Set seasonal goals – start with summer!
It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer (at least to those who live in the Northern Hemisphere). Some of the telltale signs of summer include the weather heating up; everyone starts smelling heavily of sunscreen; and the stores are suddenly stocked with beach umbrellas, boogie boards, and pool toys.
One of the best ways to make sure that you have a great summer is to set goals for the summer. Below you’ll find 25 summer goals to make the most of the season.
1. Meditate Outdoors. One of the great things about summer is that you can take your meditation routine outside. Try walking meditation — go out for a walk and cultivate mindfulness by placing all of your awareness on walking. Imagine that you’re kissing the earth with your feet with each step.
You can also try Tai chi in the park, or yoga at the beach.
2. Make a New Friend. Regardless of your age, it’s important to socialize. Summer is a good time to make friends—either meet new people or turn an acquaintance into a friend—since there are so many activities for people to participate in together.
Invite someone to join you for a bike ride, a hike, or a game of tennis. Get things off to a good start with the 36 questions to kick-start a friendship.
3. Try a New Hobby. There are many hobbies which are perfect for the summer months. One of these is photography. A great way to improve your photography skills is by tackling a project, such as taking a photo of something that represents the season every day throughout the summer. Here are some ideas:
- Pool floats
- Summer plants and flowers
- Jumping into the water
- Fourth of July Shenanigans
Another hobby you can try is coloring. Get yourself a box of colored pencils, some coloring books for adults, and head on outside to sit under a tree and color your heart out. Then, share your masterpiece on social media.
4. Stay Hydrated. When you’re out in the summer heat you have to make sure that you stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you—preferably one made of glass– and eat fruits that are high in water content, like watermelon. Drinking coconut water is also a good idea.
5. Read a Classic. Summer is for reading trashy novels while lying on a beach towel, and I certainly don’t intend to interfere with this time-honored tradition. However, it’s a good idea to squeeze at least one classic into your summer reading list.
I recommend reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but other good choices include “Middlemarch” by George Eliot, or “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy.
6. Try a New Lawn Game. Lawn games are outdoor games that can be played on a lawn. This summer, set the goal to play at least one lawn game you’ve never played before. Here are three ideas for lawn games you can try:
- Washer Toss: This game is similar to horseshoes. Washer Toss involves teams of players that take turns tossing washers–metal disks about two inches in diameter–towards a pipe placed in the center of a box.
- Kan Jam: Kan Jam is a flying disc game. It’s played with a flying disc and two large cans. The goal is to get the disc to hit the kan, or to go into it (either through the opening on top or the slit on the side).
- Spikeball: Spikeball is a game that’s similar to volleyball, but it’s played with a small trampoline instead of a net. It’s usually played with four players. You smack the ball over to your opponent–just as you would in volleyball–but the ball has to bounce on the trampoline first.
7. Tackle a Personal Development Goal. Be a better person by the time fall comes around by tackling a personal development goal this summer. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
8. Learn to Do Push-Ups. Doing push-ups has many benefits, not the least of which is having strong, toned, sexy arms.
Push-ups are a compound exercise which calls upon multiple muscle groups. This means your heart has to work hard to pump blood to all that muscle tissue, so it’s also getting a workout. Doing push-ups also improves your posture, it helps you to prevent lower-back injuries, and it strengthens your core.
Progress your way to the perfect push-up. Start with an inclined push-up by using a bench or a barbell on a rack. Gradually lower the position of the bar until you can do a push-up on the floor. Aim for being able to do ten push-ups in a row, all with proper form.
9. Enjoy Simple Summer Pleasures. Make a long list of simple summer pleasures to engage in this summer. Your list can include walking barefoot on the grass, filling vases with brightly colored geraniums and placing them around the house, eating strawberry popsicles, and lounging in a hammock.
Then, each day of the summer, engage in at least one of these activities.
10. Knock One Item Off of Your Travel Bucket List. One way to make this a memorable summer is by going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. So, take out your travel bucket list, choose a destination, and plan your vacation. Then, when you get back, regale your friends with tales of foreign lands, exotic foods, and mysterious folks.
