I never thought as myself as a person who would enjoy a cruise, but we just finished our 2nd post-Christmas Caribbean cruise and it was exactly what I needed to pause and get back to feeling like myself.
So how did Value-Based Decision Making (VBDM) efficiently and effectively help me find the best vacation? Let me give you a quick run-down:
First, I did the VBDM exercise and got real clear on my top 3 values.
FAMILY: I value genuine connection with my husband and my kids. With the kids at this age, I know we're at a special time when they still want to hang out with us and I want to make the most of it.
FREEDOM: I value space to explore, question, and grow through experiences.
HUMAN CONNECTION: I prioritize human connection, learning and listening to people's stories, reflecting on the human experience.
Second, I mapped out what I wanted from my vacation through the lens of my values.
FAMILY: I recognized that if I wanted to spend dedicated time with my kids and husband... with patience, grace, and ease... I didn't want to be busy cooking, cleaning, or coordinating. That made me lean towards something all-inclusive.
FREEDOM: I wanted freedom to explore and see new places and cultures so I was drawn to the idea of a cruise that stopped in places where we've never been before.
HUMAN CONNECTION: I wanted a vacation with no texts, phone calls, emails... a total digital detox so I could really be present not only with my family, but also with the people and culture around me.
Third, I did some research and chose a cruise that aligned with our lifestyle and our budget.
In reflection, our cruise met my exceptions of family time, freedom to travel, and human connection. And more importantly, it was the pause I needed to bring me back to myself.
Lastly, VBDM helped me stand firm in my decision.
If you're like me, once I pick something I immediately start second-guessing myself. I'll catch myself thinking "well, maybe I should book this flight deal to Italy instead" or "well, so-and-so didn't like their cruise so maybe I shouldn't go." All the second-guessing is exhausting!
But because I knew that my decision was based on my core values, I spent less time waffling over my decision. And quieting that noise of indecisiveness gave me back a surprising about of energy!
That's how using VBDM is helping me practice living a life of more confidence and ease.
(Just in case you're curious, we chose to cruise with Holland America because they have great food with many vegetarian options, fresh squeezed juices, and high tea! The kids love the kids club and its ships have a wonderful library, board game area, and art classes.)
Interested in trying VBDM?
It works for vacation planning and a whole lot more.
VBDM is an exercise to help validate your emotions, clarify your thoughts, and deepen your understanding so you can make decisions with clear intentions. Giving you more confidence, ease, and enjoyment in your life.
Did you know Ming-Wai struggles with burnout?
That's why she needs that Caribbean cruise!
Read her blog here:
And be sure to leave a comment if you can relate. We're not meant to do this alone!