I’ve had a super busy two weeks in Europe and the Middle East. The kind of busy that takes my breath away and certainly not the type of busy I regularly live out in my daily life.

Interestingly, though, this busy hasn’t left me limp on the floor gasping for some calming essential oils. Instead, I’m pretty full of energy, and on (most) mornings I’ve been raring to get started on that day’s particular brand of crazy itinerary.

If you’ve read this blog for awhile you know I talk a lot about time management and energy management, and you know that I’m all about trying to find a way to live slower in lives of intense accomplishment. I don’t think that banning busy is about moving to a farm and building a house of peat moss, and I don’t think you need to eschew email, caffeine, and The Bachelor to stay sane. That said, I do think you need to be intentional about what you take on – and what you don’t take on – and I do think you need to be intentional about the way you live this life of yours.

As I woke one day on this packed trip of mine, I realized the main reason I was feeling so energized and peaceful during such a crazy trip.

Yes, prioritizing sleep, taking my vitamins, eating clean, and taking time for myself are all critical things I’ve been doing each and every day on this trip. They have been essential. But there’s one other thing that has made all the difference.

It’s this: Before leaving, I set an expectation for the type of trip this would be, and I set a goal for what I wanted out of the trip.

Given the busy itinerary, I set this specific expectation for myself: I would not keep up with any other work, email included. Even though this wasn’t a “vacation” per say, I would not be responsible for email starting the second I walked into the airport lounge. I also set a goal: my only goal was to enjoy myself, and to feel peaceful and energized in the process.

The end.

That’s literally all I cared about. In almost two weeks of travel I said this is what mattered. And everything else didn’t.

And it has made all the difference.

I’m feeling lighter and better than ever, and I realize that although I’ve dabbled in this kind of experiment before (and yes, I have done the more extreme digital detoxes on pure “vacations”) I’ve never been so clear about telling myself what I do care about – and what I don’t – during a busy stretch of travel. Instead, I usually try to keep up with work, and flounder, fail, and burn out in the process. It has been a huge eye opener, and a (hopeful) sign of good things to come.

Have you ever set an intention or goal for something in your life that has made you feel unusually liberated or energized? What has that been like?

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