Before becoming a coach for executives and entrepreneurs, I spent 20-years in the travel industry. So today I’m sharing one of my foundational approaches to traveling well, whether for business or pleasure. If you can add just five minutes to your travel prep, it will make all the difference in the journey ahead.
Here is the simple idea: During the day your aircraft begins its pushback from the gate, spend five minutes writing down your top three goals or intentions for the trip ahead. You can write this short list anywhere you like: on your favorite portable device, on a piece of paper that you stick in your purse or wallet, or on your hand (not ideal, actually). The key thing is that these intentions or goals stay with you and be readily available throughout your trip.
For business travelers, your list of top goals is essential for success. Every business trip is undertaken to move things forward, whether you're seizing new opportunities or addressing challenges. So sure, you have a pretty clear sense of why you’re hitting the road. But by taking these pre-departure five minutes to succinctly and specifically capture your most important intended outcomes, you will find a clarity and ease that makes the whole business trip better. As you regularly remind yourself of what you want to have at the end of the trip, you will have an easier time staying focused on achieving those things above all others. As they say, “Where you focus is where you go.” So use your short list to sharpen your trip’s focus.
For leisure travelers, it may seem silly to think about goals. But vacations are all about the business of living well, so simply replace “goals” with “intentions.” Think about what you really hope to get out of the vacation you’re about to take. Disconnection from technology? Quality time with loved ones? Immersion in a new culture? Again, take five minutes before your journey begins to write down your intentions, being as specific as you can be. If you’re traveling with someone else, I highly recommend that you share your intentions with each other. It’s a fantastic way to connect.
It's true that you won’t earn bonus miles for committing to these five extra minutes, but I promise, you’ll reap even richer rewards for the effort. Now buckle up!