4 Simple Ways to Set Your Summer Up for Success


We’ve all been there.  The end of summer arrives all too soon and we think “where did the time go? I didn’t do any of the things I wanted to do!”

It might be the Midwesterner in me, but as soon as the warm weather arrives in the spring I almost feel guilty if I’m not outside enjoying it.  I know all too well that the dark days of winter will be back before I know it.  

And I’ve found the changing seasons mirror the seasons in my life.  Just when I think I’ve gotten a handle on one area of my life, I enter a new season and everything is different again.  There are darker times, when things are dormant and there are brighter times when what’s been growing under the surface comes to life.  

In both the literal seasons and the seasons we experience in our lives, our intention and mindset can make all the difference.  If we look back at the lessons we have learned while also looking forward to what is to come, we can live each day with more purpose – and more joy!

So, don’t let this beautiful sunny season pass you by! Decide to make the most of each moment, whether that means doing more or resting more or both.  Decide to live with purpose and to seek joy, even when things don’t go as planned (because they rarely do).  Decide to make this summer the best summer ever – not necessarily because of what you got done, but because of what you decided to focus on.

If you’re thinking, That’s a lovely sentiment, but how in the world do I actually do that?! – don’t worry. I’ve got you!

Below are some tangible tips for shifting your focus to what really matters as you set your summer up for success! 

Brainstorm what you would like to DO.

Think about what you’ll be happiest you did when you look back in October.

Make a list with your kids. (here are some other posts with ideas!)

Get creative and don’t cross anything off just yet, even if it sounds a little crazy.

Think about how you want to FEEL.

Do you want this summer to be full of activity because you have missed getting out?

Does your family need quiet and a slower pace?

Do you want to feel rested or excited or adventurous or calm or….?

Once you have a better idea how you want the summer to feel, start to break down what will make you feel that way.  Is it less on the calendar?  Do you need to book that vacation home so you don’t back out?  Would creating a haven in the backyard help you feel more relaxed? Do you want to try out a new hobby or project?

Make a list of scheduled events you’ve committed to/want to commit to.

This is important so that you can see what is coming, cancel if you’d like (it’s ok to say no!), and add things that you’ve decided are priorities for this summer.  Be sure to block out weekend trips, camps and vacations so that you can look forward to them, prep accordingly and not overbook yourself!  Once you have your bigger commitments on your calendar, you’re ready to start adding in more structured things from your brainstormed lists of what to do and how you want to feel.  For example, if rest was on your priority list go ahead and block out a couple of days or weekends to just relax.  If adventuring as a family was on your list, start looking at local calendars, campsites, etc. and pencil in a couple of dates.  

Leave white space.

Now, you don’t need to write “sit outside by the campfire” on every T/TH slot for the next three months (although you definitely can!) but the idea is to make space for those things you decided were priorities.  Margin allows you to slow down and rest.  It also leaves room for you to be spontaneous and say yes when something exciting comes along!  

Quick tips:

  • Ask these questions to help you hone in on this next season and how you want it to look:
    • What is most important to you in this season? 
    • What are your priorities for the next couple months?
    • What 3-5 words do you want to describe your summer?
    • What 3-5 things are on your MUST DO list for this summer?
  • Pare down your Summer Bucket List to a do-able number of items as a family and post it somewhere.
  • Decide with your kids (or if your kids are older, let them choose for themselves) a word or two to describe the summer you want to have as a family and post it with your bucket list. 
  • Go ahead and stock up now on any materials you may need for hobbies, projects, arts/crafts so that you have them on hand when you need them!

CHEERS to an awesome summer, friend!

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Anna Seeley is wife to Josh and mom to Logan and Loralei.  She created Graceful Journey with the mission of encouraging women to live into the hope and purpose they were made for through storytelling and tangible tools. She believes every woman has a purpose and a story as unique as they are and that we are all beautifully and wonderfully made. No one is too old or too young or too busy to live life on purpose.  If you were getting coffee together she would remind you that there is hope in every season, something to be learned in every heartbreak, and that there is always - always - grace to be found in the journey.  Join Anna on IG @annajseeley for more encouragement and a peek at her everyday life (aka - coffee, kids and chaos)!


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