How to use your summer holiday for personal development

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  • Smita Joshi, life coach, author, and prolific traveller, explains where to start

    Keep a summer holiday journal to get savvy with your personal development

    Get an early breakfast while the sun is rising and begin a holiday journal. Kickstart by asking yourself questions that will give you openings for action; ‘If I could wave a magic wand, what would I love to do more of in my life?’, ‘What three personal qualities would I love to express more of?’, ‘Where would I love to take my career or relationship to next?’.  This journal is for your eyes only so don’t censor anything. Allow the words to flow freely across the page, and over the next few days, jot down the insights that arise and the actions you have taken to achieve your goals.

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    Quieten your ‘mind monkeys’ to further your personal development

    As you unwind lying on the beach, enjoying the warmth of the sun on your face, note down the stubborn thoughts and emotions that barge in and attempt to ruin your enjoyment. Just as monkeys swing about from tree to tree, deafening the jungle with piercing screeches, so does this mental commentary – the ‘mind monkeys’ play havoc with our well-being. For example ‘I’ll never get that promotion’ or ‘What if I never find the right guy for me?’. Shedding light on your negative self-talk will allow you to address it. As you take a dip in the sea or pool to cool down, take your three most stubborn saboteurs and let them slip away with the waves.

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    Create your summer holiday personal mantra

    Back from your swim, showered, wrapped in your towel, before you step out for the evening sit or lie on your bed and simply be still. Try my ‘5 minutes of Ease and Calm at Sunset’ visualisation. Having started to let go of the old, it’s time to create a new perspective. Think of qualities that motivate and excite you, such as ‘strong’, ‘free’ and ‘vibrant’. Create your personal mantra and include these qualities, beginning with ‘I am…’ and let this inspire your every thought and action moving forwards.

    Use your summer holiday to be in the now

    Feeling peaceful and content in the bar with a cocktail in hand, take the opportunity to savour it like never before. Savour to every nuance of its flavour, texture and temperature by sipping it super slowly. Soak in the ambience, the colours in your environment and the movement of people around you. Ensure your body and mind are in the moment so you’re able to fully absorb everything.  Mindfulness can really help an individual to develop and this is a good technique to start with.

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    Bust out of your comfort zone

    Now that you’ve had a couple of days to melt into rest and relaxation, try at least one new thing everyday on your holiday, whether it’s something you’ve written about wanting to try in your journal, or perhaps a new sport or the local delicacy. Have fun with it and see how you like discovering new experiences.

    Travel solo on your summer holiday

    During your next excursion, even if you’re travelling with good friends or family, take time to enjoy being alone or make time to do what you really want to do. Start talking to people, on the boat, bus or along the hiking trail. Keep it light and fun. Getting to know yourself better will lead to greater freedom, happiness and success. Ultimately, you’ll discover that ‘Inner Diamond’ of yours and shine!

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    Smita Joshi is the author of The Karma & Diamonds trilogy, a journey of self-discovery. Find out more at

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