Travel A family of 8 is traveling through Australia's most remote regions in a fully customized double-decker camper van. Here's a look inside.
Beautiful, Remote and So Instagrammable. Can the Azores Manage Popularity?
Our columnist, Sebastian Modak, is visiting each destination on our 52 Places to Go in 2019 list. Before the Azores, he was eating well in the Spanish city and province of Cádiz. “Get ready to have your mind blown,” I tell Maggie, my partner, who joined me on the 30th stop of my trip in the Azores, nine volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that are part of Portugal. I had been in this spot two years ago and I pull the vision out of my memory bank: a clear panorama of the twin lakes — one blue, the other green — that sit at the bottom of the Sete Cidades volcanic crater on the island of São Miguel.
Setting off toward a new goal is its ownrush. You’ve set your target and can practically taste success. In the words of every group instructor, “Time to get after it!” If only it were that easy. In fact, we humans are terrible at getting after it. And we not only suck at achieving goals, we suck at setting them, going after objectives that are too vague or hopelessly grandiose. John Norcross, a psychologist at the University of Sacramento, found that less than half the people who make New Year’s resolutions (probably the most common type of goal) kept it up six months later.
Beating the odds comes down to having a plan. “It’s like going on a trip,” says Jim Taylor, aand author of Train Your Mind for Athletic Success. “Going to Denver is a nice goal, but to get there you need a map.”
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Even before you start on that map, you need a goal that’s specific and reasonably attainable. “Get stronger” or “make more money”—those are like wishes. “Lose 2 percent of” or “knock 10 seconds off each mile of my next ” are more workable, Taylor says.
In order to crush a goal, it should feel some how personal. It’s harder tobecause your doctor told you to than if you choose to do it for your own health. Decades of studies in psychology and sociology say that intrinsic goals (motivated by an innate desire for autonomy, relating to others, knowledge, and personal growth) are more motivating than extrinsic goals (striving for the approval of others). Figure out what’s in it for you, deep down. And couch your goals in positive terms. It’s harder to avoid doing something than it is to aim for something else, what researchers call ironic mental control. Instead of “ ,” pick a goal that’s incompatible with smoking, like taking up . (Hey, it almost worked for Don Draper.)
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It might not be the idyllic #vanlife but it will build character and bonds.On a recent weekend morning this fall, we hitched the latest Airstream Bambi trailer to a borrowed Land Rover and got ready to set out for a couple days of recreational vehicle (RV) camping near Santa Cruz, California. As we prepared to pull out of the driveway, I turned around to check on my three-year-old son Niko and nine-month-old daughter Catalina and asked Niko if he was excited about our upcoming camping adventure.
Next, establish a reasonable time frame, including a series of sub-goals. These markers become opportunities to see how it’s going, celebrate achievements, and change things up, if necessary. Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. found that people who tracked their progress toward goals were more successful than those who didn’t. The more frequent the monitoring, the better they did. So pad your journey with reminders, or scheduled check-ins with a friend,, physician—anyone who can give you a hand.
Keep in mind that almost any big life change—switching careers, doing an, even sticking to a new —requires some level of buy-in from other people in your life. Anticipate how your spouse, , even coworkers will be affected by your pursuit.
None of this is easy—which is why most of us have experience with unfulfilled goals. Remember that success begets success. Small accomplishments will give you the grit to keep going and the confidence to go after bigger things in the future. So where do you want to start? Is it the right time to become an entrepreneur or to climb? Here, we’ve laid out some best practices, giving you the playbook to actually get after it.
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Working from home can affect your mental health and, in turn, overall morale and quality of work. So before taking the plunge, you should weigh the pros and cons of working from home and consider the toll it can take on your mental health. The mental health benefits of working from homeWhen asked about their work habits and what they enjoyed about working remotely, many remote employees responded positively to a 2018 survey. Remote work decreased interruptions for nearly 30% of respondents. Just over 34% said they felt less stressed when working remotely.
Make it a date. If you want to ease back into fitness, signing up for a race is a good start. Mark race day on your calendar, and your training plan works back from there. We’re not only talking marathon, either. Ain April could mean a 10K by fall and a half after that. Maybe a 26.2 isn’t so far away.
