How to Crush Your Summer

Summer has long been idealized in pop culture. That’s when Sandy Olsson met Danny Zucko on vacation, setting the stage for a seemingly mismatched romance in the movie Grease. Countless songs from artists like Alice Cooper, Bananarama, Lana Del Rey and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince extolled the virtues, excitement, or heartbreak of those sweltering days.  Kids finally got to bust loose from the confines of their classrooms. From the perspective of youth, it felt like so much was possible.

Now that you are a grown-up, at least in chronological age, summer can be just as exciting. This season is an excellent time to explore new opportunities, lean into more well-being or plan a break from your normal routines. Here are 5 ways to crush your summer:

Set a goal.

Ever have to write an essay on what you did during your summer break? Many of us did, and often that meant reading it out loud to the rest of the class whether you wanted to or not. Instead of being reactive, think in advance about what your headline would be for that kind of assignment. Is it “took time to get more clarity” or “really disconnected from work during an actual vacation?” Set your goal in advance in order to make it happen.

Tackle your bucket list.

A bucket list (as in “kicking the bucket”) contains the things you wish to experience before dying. This summer, pick one of those items to cross off your list. Maybe it involves going skydiving, learning a foreign language, or experiencing the awe of the Grand Canyon for the first-time. Trying something different that you’ve been yearning for can be a transformative, unforgettable experience.

Play outside.

We are currently having a crazy heatwave across the United States much earlier than normal, and numerous heat advisories are keeping people indoors. But when hot temperatures abate, make time to play outside. Sunshine, when you are wearing plenty of sunscreen, is good for your happiness as well as your body. Perhaps you can shift that walk you take each day at lunch to before the workday begins to take advantage of extended daylight hours and cooler early morning weather.

Gain a new skill.

In the business world, expectations and behaviors can be more relaxed during the summer. Kids are out of school, which can cause parents to adjust their hours. Co-workers go on vacation. Some companies keep “Summer Friday” hours, closing after lunch. Working in a hybrid or remote environment can increase your flexibility even more. That’s why this is a great time to learn a new skill or talent. For example, I launched my new book last month. While I’m knowledgeable about general marketing and PR, the process of advertising and optimizing a book on Amazon is out of my wheelhouse – but it is critical in driving sales. So I’m teaching myself how to do that over the next month.

Test out a side-hustle.

Ever sell lemonade during your childhood summers? Maybe now is the time to test out a side-hustle that reflects your current interests. For the next couple of months, see if you can make a buck doing activities you really enjoy, like planning parties for kids on weekends or selling your hand-painted coffee mugs on Etsy.

What are you excited about doing or experiencing this summer?

If you have been feeling a little – or even a lot – stuck these days, check out my “What Kind of Stuck Are You?” Quiz to gain more insight on what may be holding you back – and what to do about it.

Looking for a step-by-step process to help you get unstuck and stay that way for good? Check out Free and Clear: Get Unstuck and Live the Life You Want. It is chock-full of helpful tips, easy-to-use tools and inspirational stories of individuals who overcame obstacles against the odds.

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