Are you struggling to get started with goal setting? Do you know you want to improve on an area of your life by setting some goals, but you’re just not sure where to start? This week we look at rest and relaxation, which is such a big topic we will cover it in 3 articles.

Rest and relaxation is a very interesting area to set goals in. Not least because it tends to be one of the more over-looked ones. People always want to set goals for things like money and fitness, not so many set goals in R&R. This is a shame, because there’s a gold-mine of opportunity here.

Exploring what rest and relaxation means to you personally can be very enlightening. R&R is all about what finding out what relaxes you, what refreshes you and what energizes you. This differs wildly per person, and a lot of it comes down to personality. We all think we know what the terms introvert and extrovert mean (they are actually pretty widely misunderstood and abused), but the key difference is that extroverts and energized and refreshed by being with other people. Noise, groups – they love it.

Introverts may be quite social, but they find that having too much human activity around them draining. Eventually they will need to retreat and seek time alone to recharge themselves. There is an interesting third category of people called ambiverts who combine these characteristics – they may enjoy a big group like a party for several hours, but will just crash and need to go home at some point.

Watching TV, probably one of the most popular forms of R&R is not very relaxing. It puts your brain in a weird state which does not recharge you. The internet is newer, so has less research around it, but a good deal of what has come out so far points at the isolating and damaging effects of social media. Facebook might make you feel lonely.

So, what does relax or energize you? Genuine forms of relation include exercise (of the right kind for your body), bathing (in a bath, not a shower), walking, especially out in nature, and the passionate pursuit of any engaging activity – like a hobby or interest. Keep a diary over the course of one day. Keep it very simple. Every half hour what are you doing and how do you feel about it? What perked you right up? How can you repeat that experience?

Next week we cover travel which is a big-ticket goal setting item. The week after I want to consider hobbies.

Hope this helped, comment below on what lifts you and what drains you.