There are tons of training plans to choose from. Keep in mind that the most common ways to sabotage your goal are overtraining and undertraining, Taylor says. A good program builds progressively to help you avoidand burnout. If you’re outperforming the plan—say, easily hitting times and distances—you can adjust up, but do so cautiously. The priority is arriving on race day healthy, finishing strong, and wanting to go again, Taylor says.
For additional staying power, join a group. Researchers found that University of Oxford rowers practicing together had heightened pain thresholds (something that begins to explain). But if you’re a lone-wolf type motivated by continually besting yourself, stick with what works.
To share or not to share your goals? It comes down to what’ll get you out of bed and to youron a dreary morning. For some, telling others is about accountability. But a study in Psychological Science found that when others acknowledge your intentions, all those “good job!” messages can create a premature sense of accomplishment, undermining your resolve to do it for real.
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When race day comes around, have a back-up plan. Even if you’ve spent months training faithfully, there are no guarantees. “If it’s 95 degrees and youor bonk, having an alternative goal gives you something to hold on to,” Taylor says. “At a basic level, in endurance sports, the goal is getting through it.”
Phone a friend. It’s hard to go completely solo when it comes to your professional life. There are just too many outside forces involved, compared with the relative simplicity of a gym routine. Even the timeline you set is less about your motivation and has more to do with the realities of your particular industry. In general, plan for it to take six months to a year to switch jobs, says Jill Berquist, a certifiedcoach. Changes in personal behavior that can better your standing at work—improving collaboration, becoming a better communicator—can take three months to register with the higher-ups.
To stay focused for the long haul, executive coach Annie Merkle suggests enlisting an accountability partner, such as aor a trusted coworker, who is invested in you.
“Ask your career partner to check in weekly to see how you’re progressing,” Merkle says. How many times did you ask someone else for feedback? Did you speak up in the big board? “It forces you to show your activity and results,” she says.
The Australian Bushfires: What You Need to Know if You Have a Trip Planned
Find out what areas have been affected and if you need to adjust your Australian itinerary below.As of January 7, it’s thought 8.4 million hectares (more than 20 million acres) have been lost to fire, an area similar in size to South Carolina, according to The Guardian. At least 25 people have been killed, thousands of homes have been destroyed, and some species of native fauna face mass extinction.
Loop in your, too. You may not want to tell him or her “my goal is to have your job,” but do express that you want to expand your skills, have more responsibility, do more off-sites, etc. “It’s important for bosses to know what’s important to their employees to support them and their development,” Merkle says.
Because work goals tend to be complex, take a panoramic view of the landscape. “Think of the path to your goal as lily pads on a pond, rather than a bridge with steps that go straight across,” says Merkle. “You need to be able to be.” Identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to be, and look for ways to fill them. “Can you do a course or seminar?” Merkle suggests. “Can you create and lead an initiative? There are lots of different ways to close gaps—but you don’t get anything if you don’t ask.”
Protect your time. Too often, we don’t think about interpersonal goals until there’s a problem. And fixing it requires another party who has a different set of goals and obligations. Vague vows to “spend more time” with a partner,member, or friend fall into that category of wishes, not goals. Protect that time with a recurring date on both your calendars that doesn’t get skipped. “That’s the only way to make sure I don’t lose things like family and my personal health that keep me effective,” says Jordan Fliegel, co-founder of the fantasy sports site . Through trial and error, he’s become a big believer in routines. This means scheduling not just workout time, but, for example, a regular chat with his grandma. “I call her the same day of the week, every week.”
Ask the Captain: How can adults protect babies from coronavirus while traveling?
Capt. John Cox answers questions about whether to cancel travel to Asia and what can be done to protect babies from coronavirus while flying.– SDL, Morro Bay, California
If your goal is a calmer, more cohesive family life, consider adopting a method adapted from software developers. Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families, suggests weekly “scrum” meetings, during which your family team talks over short-term goals. The meetings can be quick. Essentially you’re asking three questions: What’s going well this week? What do we need to work on? How can we all chip in to meet next week’s challenges? Approachinggoals as collaborative and evolving projects encourages flexibility and idea sharing, and brings your team closer together.
And isn't that the goal?
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