“Summer, summer, summertime.”
Many of you will recognize that hook to that famous song by Will Smith many years ago.
Or, maybe you’re a bigger fan of the classics, and “The Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams or even “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley are more your style.
Either way, there are a whole lot of songs to choose from about the long, hot, dog days of summer.
In fact, according to my research, there are 323 songs with “summer” in the title!
In those songs, we often encounter the themes of having the time of our lives, coming of age, and even summer romance. But never do we hear about how the hottest time of year often drags on and saps us of our inspiration.
Out of these 323 ballads, not one of them talks about keeping your motivation and reaching your goals!
Maybe they should, as people tend to completely lose their drive in the hot summer months.
For instance, by the time the calendar reaches August, July, or even June, most of us have long forgotten the resolutions and goals we set forth at the beginning of the year. In fact, research shows that 91% of people will never achieve their January 1st resolutions, and January 19th is the most common day of the year when people completely give up and forget those goals!
So, today as we go from another sizzling July to a sweltering August, I wanted to offer 10 tips for keeping your summertime motivation.
1. Engage the mind.
To stay focused and motivated during the summer, it’s important to stimulate and exercise your mind, not just your body. So, make sure to order a few non-fiction books, keep your Kindle by the bed, and put together a summer reading. Listen to interesting podcasts on your morning commute or while at the gym, and even consider leveling up your skills with a few online courses or workshops.
Just as our kids go through a learning loss during the summer months, you want to avoid the same, so engage your mind in order to stay motivated!
2. Embrace the sunlight.
The days are longer and there’s more sunlight, so embrace that by waking up an hour earlier to start your day and get outside.
While moderate, daily exposure to sunlight (especially morning light), has many proven health benefits, the ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply is one of the most prevalent.
Not only is a healthy supply of vitamin D important for calcium metabolism, neuromuscular function, and strengthening our immune systems, but research now suggests that about 1,000 different genes in your body are governed by dihydroxy vitamin, the active form of vitamin D.
3. Alter your diet.
You may want to eat lighter, smaller meals in the summer months, as the heat saps your appetite. You also don’t want to be bogged down when you’re always on the go. Of course, a healthy diet is great all year long, but save the cheat days and big, bulky meals for the cold winter months.
And don’t forget to drink plenty of extra water in the summertime, as hydration is key.
4. Keep up the exercise.
For most of us, more sunshine means our bodies will be more inclined to get active and increase exercise. A recent study found that 75% of those polled said they are more encouraged to be healthy and exercise if the weather is perfect.
That is, until the heat starts wearing us down.
So, it’s a good time to do your outdoor exercise like running or cycling first thing in the morning when the sun isn’t too strong. And join a nice indoor gym with AC, or even set up your home gym or yoga studio for relief from the heat.
5. Rewind, review, and recharge your top goals.
As I mentioned, many of us make (the same old) New Year’s resolutions every January 1st but abandon them almost as quickly. So, summer is a great time to revisit those goals with a mid-year review. You can adjust or recalibrate old goals, as well as set new ones for the remainder of the year.
Keep working on those big, audacious goals during the summer, which will feel like a cheat code since so few people are worried about goalsetting but going on vacations and enjoying themselves instead.
6. Pull out the calendar.
If you haven’t done so already, pull out the calendar and go over it with your family, documenting all of the important little league games, doctor’s appointments, camp schedules, and the like. Summer can pass us right by if we’re not careful, so be sure to also block out times for you.
By time blocking and setting appointments for exercise, goals you want to reach, hobbies, and even downtime (and sticking to them!), your summer will be far more productive and enjoyable.
Make sure to take time to recharge your batteries this summer. It’s easy to get burnt out (literally) with the hot temps and dog days, so take those vacations, sleep a little extra when needed, find a yoga class, go to the spa, and make sure to do the things that replenish your energy.
Taking great care of yourself and getting sufficient rest & recovery will only make you stronger, more motivated, and ready to tackle those ambitious summer goals and projects!
8. Focus on people and experiences (not things).
From Memorial Day to Labor Day (or, realistically, until the kids go back to school) is a great time to focus on what’s really important. So, embrace and celebrate spending more time with family and old friends, or make a few new ones. Don’t put your focus on things or material possessions, but have great experiences and make memories you’ll cherish for a long time.
Focusing on the right things will only give you more clarity and space to pursue your goals!
9. Get outside.
Sure, it’s toasty outside, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to get outside, take a nice walk after dinner, an early morning bike ride, or just throw the ball around with the kids in your yard.
Research shows that just by taking a walk or getting outside 30 minutes per day, there’s a significant reduction in negative moods and increases in motivation, self-esteem, and positive mental health.
So, fresh air, physical activity, and mingling with others will only help you feel more motivated once you get back to the office, hit the gym, or pursue your passions in any facet.
While you’re at all of these backyard barbecues, ballgames, or at the beach, why not meet and network with interesting new people? When chasing a big goal or focusing on self-improvement, we often get “in our own heads” too much.
So, interacting with other smart, dynamic, positive people usually pulls us back into perspective, giving us a jolt of inspiration that’s much-needed in the dog days of summer.
Do you need even more help with maintaining motivation during the summer months? How about joining GoBundanceWomen, the top membership community & mastermind for badass female entrepreneurs and leaders?!