Four healthy summer goals you could be making this year
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?
I love these!! I need to work on the unplugging thing for sure.
I think everyone could work on the unplugging! 🙂 Good luck with it, lady!
Loveeee that these aren’t goals for getting into a bikini or getting 6 pack abs. There are many other aspects of health besides appearance. Every Summer I always enjoy trying new recipes and doing a thorough clean of the house. We have a townhouse with three floors, so I like starting by doing a good cleaning/clean out on the bottom floor and then work my way up, lol. And I make Tom tackle the garage, hehe.
Hi Patricia! We are currently in a townhouse with three floors too — and I swear that makes it harder to organize, because you sometimes have to travel far to put things away hahah! Good luck with your summer cleaning! And YAY for summer break! 🙂
I love and appreciate this post, Ashley. Thank you for the reminder that it shouldn’t always be about how we look. I’ve been obsessing over my thighs, cellulite and not having the tightest of booties for about a month now, knowing I’m going to be in a swimsuit several days in a row next month. But I really need to STOP focusing on that and start focusing on what my body can do rather than all of my imperfections.
I too am such a creature of habit with eating the same foods, but I am going to try your suggestion and start venturing a bit.
Hi lady! It’s easy to obsess over our appearance, so I get it. But we are always WAY more critical of how we look than of how anyone else would be. You look great! And perhaps focusing on some other wellness activities can take your mind away from the negative body talk, you know? You are doing awesome, Courtney! 🙂
I love this! Definitely need to do some spring/summer cleaning and decluttering. I always feel so good when the house is clean and orderly. It doesn’t last long with two little ones, but still so worth it.
hehehe I bet, Emily! And I will learn that one day too — but the cool thing about this book that I read is that if you have LESS things to begin with, it’s much easier to keep everything in order. Good luck!
Amen to this, Ashley! Totally on board with you. I love the first one. I’ve been making this a priority the past month and it’s made such a difference. I feel happier without having my phone/technology controlling my day. I can be more present 🙂
That’s great, Carrie! And being present is TOTALLY important — at work and with your friends and with your man, of course. Keep it up, lady! 🙂 Have a great day!
I couldn’t love these more. I’ve been trying to do more water drinking; also I’ve been doing a lot less Facebook and Twitter, and I’m really trying to do the right amount of Instagram too.
Hi Emily! It can be very tough to get away from social media, because it’s addicting, but even though it’s part of my job — I think it’s important to have boundaries! And YAY for more water, lady! Keep it up!
I like the idea of trying a new food each week! I’m pretty good about that when eating out, but I revert to my usual staples when cooking at home (which is most of the time): broccoli, chicken, eggs, you get what I mean.
I’m definitely going to be trying my best to put these ideas into action, especially using my phone less + trying out airplane mode and cleaning out my closets. I just moved to a new place and know I have more than I need. Time to sort through it now.
Hi Traci! I totally agree — it’s usually easier to try the new foods while out and keep the staples at home. As far as cleaning — good luck with it — it feels SO good to purge and minimize your belongings, that’s for sure. Thanks for saying hi! 🙂
Girl these are so perfect!! I really need to do the first one, I have been trying to put my phone in my room around 9 or so but it’s always the first thing I check in the morning. I think doing a phone free weekend excersion would be so good for me!!
Hi Marielle! Totally! A whole weekend without the phone could be a totally peaceful and enjoyable experiment! 🙂 You can do it hahah!
I love the phone one! I am over all the workout posts 24/7 as well!
My summer goals are to read more books and do a pull up…
It sure is! 🙂
Awesome goals, Bethany! I’d love to do a pull-up too, but I think that is a while a way for me due to my current situation ehhehe! Do you have any books in mind????
Ooh such good ideas! I’m pregnant too so slimming down this summer is def. not an option! 🙂 I probably need to get rid of those shirts I’ve had in the back of my closet since college…
hahah! I know! Why do we all hold on to so many t-shirts? hahah! CLEAN OUT! And congrats again on your next little one! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your summer goals. Paying attention to our bodies and ask “How do I feel?” is a great practice. You remind me that I need to do decluttering but now is very hot and this weather makes me feel sluggish. I will start with my bedroom closet
Good luck with that, Yudith! Thanks for saying hi! 🙂