Monday Motivation, it’s on, so is the long weekend! We see you, struggling to get your day started and in need of a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. If you’re a podcast person, listen to our Monday Matters content on our Spotify Grit Daily podcast channel. Or read on to get our Monday Motivation quick tips.
Long weekends for the win
Perhaps it’s a financial limitation or a work obligation that’s holding you back from taking a vacation with your family. Maybe it’s the fear of flying! I know several people (within my own family and friends circle) that are just about paralyzed by their fear of getting into an airplane. Whatever the reasons may be, they are holding you back from today’s Monday motivation theme, which is spending quality time with your spouse and/or children.
“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” ~Og Mandino
Enter the long weekend. It’s just long enough that it feels like you’ve had a break from home and work yet it’s not so long that the kids will be at each other’s throats or begging to spend more time on their mobile phones. Last year, we talked about the importance of taking your PTO and how Americans aren’t using their paid days off. The most current statistics show that 662 Million vacation days went unused in 2017 which increased to more than 705 Million in 2018. This is an unsettling trend.
Tips to win at a long weekend
If financial pressures are currently overwhelming, consider one day dedicated to a no-phones, no-work, no-bickering day where you all do something together. Take a hike or do a picnic in the park. Spend as long as you can outdoors to get away from the confines of four walls, incandescent or fluorescent lighting and boost your Vitamin D levels the natural way. One billion people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D where half the world has insufficient levels of this so-called “sunshine vitamin.”
Monday motivation is all about the value of communication and reconnecting. It’s too easy to get caught up in life and work and find yourself marching down your own path rather than being on the journey together as a family. You’re not required to take a ski week in the Alps or a beach week in Aruba. Baby steps, one day, one afternoon, one weekend (or long weekend) at a time can work magic. Millennials frequently (44%) travel with their children and serve as a great example of the opportunity for family bonding.
#1 – consider the “ONE ONLY” trip
One day, one night, one tank of gas or whatever your metric for “one” is fair game. If you can drive there and back with one tank of gas, then it’s not going to impact your budget in a major way. AirBnB and discount motels are another option to consider to keep your costs down. Pack a picnic for the car ride and bring along granola bars and fruit for breakfast or snacks so that you can spend your meal budget on dinner.
Numerous museums, national parks, children’s playgrounds, beaches and other attractions offer free to low-cost admission prices. Some offer discounts if you purchase them online in advance versus at the door. Even if you can get away for one night only, try to do so. The idea is to be fully engaged with your spouse and family, not distracted by work or phones, to talk and reconnect by communicating with intent and purpose.
#2 – set some ground rules
In a Monday motivation column last year, we talked about the importance of tuning in versus tuning everyone out with headphones. Set some ground rules with your kids. Establish phone or gaming limits for the trip: as much as I’d personally like to be able to hold my stepkids’ phones hostage during a family vacay, fighting that battle isn’t going to help any of us achieve the goal of the vacation – which is to reconnect. However, setting limits is fair game.
#3 – give it 100%
Going half-in is only going to get you halfway with respect to your Monday motivation goal of achieving a long weekend for the win. I can hear you already thinking thoughts like, “I’ll just go on my phone in the morning while everyone is sleeping.” Nuh-uh. Keep your phone out of the bedroom for a change. Besides, all that blue light disrupts your Circadian rhythm anyway!
Whatever you choose to do, give it your best effort and full attention. You’ll be surprised what a little family time can do for communication, cooperation and bonding. Play board games (we love games in our house!), cards, ask each other silly questions of your kids to get them talking like, “Who picks their nose in class? Who’s the class comedian?” or whatever else. It’s up to you. You’ll get out of it whatever you put into it.