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Maintain a Vacation Motivation Mentality

According to Zig Ziglar, the legendary motivator and sales master, you are always the most productive the day before your vacation. I would certainly agree with that, and note that you always spend that day tying up all of your loose ends for work as well as all of the packing and planning for your departure the very next day.

Sense of accomplishment is important in life. There is no better vacation than the one that is taken based on achievement of a goal, or the one that involves accomplishment of a goal while on vacation, or both is even better. I believe that there is no better motivation than that of a well planned vacation. A good vacation is a great reason to get up early, train hard, and work passionately!

Plan for a vacation if you need to be motivated.

Make fitness a part of your vacation too, and come up with an event during the vacation that motivates. I have written on this topic several times because I know how effective it is when used as a part of a personal fitness program.

We just returned from a company vacation retreat in St. Lucia. We were there last year and three of us scaled the famous Gros Piton as a part of the trip. This year it became a mission to climb it again and to beat the time of the previous year.

For weeks leading up to the trip, Jeremy Harwell and I trained hard with the weights and infrared Hot Cycling inside of a HOTWORX sauna at the corporate headquarters. This year Todd Matherne, one of our HOTWORX partners in the Marrero, LA franchise location, joined myself and Jeremy for the climb.

We arrived by boat to the beach at the foot of the Gros Piton. Greeted by one random cow and a couple of locals, there we were, three fitness athletes determined to beat the time set by the group of three the year before.


In 2019, the time it took to scale from the entrance of the mountain at the beach up to the summit (2,618.9 ft.) and back down to the starting point was four hours and thirteen minutes. This year we made the up and down trek in three hours and forty-four minutes slashing the prior year’s number by 29 minutes representing a 25% improvement in performance. Who wouldn’t want 25% more productivity!?

Speaking of productivity, my calorie burn last year as a 56 year old was 2,769 calories in four hours and thirteen minutes.  This year, at 57, my burn was 2,541 which was close to the same amount of energy spent but in 25% less time to complete the workout, a big conditioning improvement year over year that I totally attribute to infrared training for cardio and endurance.  All three of us agreed that the Gros Piton climb was by far the best HIIT workout we had ever experienced. In terms of calorie burn, it was at least 5 workouts compacted into one three hour and forty-four minute session. Compared to the average fitness routine it would be like combining two weeks worth of workouts into one training session.

No thanks to COVID, the climb almost didn’t happen, though. St. Lucia has very strict COVID policies and it literally took gaining permission from the Minister of Health for us to gain access to the base of the mountain. Much thanks goes out to the Ladera Resort General Manager, Christian Gandara, for helping us out. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I also want to give a big shout out to our mountain guide and the Ladera yoga instructor, Anston, for the friendly motivation and professionalism.

Same as last year, the climb took us up a makeshift trail that consisted of dirt paths turned into mud, steep wet rocks, railings (where there was railing) made of branches that were randomly nailed together, trees, giant roots, vines and stumps, along with many other winding obstacles as we made our way up the crude pathway. This year we had to factor in inclement weather as an additional handicap. We faced rain and wind all the way up and down. But, again, what a rush it was to get to the top…,


and to finish at the bottom of the mountain again with a better time!

The point here is to advocate for the use of a vacation as a means for continual fitness motivation. Your vacation goal may involve a destination for multiple yoga days, or hiking, or snow skiing. The options are limitless from paddle boarding to surfing to cliff jumping. I would encourage you to include a fitness event during your vacation, but your objective may simply be to look good on the beach or at the pool. That’s ok too as long as it provides motivation for your workouts throughout the year.

Whatever you do, plan your next vacation now and begin to use it to elevate your vacation motivation mentality!

Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer