3 Tips for Taking Control of Your Life this Summer

It’s summertime again! You’ve been waiting since Labor Day for the warm rays of the hot summer sun to come back. It’s time for swimming pools, beach vacations, and backyard cookouts. But don’t lose sight of what’s most important.

Here are 3 ways to take control of your life this summer:

1. Take time to enjoy life.

Some of my best memories as a kid are of our family trips and how many activities my dad was able to pack into one summer vacation. When we went to Disney, we saw it all. Long before we ever entered the kingdom gates, dad had a map, a plan, and time allotments for each stop. We didn’t mess around. Adherence to the schedule was vital to the success of the mission – to conquer Disney in a day. You can’t do that today, of course. No one in our family is that ambitious anymore, nor should they be. Now, family vacations involve time spent with each other making memories (which are much more affordable, too).

Be sure to make time to enjoy your summer. Notice that I said, “make time.” It won’t happen unless you do. Take deliberate steps toward guarding time for yourself, your family, and your friends; otherwise, you might find that it’s September and the summer has passed you by.

2. Stick to the schedule.

Most people break their routines during the summer months. It’s easy to do. It’s not bad thing either. In fact, the change of pace is often refreshing. The kids are out of school, so they stay up later and sleep in longer. You have more daylight to do those projects you’ve been putting off. It’s summer, so you take a break from activities that held a higher priority during the colder months.

In a blink of an eye, you’re out of your routine and it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. Activities like working out regularly, staying in therapy, attending your place of worship, meeting regularly with a friend or mentor – they can easily get downgraded on the list of importance.

So don’t let it happen! Cut yourself some slack this summer, but not too much. You’ve worked far too hard to get where you are today. Stay focused and on track and don’t forgo those activities that have helped you get there.

Be present.

One of the hardest tasks for many people to do is to be present. It’s easy to say we want more time with family and friends. Yet, when we finally make time for loved ones and friends, how much of that time is wasted by checking emails or texts on our phones. It’s far too easy to have our children right in front of us, but we can’t see them over the laptop screen.

Being present may mean saying “yes” to one thing and “no” to everything else. If, when you go out to eat, you can’t keep your eyes off the television in the bar, find a restaurant that doesn’t have a TV or sit with your back to the screen. If your daughter asks you to have tea, put your phone down and have the best pretend tea you’ve ever had. If your dog is begging for a little one-on-one time, do whatever it is that lets her know she’s still important to you.

Being present is sometimes very difficult, but you will never regret it!

Don’t let the summer get the best of you. Have fun, make lasting memories, and keep thriving!