Set (Loose) Goals for Your Time Off

When you are taking time off? How can you make the most of it? It may seem counterintuitive, but research has shown that people who set personal goals to achieve during their downtime — such as seeing friends, pursuing a hobby, or even organizing a closet — report being happier than those who prioritize more passive “rest and relaxation” (i.e., sitting around in your pajamas watching TV or playing video games).

Think of this approach as proactive recovery that helps you recuperate from the daily grind. Whatever your goals are, the important thing is that you lay out a plan. One caveat: This doesn’t mean you should treat these goals like a to-do list. Stay flexible — this is your time off, after all!

But ultimately, feeling like you’ve made the most of your vacation days will give you a sense of pride, accomplishment, and happiness that will fuel you when it’s time to get back to work.