Ah, summer. Time to relax, eat, drink and repeat. Did you realize that July means the year is half over?
I know, hardly an inspiring thought. Actually, I like to think of this time of year as an opportunity to get back on track with things that I set out to do throughout the year. In the summer, things tend to naturally slow down as people are focused a bit more on relaxing.
Because of this, there may be more space for you to take time to think about things you wanted to do this year and get back on track with figuring out how to make those things happen.
If you’re not sure, or you hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions, don’t worry. Take a few minutes to reflect on the year so far and think about things you’d like to do in the next six months. It could be career related, health focused or perhaps you’d just like to spend more time reading. It could be small or big: it really doesn’t matter. What does matters is that you take the time to reflect on what you’d like to do, rather than letting each day, week and month go by without having any sense of direction.
Here’s a quick list of tips to help get you inspired:
- Pie chart: I’ve referred to this technique before to help see where you’re spending your time. Make a circle; divide it into slices and make the slices as big or as small to represent how you’re spending your time. Sit back, take a look and see if you like what you see. If not, make some changes in time allocation to the different pieces of your life.
- Let beach time do double duty: I know this might seem strange, but I bring work to the beach. Now, when I say “work,” what I really mean are things that I rarely get a chance to do. I bring a pleasure book or one I’m reading that’s more instructional in nature. I make a list or two about the weeks ahead and what I’d like to get done. Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean you just have to lie there and read People magazine (but I do that as well).
- Use the early morning light to fit in a workout, some personal planning, learning something new: The summer days bring an earlier sunrise and often, great weather even at 6 a.m. It’s not as difficult to get up earlier than usual and even just an extra half-hour can give you time to do some yoga, a short run, or begin to write that novel you’ve been trying to get started.
- Take a look at your finances: What does money have to do with health? Well, a lot. Growing debt and a tendency to put everything on credit and sweep concerns under the rug will create stress that leads to all sorts of health problems, let alone the practical issues it’ll create as well. Even if you know you don’t have the money to pay off your debts, start getting a better handle on what you owe, to whom and at under what terms. Once you have that information outlined, you’ll be better armed to change the behaviors that are leading you to increasing the debt as well as determine an approach towards resolution. If you decide you can’t make any changes, for personal or practical reasons, at least you’ll have confronted the information and will be well informed about your circumstances.
- Book time to relax and take care of yourself: The summer brings so many unique opportunities, especially for us here in New England, as it’s the rare time of year when we have nice weather. Make sure you book time off, whether it’s a day or a few days or even an afternoon. The beach, the farm, an outdoor concert, a picnic or a night stroll to dinner at an outdoor café. It’s so important that we take time to do what we enjoy to create a sense of balance in our life.
- Look around your own neighborhood to see how you can take advantage of what’s right in your backyard: Charlestown boasts great parks, harbor views and outdoor dining. We’ve got yoga, free outdoor concerts and historical landmarks. We’re within walking distance to the North End, the Waterfront and Faneuil Hall. Take advantage of low-cost options within walking distance to help you enjoy the summer months.
As always, be good to yourself and live healthy!