Setting Summer Goals
Summer is hands-down my favorite season. It’s the perfect time for sitting on the porch and grilling out and going to garage sales. I love the long days, and watermelon, and that feeling you get when you are worn out and little bit sunburned from playing outside all morning, then go into the cool air-conditioning and eat a BLT. It’s just the best.
Another love of mine (surprise!) is goal-setting. I love the way setting goals helps me focus my attention on what matters most and helps me filter out all the other things sucking time and attention away from my priorities. I love writing down dreams and figuring out ways to make them happen- oh, and just how satisfying it is to actually finish something.
Sadly, these two loves do not seem to work well together.
Some of the things that make this season so great are also the things that make it hard to stick to the goals and habits we’ve been working on the rest of the year (vacations, kids being out of school, etc.).
The last Tuesday of every month, I get together with nine other women to talk about our vision for the year and the goals we’re working on each month. We call it “Focus Group:” basically it’s a goal-setting accountability group. This month, no one seemed particularly excited to talk goals, and almost everyone felt behind in life.
It made me wonder where this idea of striving towards a vision and pursuing goals fits during the lazy crazy days of summer.
Here are a few ideas:
New Year’s in July
Maybe you didn’t set any goals for 2017, or you did but they didn’t happen. We’re halfway through 2017, and six months is a long time to wait to dream about the possibilities and cast a vision for your life. Why not treat July 1st like New Year’s? I’m always looking for an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and enjoy a fresh start. The pace of summer is a little slower and usually involves some sort of vacation, making it ideal for reflection, prayer and dreaming.
Don’t know where to start? If you’re interested in walking through the 5-step Pace & Pattern goal-setting method click here!
A time for personal health
Maybe now isn’t the best time to dive into a rigorous cleaning routine or add a new weekly commitment to your schedule. Summer is a particularly good season for focusing on personal health. So many delicious foods are in season, which makes eating well a little easier (swapping ice cream for cherries doesn’t even seem like that bad a trade). It’s warm outside, which makes exercising less of a chore. And restful rhythms - vacation, pool time, you know - make great opportunities to reflect on your life or have meaningful conversations: to refresh emotionally or spiritually.
Hop back on the wagon
So, you didn’t run every morning, and you ate some hot dogs at the beach. It’s okay! That doesn’t mean your intent to embrace a healthy lifestyle is ruined and you should just abandon it completely. The thing about being human is that real change takes time, and there are bound to be mistakes made along the way. The more important thing is to give yourself some grace and hop back on the wagon.
Title photo by Bethany Shaw