11. Complete a DIY Project. Completing a DIY project can be incredibly fulfilling, and there’s no shortage of projects you can try. Put up shelves (to hold all the books you’ll be reading this summer), build a stone path for your garden, or build a bird bath.
12. Make Your Own Beauty Products. Making your own beauty products is healthier than using store bought brands which are filled with toxic chemicals. It also costs less in the long run. I make my own face wash, deodorant, conditioner, hair dye, facial mask, and toothpaste.
You can start making one beauty product and move up from there.
13. Learn a New Skill. This summer, set aside one-hour-a-day to learn a new skill. Here are three ideas:
- Learn how to use GIMP or some other graphics editor for image retouching and editing.
- Learn how to use a good presentation-making tool like MS Powerpoint, Prezi, Keynote, or Canva.
- Learn how to cleanse your house properly and quickly.
14. Hold a Fundraiser. Hold a fundraiser and donate all of the money that you make to your local charity. Ideas include the following:
- Hold a car wash.
- Hold a dog wash.
- Hold a garage sale.
- Hod a “Bingo Night” — have prizes donated and charge an entrance fee.
- Set up a smoothie stand — this is a twist on the traditional lemonade stand.
15. Have a Laugh a Day. Make this a joyful summer by setting the goal to laugh every day of the summer. Laughing has a myriad of physical and mental heath benefits. Plus, it just feels good to laugh. Need ideas on how to laugh more? Here’s 22 of them.
16. Play a Giant Board Game. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on 12 Board Games for Developing Thinking Abilities and Life Skills. Given the many benefits of playing board games, make sure to incorporate board games into your summer.
However, give playing board games a summer twist by playing outside–you can play in your backyard or at the park. And, of course, since you’ll be in the great outdoors, you’ll need giant board games. You can try giant scrabble, giant chess, or giant Chinese checkers.
17. Make Your Home Green. This summer, do your part to save the planet by taking one step to green your home. Some easy ideas are: recycle, buy a houseplant, get a reusable water bottle, leak-proof your home, use water wisely, and use non-toxic cleaners.
18. Make Some Extra Money. Every season brings with it opportunities to make some extra money. Summer money-making ideas include starting a lawn mowing business; taking care of pets while their owners are away on vacation (water their plants while you’re at it); and barbecue catering.
19. Try a New Sport. One of the great things about summer is that you get to spend lots of time in nature and the great outdoors. This means there’s lots of sports you can participate in. This summer, set the goal of trying a sport you’ve never tried before.
It can be a water sport–such as paddleboarding or skimboarding–, or it can be a land sport–such as rollerblading or archery.
20. Swim in A Natural Body of Water. This summer, make sure to swim in a natural body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a lake, or a river. Not only is swimming great exercise, but contact with natural water stimulates the immune system. In addition, some people compare floating in a lake or in the ocean when the water is calm to a meditative experience.
21. Play Mini-Golf. For many, playing a round of miniature golf is a summer tradition. Mini-golf can be played by anyone, from the little ones to the grandparents, so make it a family outing.
22. Plant Something. Feel immediately reconnected to the earth this summer by planting and growing something. Here are two things you can grow:
- Create a fairy garden — a miniature garden complete with tiny structures and small plants.
- Grow a vertical vegetable garden –you can create one using shelves, hanging baskets, or trellises.
23. Watch the Big Movie Blockbuster of 2016. There are going to be lots of great movies to watch this summer. For me, the blockbuster of the season is going to be X-Men: Apocalypse (I’m a big fan of the X-Men). There’s also Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.
24. Watch the Summer Olympics. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have been mired in controversy, including water pollution problems, the Zika virus, a presidential impeachment, gang violence, and the collapse of a bicycle path built for the summer games.
Nonetheless, it looks like the games will go on. So, make yourself a snack, sit down in front of the TV, and cheer for your favorite athletes. You can even invite a group of friends over for a Summer Olympics party.
25. Try a New Ice Cream Flavor. Summer is ice cream season. My favorite ice cream flavor is Rocky Road. It’s been my favorite since I was a little kid, and I’m pretty sure it always will be. I’m sure you have a favorite flavor, as well.
However, everyone should be open to trying new ice cream flavors for the sake of novelty. Each year new ice cream flavors come out, so find one that looks tempting, and dig in.
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