Hi, friends! Not your average healthy summer goals post coming your way …
Maybe it’s because I’m currently pregnant, or maybe it’s because I’ve found myself slightly turned off by so many headlines, Instagram posts and “get fit” programs lately, but this post about summer goals is not going to have ANYTHING to do with slimming down your waist or working on your bikini body for your upcoming beach vacation.
Don’t get me wrong, I love fitness and exercise, healthy foods and feeling confident in your swimsuit, but I don’t like extremes, rigid programs or being obsessed with your appearance for appearance sake. There’s more to life than that, my friends. And quite frankly, if you spend all of your time avoiding certain foods and setting strict eating rules for yourself in the hopes of getting the perfect six-pack and being the perfect healthy person, well — you’re probably missing out on some fun experiences and maybe not taking the healthiest approach.
So today, I’m throwing out a few ideas for goals you can make this summer that really aren’t related to your appearance at all and are much more about overall wellness and well-being. And you’ve probably heard me talk about some of these before, but we could all use a seasonal reminder, especially because I’m always working on these too!
Four healthy summer goals you could be making this year
1. Get off your phone a little bit more and disconnect.
Okay, I’m not the first person to suggest breaking up with your smartphone, but hear me out: I’ve done this to a degree over the last few months, and I LOVE IT! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but here’s what I do: I put my phone on airplane mode around 9 p.m., and I don’t take it off airplane mode until 8 a.m. (yes the alarm function still works in airplane mode). That means that my evenings and mornings are NOT directed by emails and texts from others, nor are they influenced by social media.
I definitely use my phone during the day to post pictures, connect with some of you guys, answer emails, etc., but not every second of every hour. I could even stand to put in place a few more phone breaks during the day too, and I know I won’t regret it if I do. It’s freeing.
- Here’s your summer goal: Go on at least one phone-free outing a week, in which you are off the grid. Use that time to think quietly to yourself or talk to a friend and truly connect without technology. Also, try to reduce your social media and phone time in either the night or the morning every single day and see how you feel. Start by turning your phone off at least 30 minutes before bed and see if you can do even longer than that as you get more used to it. I know this can seem tricky if you have children or people counting on you at work, but I bet you could at least squeeze in some off-the-grid time and limit the windows of time that you respond and monitor requests. Do what you can.
2. Clear out your space and make room for new ideas.
I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” and I do plan to talk more about this interesting non-fiction book soon, but here’s the gist: instead of going through your stuff and picking out what you want to throw out, try going through your stuff and picking out what you want to keep. It’s a MAJOR difference. In order to keep something, you must ask yourself, “does this item spark joy?” If the answer is no, donate it or consign it. It’s that simple. And it results in a major clean out, leaving only things that are meaningful to you.
Cleaning out your closet, your home, and even cleaning up your desk are not just aesthetically pleasing, but the act of them actually helps you to have a clearer mind, which means you can be more creative, thoughtful and open to new things — and that’s healthy!
- Here’s your summer goal: What do you know that you have way too much of that you need to purge? Choose one category and go to town on editing that item in your life. Also, be more mindful about what you buy and what you keep in your house and space, so that you truly love and treasure all of the things that you own.
3. Track your wellness and water intake, rather than your calories.
I don’t track macros, and I don’t even track my steps right now, but I do loosely track a few things: how I feel, how much I am sleeping and how much water I am drinking. Early on in my pregnancy when I was having a hard time drinking water, I started keeping a tally each day in my bullet journal (yup, I’ve been doing one for a few months and will also talk about that soon), so I could be very sure that I was meeting at least a very low minimum intake. It was eye-opening, because sometimes I struggled to make that fifth line to cross off the first four over the course of the long day. PATHETIC!
Luckily, I’m doing better now, but drinking water is not coming naturally to me as it always did before my pregnancy. So I track it. Some days are better than others. Also, I try to loosely keep track of my sleep and ensure I’m getting about eight hours a night (once again, terribly hard to do if you have kids or a second job, but do the best you can), and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, I track how I feel.
I don’t actually write down “tummy hurts, legs tight” in my bullet journal or any other notebook or anything, but I do monitor how my body feels after certain meals, how my body feels during and after certain activities, and I try to take mental note on when I’m feeling my best. I know I feel good when I eat frequent smaller meals, sleep at least eight hours, move a few times a week and get outside for some fresh air daily. That doesn’t mean I ALWAYS do these things, but it’s empowering to know the right formula for you and your body and your lifestyle.
- Here’s your summer goal: Choose one thing that you want to improve on — either your sleep or water intake or overall activity and start writing it down in your phone notes column or in a notebook. Then, also make a mention of how your emotional and mental outlook is before and after the activity or day. See if you can find any positive correlations and strive to repeat those!
4. Try a new-to-you food each week and expand your palate.
I’m such a creature of habit, and as you can tell from my meals on Instagram, I eat a lot of the same things on repeat at home. But I do tend to try new things at restaurants every once in a while, which is a small victory for me.
Now here’s the deal: most healthy and fit people have a rotating set of a small group of foods that they always eat, because they know how to prepare them, they know how they make them feel and they are healthy and delicious. And that’s AWESOME! However, you want to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything new you may like, because you are so set in your ways. I’m not saying go out to the nearest fast food establishment to try Cheetos fries or anything, but make sure you swap a new green into your salad, purchase a new spice, or maybe even order a meal kit delivery service to test out, etc.
- Here’s your summer goal: The summer is a great time to change up your usual lunch order, buy a veggie that you’ve never prepared at home before or try out a new recipe. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t, but give it a try. Start with one new item a week and enjoy.
There’s something special about a change of seasons (if you get to see the change in the weather, depending on where you live, of course), because it means a time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. Your whole life doesn’t have to be about working toward a particular goal, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be aware of a few ways you could kick things up a notch for your overall well-being, especially when summer hits.
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Questions of the day
What’s one thing you’d like to work on this summer?
If you were going to clean out your space, what’s the category that you would attack first?