your 10-year-old is ready to go rock climbing). If you are traveling alone, “huddle” with a close friend or coach and share your plans, ideas and needs. Speaking them aloud will help you connect with creating experiences that will truly meet your needs.
4. Assign Roles — If you are traveling with others, get clear on who is in charge of what and what they need to be doing to contribute. Can one person be the keeper of important documents? Another in charge of keeping time? Who will be in charge of the fire at the campsite? Who holds the map on the road trip? When kids get to be in charge of things, like boarding and de-boarding a plane, or keeping track of the camping equipment, it helps them experience leadership and feel authorized as co-creators of the experience. If you are traveling alone, although you will play all the roles, people you meet can augment your experience. One time, when traveling in a foreign country by myself, I met a friendly expat who spoke the language fluently. We were going in the same direction, and for a while we traveled together and she become our translator.
5. Make a Back-up Plan — What will you do if you get stuck in an airport? If the weather is bad? Throw out some ideas to all parties involved. Making back-up plans will help you feel more powerful when things don’t go as planned.
And don’t forget to Have a Blast, everybody!
Do you resonate? How do you stay in your authority in life and love? Want to learn how to stand in your authority in relationships? Don’t miss your chance, in the Intimate Authority Online Course available now.