1. Bring Something New
When you are traveling, it is always a good idea to bring something new. This is for kids and adults alike. For kids, a new book or a new set of stickers will do wonders in curing boredom. I’m being honest, bringing a new book or even a new item of clothing helps me feel excited about the trip I’m taking. As we embark on a new year, this might mean developing a new habit or practice, visiting a new location, trying a new hobby, or starting a new business. This could mean changing where you work or how you work by joining a new workspace and being a part of a new community of people. Perhaps a local awesome coworking community. See what I did there? FLDWRK loves new members!
2. Bring Something Familiar
When going somewhere new, it is always nice to bring something familiar. This helps me feel comfortable and at ease in a new environment. For my kids, this is always their blankie or favorite stuffed animal. For me, my favorite hoodie and pair of shoes is a must. As I am reveling in the freshness of the new year, I am reflecting on what I really liked about last year. What are the routines or practices or even items that were a consistent part of my life. I’d like to continue using or practicing some of the beneficial, good, and familiar things of last year, as I start this new one.
3. Push Your Limits
Once during our travels, we went cliff jumping and hiking on the coast of Hawaii with friends. Between all of us, we had 6 kids ages 1 year through 7 years old. It wasn’t easy, the terrain was difficult, the heat was, well…HOT. Then there was the matter of watching my husband, my love, best friend, and let’s be honest, family breadwinner, jump off a very high cliff into the depths of the ocean below. I had some anxiety about embarking on this adventure with such young children in tow, but I am thrilled that we did it. What are you interested in doing this year that seems a bit beyond your comfort zone? Give it a shot, I bet you’ll be glad you did!
4. Know Your Limits
When we decided to go cliff jumping and hiking with small children in such sweltering temperatures, we knew we would need to relax. After our awesome adventure, we spent the afternoon resting in air conditioning. In a few years, I am certain we will be able to take all 3 of our kids on an all-day hike along the cliffs of Hawaii, and they will probably be jumping along with their dad. But in the meantime, we had the experience itself without pushing it too far and regretting it. With so many good things to be a part of, it is sometimes difficult to weed out what we can do from what we want to do. So knowing what is feasible for you, especially in the stage of life’s journey you are in is important. It can be a clarifying step in deciding what to pursue and what to put on hold.
5. Have a Plan
When traveling, our family needs a plan. We need to pack for where we are going and we need to know the last place we can get fuel for 200 miles. We need to purchase airline tickets and get passports. When I travel somewhere new, I nearly always ask around my circle of friends if someone has been to where I am going and what tips they have for me.
I consult my friends similarly in life. One thing I love about being part of the community at FLDWRK is that we can seek advice and help each other develop more solid plans than what we could come up with on our own. This is especially true when we ask for input from people who have traveled a similar path and may be a few steps ahead of us on the journey.
6. Change the Plan
Even the most well-planned trips have unexpected occurrences. When our youngest was 6 weeks old, our layover flight was cancelled and we had to stay overnight in an airport hotel unexpectedly without access to our luggage. We had no crib, we had 2 clean diapers left to last for 12 more hours, and no clean changes of clothes for any of us. My version of flexibility that night was sleeping in jeans and trying to go as long as I possibly could between changing the baby’s diaper. Also, I am pretty sure my older two kids ate potato chips for dinner at 10 p.m.
It wasn’t ideal, but it was also out of my control, so I did my best to be flexible. You know what? Once I let go of my expectations and derailed plan, it wasn’t that bad. While it is not an experience I would strive to repeat, we all survived, things could have been much worse, and we made a new plan. Plus I did feel a sense of accomplishment that we handled the difficult situation. I will say though, I do tend to overpack our carry-ons when we travel now!
In life and in business, we often have a plan, and that plan goes awry. Your kid has a late-night emergency while your spouse is out of town, a contract or client doesn’t pan out as you thought it would, people get ill, cars break down, and timelines get derailed. These things happen, so it is important to be flexible, re-group and tweak the original plan or sometimes throw it out all together and develop a new one.
As we start the beginning of a new year, I have found myself considering how these strategies might help me as I pursue my goals and plans for the year ahead, not only during my physical travels but also as I navigate this new year and life’s adventures that are a part of it.