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*Spoiler Alert: The same tips and plan can be used for any season!
What do you hope to accomplish this summer? I find I’m either “survive” or “do ALL OF THE THINGS”! And then somehow, next thing I know, summer is basically over and … meh. Even in super-mom-mode with big dreams of a super-mom summer, I have realized that I’m not actually and intentionally creating a plan. While pondering and asking really smart people for advice and tips, I noticed a pattern in answers. So let me share and let’s do this!
First things first! It’s about more than just the kids. It’s about the whole family and you. I know that’s hard to wrap your brain around some days. But remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And a healthy, balanced mama is better for everyone.
We’re going to cover each of the important areas of life in our 3 prong approach: your family relationships, health, and psychological well-being.
- Target times for family fun. Using a calendar, devise a plan to spend more time together on evenings and weekends. Be specific in your plan. Start by filling in the things you are already committed to and then add in recurring activities or themes you’d like to do this summer. For example:
- Monday evenings are booked with your child’s gymnastics. Wednesday evenings are for church.
- Add in Friday nights are for kid-selected movies and a dinner you cook together. Every Saturday the family hits up one of the farmer’s markets and goes out to brunch or lunch.
- Discuss a family vacation with your kids and partner. As a family, brainstorm a list of possible vacation sites. Depending on finances, the adults can decide on some affordable final choices and then everyone in the family can vote.
- Once you select a destination, start making arrangements immediately.
- Strive to have every family member involved in the vacation planning process. For instance, your 12-year-old can research the destination on the Internet.
- Discuss the destination as a family and then ask each child one activity they want to do during the vacation.
- Complete a project together. Do a home improvement project together. It may be cleaning up the yard or laying tile in the hallway. Maybe it’s painting the kitchen walls. Find a job for each family member. You’ll enhance family relationships while teaching kids the relevance of hard work and cooperation.
- Develop a plan of healthy physical self-development. Consider what you’d like to maintain or increase the summer in the physical activity arena. Make your goal or plan specific. “I will walk for no less than 45 minutes at least 4 times a week.”
- Build up your strength. For example, maybe you want to tone and strengthen your legs. Think about taking dance lessons, going for a jog four times a week, or working out with leg weights and a personal trainer. Summer is great time to set and meet a new goal or try a new activity.
- When you focus on a specific body part for one or two months, you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll make.
- Concentrate on nutrition. Establish three simple ways you’ll increase your positive nutritional intake this summer. Perhaps you’ve realized that you’ve been overeating sugary foods. Try to cut down on those sweets or replace them with healthier choices like seasonal fruit.
- Focus on getting important vitamins and minerals to properly fuel your body and mind.
- Make sure you stay hydrated by tracking how much water you are drinking.
- Maybe your third simple step could be to add in one more serving of vegetables a day. Ooooor maybe making sure you eat at least some vegetables each day. Not that I know anything about eating like a 7 year old in the 80s.
- Do something you’ve always wanted to do, like taking a fitness class. Maybe you’ve wanted to take boxing lessons for years, but you’ve had trouble finding time. Now that the schedule is getting a good renovation and switcharoo, the lessons could fit perfectly into your summer plan.
- Getting in shape and building your physical health will also increase your emotional stamina in the process.
- Read one personal or professional development book each month. If finding reading time is a challenge, try reading later in the evening after the kids are in bed. Beach reads are so much easier and absolutely have their place in summer plans. But making the time to read one non-beach read helps us grow as moms, business women, human beings in general.
- Work on developing that one character trait or special skill you desire. Maybe you want to be more patient. What does that look like? What steps can you take to get there? Maybe you want to learn how to crochet? Find a class, phone a friend, or find a few good YouTube series. Pick a month this summer and work on that skill. You’ll be pleased with yourself.
- Make time to do something YOU enjoy. Whether it’s time with friends, time alone, painting, watching a movie, carve out a spot in your schedule for you to spend doing something that makes you happy.
It can actually be invigorating to develop a specific plan for the goals you want to achieve this summer. Impact your family relationships in a positive way by including a family aspect to your plan. Have the family join you on your walk some times. Ask your partner if they’d like to read the same book so you can have a mini-book club.
When you set up a summertime plan in advance, are intentional with your goals, and map out the steps to get there, you’ll see how productive those summer months can be.