Most people think about the season as a “slower time” where we can relax and unwind. But if we’re being honest, we actually put a lot of expectations on the summer season. We want to rest. We want to enjoy life. We want adventure.
But those things won’t simply happen on their own. The rest we desire requires just as much intentionality as the other things we work to accomplish. There needs to be some sort of structure, even if it is a structure of rest.
So how can we be more intentional with our summer (or any season) in order to make the most of our time? How do we ensure the things we focus on will help produce the results we want?
A Few Ways to Avoid Wasting Our Summer (Or Any Other Season)
Here are a few important keys when it comes to making sure this summer (or any other season) meets the expectations we have for it.
Start With the End in Mind
Everyone has expectations about what they want the next season to look like. But very few people take the time to verbalize them or write them down. Before starting a new season, it can be helpful to clarify what you want to accomplish. What do you want your summer to look like? What kinds of experiences do you want to have that will help you grow? How do you want to change by the end of the season? Having a purpose and a vision for the season will help keep you be way more intentional about the season.
Name and Frame the Season You’re In
Summer is an easier season to frame because of the weather & school being out. But seasons of life aren’t necessarily framed in calendar months. If you want to make the most of your summer (or any season), it’s important to consider what your life is like right now. Did you just experience a major life milestone? Do you have young kids? Do you have teenagers? Are you transitioning jobs? Is anything different about your life this year than last year? Taking the time to frame this unique season of life your in will help you prioritize your time and define what rhythms might work for you.
Figure Out What Recharges You
A lot of people think rest comes from unplugging. You can take a week off from work and go on vacation, but come back on empty. You can sit in front of the TV for hours every night during the summer and still feel restless. Rest requires you to step into it. You can’t accidentally rest. You must be intentional about doing the things that actually provide rest in a way that fuels and energizes you.
Find a Consistent Work and Rest Rhythm
Vacation gives you space to disengage from the world and rest. But you don’t have to wait until vacation to develop the habit of unplugging. You can embrace the same intentionality about unplugging on vacation for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. If you are intentionally inserting moments of rest throughout your work, we’ll cultivate the groundwork for sustainable joy rather than living for the vacation or the weekend.
Block Time for Things You Want to Accomplish
This sounds obvious, but the practice of being intentional isn’t. Do you want to be more intentional about backpacking this summer? Do you want to spend more time with close friends? Take some time to write out everything you want to accomplish this summer (or in this season) and then go ahead and schedule time on your calendar to focus on them.
Embrace Your Summer Habits Through the Year
The habits we develop for maximizing our summer can be a lot more valuable than simply getting the most out of three months of the year. They can become a practice that we embrace throughout the year. It’s a mindset and a mentality to apply to any season. Integrating these habits into our routines as we prepare for this summer could have a profound impact on every other season of life we encounter.