What’s Your Destination?

I’m very destination-focused this week. What does that mean?

Sometimes it’s necessary to think of the week like a road trip, the kind of road trip where you need to arrive at your destination by a certain time. Say you live in Maine and you need to get to San Diego by Friday night.

Do you just throw yourself into the car and go? No, of course not. You pack a cooler with healthy snacks, a suitcase that contains all the things you’ll want to wear in San Diego, and an overnight bag with just the essentials that you’ll need when you stop at the hotel every night, so that you don’t have to open the suitcase and dig through evening gowns and swimsuits to find your pajamas. You gas up the car and check the tire pressure, clean the windshields, set your playlist.

And you plan your route. How far will you need to get on day 1, day 2, etc. What are your milestones? You know you’ll need to stay on route to get there on Friday; but you also want to arrive in good health so that you enjoy your stay. You plan where you’ll pause for lunch and you’ll plan to arrive for the night by dinner time so you can enjoy a relaxed meal and enjoy a full night’s sleep and get a fresh start the next day.

Each day you start fresh, you stay focused on the road, singing along with your music, enjoying the views along the way. If you need to stop for gas, you exit the freeway, fill up the car and get back on the road, taking the chance to stretch, replenish your water bottle, maybe do a brief meditation to give your brain a rest. If it’s close enough to lunch time, maybe you take advantage of this break to fuel up your body.

But – and this is crucial – you aim the car in the direction of that day’s destination and get back on the road as soon as you can. You don’t get distracted by the mall next to the gas station; or the Ferris wheel that peeks over the trees across the street. Maybe – if you’ve planned it into your itinerary and time allows – you check a roadside attraction off your list.

You stay destination-focused because your objective is to enjoy two weeks in San Diego with your family; not to explore the backroads of America. (That is a completely different trip, which is also okay – for a different vacation.)

If your phone dings as you drive – which it only does if you forgot to put it on silent, because you know distracted driving will prevent you from reaching your destination – you pull over, check the message. It’s your sister wanting to discuss mom’s surprise party for Saturday; that’s important. Do you take the call right then? No: you text her back that you’ll call her when you stop for the night. Then, do you check your social media feed and spend 20 minutes at the rest stop getting caught up? No! You tell yourself firmly. You are destination focused: put your phone on silent and get back on the road. You can check social media while you’re waiting for your dinner to be served.

This clear destination-focus is like a high-intensity workout. You can maintain it for a certain number of days when you need to get somewhere. Will you vacation like this when you’re in San Diego? No, you’ll unpack your suitcase and lie on one of those pool-side lounge chairs, the ones with the little flags that tip up when you want someone to bring you a cold, frosty drink because life is too short not to.

This laser-focus on your destination enables you to bang through work – or chores – or your taxes.

So what’s your destination this week?

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