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As leaders, it is important to make time to reset and refocus. Without this, we risk becoming fatigued, which leads to problems with motivating teams, making clear, considered decisions, and feeling engaged and motivated in your work. This Vital Leadership series of blogs look at how leaders can thrive. In this blog, we look at the Recovery Rocket.

The Recovery Rocket model for maintaining your wellbeing is simple, effective and easy to use.

It was created by Andrew May (2010), an executive coach and former sports psychologist at the Australian Institute of Sport. May adapted his insights from the sporting world and applied them to the world of work. He created the concept of an annual recovery plan, to enable people to perform at their best.

Essentially, the Recovery Rocket provides a framework for maintaining a baseline of mental wellness over a year, and then reminds you to take time for yourself to do activities you enjoy – referred to as ‘recovery points’. It encourages you to make a ‘recovery plan’ at the beginning of each year, based on the model explained below.

The baseline framework suggests you aim for the following over a year:

  • 10-15 minutes of ‘slow time’ every day (going for a walk, preparing veggies for dinner, meditation, etc)

  • 300 nights of good sleep (7 + hours of unbroken sleep) every year (if you can)

  • 30 weeks where you accumulate 100 recovery points

  • Three mini breaks (away from screens and day to day responsibilities)

  • One big break or ‘off season’.

Earning Recovery Points

You can earn recovery points in different ways that work for you. You might attribute 10 points to walking the dog, 20 points to doing a yoga class and 50 points to a one-hour massage. It is about choosing activities that you enjoy doing and giving them a number of points that relates to the enjoyment you get from engaging in them.

The Recovery Rocket gives you the opportunity to approach your health and wellness in a flexible, personal way that works for you. As we look ahead to a new year, now is a great time to get started on your recovery plan for the new year.

Learn more about the recovery rocket in the Managing stress: protecting against burnout masterclass. This masterclass is part of the Vital Leadership Series.



WLA’s new Vital Leadership series offers people an opportunity to engage in bite-sized masterclasses on different aspects of leadership. Take your opportunity to thrive in 2023.

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