15 Summer Goals to Give Yourself a Fresh Start

A woman sits outside with a laptop and a book

Summer is the perfect time to set some new goals for yourself.

While we usually associate new goals and resolutions with the end of the year, there’s something about summer that makes it an optimal time for personal development and growth.

Maybe it’s because summer reminds us of our elementary school days, when summer break meant freedom and adventure and slowing down. Summer camp. Pen pals. Road trips with the family. Backyard barbecues and days at the pool. With the slower pace, we could savor each moment. We emerged from this break feeling like a new person. 

So embrace your inner kid and use the summer months to slow down, enjoy the moment, get introspective, and give yourself a fresh start. 

Reasons to set summer goals:

  • If you feel like you were too busy to tend to your goals during the year, summer is an opportunity to revisit your goals or create new ones.
  • The office is usually quieter in the summer so you can use the time to work on your side projects or professional goals.
  • You can get a head start on your goals and dream projects before the craziness of September sets in.
  • The slower pace naturally makes you feel more introspective and nostalgic, allowing you to reconnect with your dreams and goals.

        Below are some ideas for goals to set this summer so that you can feel refreshed and ready-to-go come fall.

        1. Become a morning person. In the winter months, the last thing you want to do is drag yourself out of  bed when it’s so cold and dark out. So take advantage of the earlier sunrises in the summer to develop a morning routine. Maybe it’s kicking off your day with a morning walk or morning yoga or a healthy and delicious breakfast
          2. Become an evening stroller. Alternatively, you can embrace summer’s longer days and go out for early evening strolls. It won’t be completely dark out and the temperature will probably be a lot cooler later on in the day.  Plus, you get to enjoy the sounds and sights of summer evenings like lightning bugs and cicadas.
            3. Eat alfresco whenever possible. There’s something about eating outside in the summer that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. Summer is not the time to eat lunch in front of your computer. Eat lunch on a park bench. Or have a picnic in the park with friends. Or throw open the windows and enjoy the summer breeze. 
              4. Start reading the paper. You already know that doom scrolling the news is not going to make you feel good. So try switching to a physical newspaper instead. You can slow down, go at your own pace, and read articles because they sound interesting to you and not because an algorithm has fed them to you. 
                5. Take a refreshing dip. You want to workout and maintain your health, but it’s also scorching hot outside. Instead of abandoning your workouts in the summer, switch to an activity that’s more refreshing. Go to your community pool and take a dip. Or take a trip to the beach and enjoy the waves. 
                  6. Start shopping at the farmer’s market. With summer comes amazing produce. Make it a part of your weekend itinerary to stop at your local farmer’s market and stock up on strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and other summer produce. 
                    7. Try new recipes that don’t require a stovetop or oven. In the dog days of summer, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or hover over a stove. So find some recipes that don’t require much assembly or time in the kitchen. Crunchy salads. Dips. Tasty sandwiches. (You can find a list of summer meal ideas here.) 
                      8. Reconnect with former colleagues. Networking isn’t just about meeting new people. It’s also about maintaining ties with former coworkers and bosses. Former coworkers can offer a different perspective and give you insightful advice about your new workplace. And they can also be a great resource for learning about new job opportunities. The slower pace of summer makes it a good time to reconnect and catch up over coffee or lunch. 

                        9. Create a summer work schedule. If you’re a freelancer or small business owner, use the summer to set your summer working hours. It can be hard to let go of work when your entire business falls on you, but you also need to make sure that you're taking care of yourself and preventing burnout. Use a deskpad to design your work schedule and to help you stay on track. 

                        10. Get started on a creative project. While everyone’s out of town or on vacation, use this quiet time to work on your own creative endeavors. Maybe it’s learning how to use watercolors or writing poetry or creating a vision board to figure out your next big thing. The peace and quiet of summer will help you get in touch with your creative side. 

                          11. Meet up with people in real life. The winter months are a great excuse to curl up on your couch and stay in on the weekends. But the warmer weather makes it easier to feel social and leave the house. Meet up with friends and enjoy summer activities like outdoor concerts or film screenings or walks in the park. 
                            12. Keep a journal. Remember your elementary school days when you’d keep a diary by your side? Channel that experience by keeping a regular journal (you can still call it a diary if you’d like!). Write down observations, or make a list of hopes and dreams. Or just vent about the latest drama. You’ll feel so much better afterwards.
                              13. Send more snail mail. Recreate your summer camp pen pal days and send some snail mail to your nearest and dearest. Whether it’s a postcard from a summer trip or a pretty card to let them know you’re thinking of them, a handwritten note is always appreciated. 

                                14. Explore a different neighborhood or block. It’s so easy to get stuck in the same old routines and commutes. Change things up and take a different commute to work. Or explore a new trail in the park. Or visit a new-to-you neighborhood. You’ll appreciate the change of scenery and develop a new fondness for where you live. 

                                15. Join a club. Maybe it’s a running club or a community organization or a writer’s group. With its sunny days and relaxed pace, summer is a great time to meet new people and create new friendships.

                                Written by JiJi Lee

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