Monday, May 8, 2017

How to Plan an Amazing Summer



I can't believe it's the second week of May already!  You know what that means...summer will be here before we know it!  I know, I know...summer doesn't officially start until June 21, but I can't help it.  There's just so many special things about those glorious months of sunny days, vacations, and family time.  

The problem for most people, myself included, is that summer sort of sneaks up on us and if we don't really have a plan for our summer days, they have a tendency to get away from us.  As you know, I've become a major advocate for living fully and being grateful for each day we are given.    The best way to make sure our summer is as amazing as we are currently dreaming it will be is to have a plan, of course!  

With just a bit of time spent intentionally thinking about what you want to see, feel, do (and eat!), you can make this your best summer ever...one with tons of fun, relaxation, and self care (duh!) planned...and one where no day is wasted!  So let's get started.

There are 98 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Besties.  But for the sake of a nice, round number, let's just say there are 100 days of summer. Your mission:  come up with a list of 100 things you want to be a part of your summer.  Now before you groan about how much work that sounds like, hear me out.  I've broken it down for you - 10 "things" in 10 different categories.  So we'll essentially be making 10 mini lists of 10 different things we want our summer to be about.  

The categories are:

1. Food and drink (obviously this comes first!)


3. Things to focus on/be intentional about

4. Things to do

5. Movies to watch ( I love movies...if you don't, feel free to create a new category!)

6. People to hang with

7. Places to go

8. Ways you want to feel

9. Things to see

10. Things to make/ways to create

You may already have 10 things (or maybe more!) springing to mind for certain categories...other categories you may be thinking...do I really need to have 10 of these?  I can only think of 2.  Allow me to give you a few examples in each category in case any of them are proving difficult.  

Food & drink:  Iced tea, pie, strawberries, white wine

Self care:  Meditate, listen to sermons/podcasts, read, journal

Things to focus on/be intentional about:  Gratitude, making people laugh, giving money to good causes, getting enough sleep

Things to do:  Pedicures, make a summer playlist, dinners on the deck, friends over for a BBQ

Movies to watch:  Lord of the Rings trilogy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ghostbusters, Princess Bride

People to hang with:  Husband, my boys, best friends, extended family

Places to go:  Ikea, Disney World, zoo, library, Shenandoah National Park, Rhode Island

Ways you want to feel:  confident, accomplished, like a good mom

Things to see:  sunrise, stars at night, my boys' smiles, a new place

Things to make/ways to create:  paint living room, scrapbook, cards

If you need some extra help filling in your lists, you can look here, here, and here for additional ideas. 

 See, that wasn't so hard, now was it? ;)

Once you have your list of 100 things, pull out your calendar and see where you can pencil some things in.  You can start by filling in the vacations or traveling you already have planned.  Then pencil in where you might like to paint the living room, have a yard sale, go berry picking, or visit the zoo.  As you fill something in on your calendar, check it off your big list.  

Inevitably, you will have to move things around because a) sometimes it rains when you were planning to go to the zoo, b) sometimes it's the perfect beach day when you were planning on painting the living room, and c) life can be unpredictable.  The point here is that you are tenatively scheduling your summer plans. You can probably do more than one thing from your list in a day, so don't hesitate to double up a pedicure and friends over for a BBQ in the same day, or whatever floats your boat.  

Try not to ignore the "ways you want to feel" and "things you want to focus on."  If you want to feel confident...what are some ways you can practice that?  What are some things you can do to challenge yourself in that area?  Likewise, if you want to focus on gratitude, maybe think about starting a gratitude journal or keep a running list of things you are thankful for.  Knowing how you want to feel is the first step to actually feeling it!

I hope this is a fun activity for you...and I hope taking the time to do this helps you have the best summer of your life! What are you most looking forward to this summer?  

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