With the holidays rapidly approaching, you’re likely anticipating joy and fun. And you’re probably mapping out all the things you want to do with your family  – see this, visit that, spend time with so and so.

Slow…down – or you could very well come back no more rested or refreshed than when you left! You may even feel short-changed.

It’s much more beneficial – for all – that we focus on the quality of how we want to experience and feel during our time away, and I’ve got some minor tweaks that will help you set yourself up for a blockbuster holiday.

Here are three simple steps:

Step 1: Create your vision What’s your vision for your well-earned time away? Vision comes from a place of possibilities and openness. It’s not about sticking to the same old, same old. Envision your quality of life as the person you want to be. Use the first person. Keep it simple. It can be one sentence you can orient to in any moment on your holiday. It could be “I enjoy myself” or “I disconnect and recharge” or “I feel relaxed and find the joy in any moment.” Write it down on a piece of paper. Create a vision for your family or the group you are with.

Step 2: Set your intention If vision is orienting you to how you want to be on the trip, setting the intention is the how of your holiday pause. It is an easy way to tap into what you really want, adds meaning, and helps you focus on a specific outcome. Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this moment, meal, or [insert what your activity is]?”


  • Pick a word for the day. One couple I know takes turns each day, picking a word of the day such as “play,” “connect” and even “intention” to focus on.
  • Take time to think about how you came to plan a meaningful holiday pause. Was it reading this article? Was it allowing yourself a few minutes to be and not do?
  • Have a morning ritual you practice that describes the quality of your experience.

Step 3: Create your holiday pause plan It’s important to know how you want to spend your holiday time. It doesn’t need to be detailed. Instead, it’s OK to be vague and open. This could be writing about your ideal holiday – your vision, intention and actions you will take to get there. Be careful if you notice you start planning to do so much that it may not be realistic. Aim for a balance of BEING and DOING. This is an opportunity to change your routine of what you typically do and the quality of how you do it. One fun way to do this is to write a letter to yourself from your inner voice on what you will experience as a result of this trip. Or imagine you are a dear friend writing what he or she recommends for your time away. What is the quality of your experiences? How will your life be different as a result of your holiday pause?

Additional tips for a blockbuster holiday:

  • Create boundaries. Create a few rules you want to have for structure and/or behaviors you want to create.
  • Savor the really good stuff. When good things happen, don’t just take a selfie and move on. In fact, skip the selfie altogether, take it all in, and savor how you feel.
  • Create new habits you can take home. Keep the holiday alive long after you return home by creating an IF/THEN statement that can help you do something different. For example, IF I think about work, THEN I will pause for three deep belly breaths.

Legacy NoPo subscriber Rachael O’Meara is an executive in sales and client services at Google.  Over the past 10 years, she has helped others become successful, thriving transformational leaders. Her book PAUSE was named one of 2017’s top business books for your career and was featured in the New York Times and on WSJ.com. She is certified in Transformational Coaching from the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential (ICF certified), and has an MBA from Fordham University.

In the coming weeks, Rachael will be offering a virtual group coaching class designed to help women Achievers, Type A’s, and successful Business Professionals lead more meaningful, impactful lives. Whether you’re stressed out, exhausted, plagued by indecisiveness, unsure of your next career move, or simply not living the life you envisioned, Rachael will show you how to adapt a new, more satisfying mindset to help you be the best you can be. Please click here to learn more.  And be sure to take advantage of Rachael’s exclusive offer to NoPo subscribers: a FREE 30-minute Pause and Thrive breakthrough session  (here: bit.ly/pausegift).  Add promo code: NoPo Rules.

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