It's Summertime. What goals?
The time for vacations, weekend getaways and day trips to get away from it all. You may be feeling the pressure of “having” to take time off or maybe you are feeling like the summer is just not long enough. Either way, do you find yourself losing focus on your goals?
I love summer. I love the beach, the weather, the longer days, the holidays, the food, just about everything about it, except maybe the bugs. I have always planned my vacation times during the summer. Summer and fun just seem to go together.
As fun as summer can be, we can lose sight of the goals we have set for ourselves. For example, maybe the goal is financial freedom and you have been working so hard, making great progress. Now it is summer and the beach is calling your name, several times. Or maybe it is weight loss and you have been really good, counting calories, working out, but it is really hot and there is nothing more refreshing than some sweet tea or ice cream….. daily. Or maybe it is that project you have been struggling with and you have finally been able to work on it and gain some momentum, but now you will be out of town for a week and then you have to get back into the work schedule, and then you have to get the kids back on track, and then…….. well you get the picture.
Sometimes the getting back on track is the most difficult part. For a long time, I told myself I couldn’t afford to take off. I would justify it by saying, “I will get behind and it is just not worth it. The cost is too high so why bother.” Other times, I would find once I took off, I lost my momentum and I just didn’t want to get back to whatever it was. And then there were the times I just wanted to play. I would tell myself that I worked so hard for so long, I deserve to play…. all summer. No matter what I said or did the result was the same, I would quit my goal because I was either tired, lost interest, or it wasn’t a priority anymore.
Here’s what I have learned.
1. We need time off.
We need to rest. We need to take a break from our normal routines. It refreshes us. It keeps us healthy physically and emotionally. We are better to those around us. It is ok to sleep, to stop, to rest. You cannot be doing something every hour of the day. You will burnout. And trust me, when you do it will not be pretty. Burnout will affect all aspects of your life.
2.We need to play.
Even as adults we need to play. This stimulates our creativity. It brings joy and laughter. We think it is unproductive and a waste of time but that could not be further from the truth. How often do we look at children playing and think, “That looks like fun. I wish I could do that”. We are wired to play and we don’t outgrow it.
3. We need balance.
So we need sleep and we need play but just like anything else in life we can take it to the extreme. Anything taken to extreme is not healthy. If you rest too much then you will have difficulty accomplishing your goals and getting motivated. The same thing applies if we play too much. We will struggle to accomplish what we need to.
If you are balancing work, rest and play, great job! YEAH! Keep up the good work!!!
If you are struggling to incorporate rest and play, schedule it in. Once you experience the benefits of it you will find you won’t have to schedule it. It will become a normal part of your life. I had to learn this one the hard way.
But what if the summer is the only time you have for fun? What if you want to enjoy every minute of beach time you can get or every daylight hour you can enjoy? What if you just can’t focus when the weather is nice? I get it. I love the summer too. Remember, changing behavior is not easy and typically does not happen over night. It’s ok to get some help with it. Whether is it a friend, an accountability partner, or a coach. Make sure it is someone that you trust and will heed their words when they help you along the way. It will be worth it.
So go have some fun!