When the flight attendant greats you by name without referring to the passenger manifest, you know that you travel – a lot! What’s the key to maintaining forward momentum in all areas of your life while traveling for work? Maintain the rituals that you have at home.
Staying connected to these three key areas helps me without fail:
ONE – Spirit
I begin each day with a routine of morning prayer, meditation, and gratitude, so my prayer book, Rosary, and gratitude journal always come with me. I place them on the night stand next to my bed, just like I do at home, so that when I wake up, I have familiar items next to me, even though I’m in a hotel room. Having them there provides comfort and continuity, two things I appreciate when traveling.
I’ll also search for a local church that I might attend on Sunday or during the week, or simply stop in to quiet my mind and focus myself on what matters most. 10 minutes in a beautiful space in the midst of a hectic city – St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square, comes to mind – can literally alter my outlook for the better, before an important meeting.
TWO – Body
For many of us, exercise is an important part of our daily life. Check in advance to see if your hotel has an exercise room or gym, and if not, if there is one within a few minutes’ walk or drive that you can use. The gym doesn’t have to be extensive or fancy. A treadmill, a bench, and some free weights are all you need to reconstruct most workouts.
Even without a gym, you have your body. You can go for a walk or a run to accomplish your cardio workout, and pushups, sit-ups, and stretching – as well as yoga – require nothing other than a space on the floor. I always carry an exercise rubber band with me, and have been amazed at what can be done with something so simple.
THREE – Relationships
Stay connected to your spouse, partner, and/or kids. Phone calls are great, but Facetime, Skype, or any other video call is even better. Except for my husband, who hates video calls. With us, it’s voice only!
We recently purchased a Facebook Portal for my 93-year-old dad, allowing my sister and me to check in on him daily. He loves keeping up with my work, and this is a simple way to bring him into my world when I travel and to maintain the daily call ritual as well.
There you have it. For those of you who know Warrior, a program I participated in last year, you’ll recognize the three items above as “being, body, and balance,” three key elements of the Core Four, along with “business.” Pay daily attention to all four of these and take inspired action to advance each one daily, and your life will thrive.
That’s why it’s so important to keep rituals alive on the road. Regular, daily practices are required for growth and expansion in all areas of life. Don’t let time on the road be a distraction from your spiritual life, your relationships, and caring for your body. It takes a bit of planning, but it’s worth every minute.