After what seemed like a really long winter here in Kansas City, summer is finally around the corner! With the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about summer goals. Are you with me?
With longer days approaching, maybe you’ve already set some goals for yourself. Maybe you’ve got a vacation planned, or a class you’re taking; maybe you intend to adventure around your hometown some more. Whatever goals you may have, I want to share six more ideas to help fill your summer with health and happiness.
GOAL #1: GET ENOUGH SUN
Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors behind a desk. While it’s true that too much exposure to the sun can damage your skin, most of us spend so little time outdoors that we’re actually lacking exposure.
As it turns out, moderate exposure to sunlight is actually healthy for your skin, as it helps your body produce needed Vitamin D. In fact, being out in the sun has a whole host of health benefits, according to Harvard Heath Publications—including mood lifts, and potentially faster healing. So make sure you spend some time outside this summer!
GOAL #2: GET ENOUGH REST
One of the things I talk about frequently is the chronically busy lifestyle many of us lead in America. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to hustle faster and achieve more, when really, we’re missing out on the huge benefits of rest.
In my experience with writing a novel in thirty days, I’ve found rest to be critical for my mental health and happiness—as well as my creativity. In the midst of your work and summer activities, make sure you’re carving out enough whitespace in your life to allow time for rest.
GOAL #3: PRIORITIZE RELATIONSHIPS
In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to sometimes neglect our closest relationships because we’re too busy, and we begin to take them for granted. This summer, I want to challenge you to make a list of your five closest relationships and make an effort to spend time investing in them.
We’re so connected to the world online—particularly through our cell phones, that it can make those closest to us feel isolated; ignored, even. So next time you’re out with your spouse or a friend, put your phone away. If you’re brave enough, leave it behind altogether, and just spend time being present.
GOAL #4: STAY ACTIVE
Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get in shape: to be active and exercise. Maybe you’re ahead of the game, and you’ve already got your “summer body”—in which case, you go! Or maybe you’re just starting to think about fitness, now that the weather’s warming up. Regardless, I want to challenge you to set a fitness goal for yourself this summer. It can be to lose twenty pounds, or to simply build up strength in your body.
There are dozens of ways to boost your activity during the summer months, including sports, running, swimming, and more. One of my personal favorite ways to exercise, particularly for building core strength and flexibility, is yoga. But whatever method you chose, I want to encourage you to get on the ball and stay active. Your body will thank you later.
GOAL #5: GO ON ADVENTURES
Summer is the perfect time for adventuring, whether you prefer bush hiking, or urban exploration. Instead of just going outside for an hour or two to get your sunshine-quota, I want to challenge you to make an adventure out of it. Go someplace new. Explore. Plan ahead for a weekend adventure with your spouse or a friend, or just wing it one day.
If you’d like, you can take photos and share them on Instagram with the hashtag: #myincandescentlife. I’d love to see what fun things you’ve been up to, and maybe steal some adventuring ideas for myself.
GOAL #6: SPEND LESS TIME ONLINE AND MORE TIME MAKING MEMORIES
Our lives are so wrapped up in our technology—particularly social media—that we find ourselves unable to pull away, even for a day. Most of all, regardless of what your summer goals are, I want to challenge you to be intentional about unplugging from the internet.
We’re so focused on making our lives “Instagram Worthy” that we often miss out on actually living. We’re too busy trying to snap just the right photo that we miss the actual moment, seeing it only through the cell phone viewfinder. I want to encourage you that you don’t have to share every adventure or every memory with an online audience, even if it’s something significant. Sometimes it’s okay—better, even—to keep those memories just for yourself.
- What are your goals for the summer?
- What adventure are you most looking forward to going on?
- Which of your goals do you anticipate struggling with the most—and why?