If you’re looking for in-depth tips on how to live an aspirational Instagram-worthy life, this isn’t the post for you. However, if you are looking to incorporate some highly achievable goals this summer to lower stress and increase happiness, read on.
Now that my kids are out of the house again for a few hours a day, I’ve had some time to think about setting some intentions for the summer, how to ease back into a normal social life, and build in more time for myself. I realized that really intense goals like getting in the best shape of my life or overhauling my wardrobe were frankly too overwhelming for me at this point. So I thought hard about goals that would give the most payoff for the least effort. Simplicity is key. Here’s what I came up with.
Achievable Goals for the Summer
- If someone offers to help you with something, just accept the help! I put this highly achievable goal first because I realize that one of my biggest downfalls is rejecting help when it’s offered. Why do I do this even though it works against me? First, I see myself as a “helper” and just feel strange inconveniencing others. Second, I want things done a certain way, so I figure it’s easier to do it myself. I no longer have it in me to hang on to these silly ideas! I’m beat! Spent! My goal for this summer is to just accept the help, be grateful, and move on. I can’t even begin to think of how many more hours I will have to myself each week if I just follow through on this one thing.
- Drink more water and less coffee. More than anything else for the past year or more, I have relied on coffee, that blessed beverage, to get me through the long days. I bought a special cup to keep it warm for me. I went through an intense phase where I ground my beans every morning and made a special pour-over blend. I’m over it. My body is desperately crying out for hydration and I’ve been neglecting it. Am I going to quit coffee? No. But do I really need that third cup every day? And while I do drink some water, I really just need to be better about it. I probably won’t get one of those motivational gallon water jugs, but I’ll just cut the nonsense and hydrate myself. I’m sure I’ll look and feel better in no time.
- Do what you want to do, even if you can’t do it as well as you’d like. I wrote about this a while back, but I keep reminding myself that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Do I wish I had time to do everything at 100%? Yes. But perfectionism will get me nowhere. I apply this to how I look and what I do. Give yourself a break and just do what you want. This one is highly achievable if you commit to it.
- Set some house rules that will make your life easier and stick to them. I got this idea from The Lazy Genius (and I should’ve added the podcast to my recent list of favorites). Think about rules that will make your life easier this summer and implement them immediately. One of mine is that we will have 20 minutes of clean-up time as a family before dinner. That way, I’m not living in a perpetual mess. Here’s a transcript of the relevant podcast episode where you’ll find tons of tips. Make expectations clear and watch your blood pressure go down.
- Treat yourself like a human you care about. For me, this means being kind to myself in every way I can. Reading a book. Giving myself a break on mistakes. Treating myself to time with friends or some small luxuries once in a while. This is perhaps the most highly achievable goal because we know how to do it; we do it all the time for the ones we love. It’s time we treat ourselves with kindness as well.