It's easy to lose track of our goals with so many fun activities going on around us. But something happens when we neglect the goals we've set for ourselves. We're left feeling unfulfilled. In his book, The Slight Edge, there's a powerful quote from author Jeff Olsen that reminds us of the importance of staying focused on our goals. "Here's the unfortunate and powerfully destructive truth of being incomplete; it keeps the past alive." Summers will come and go throughout your life and with each passing year, your abandoned goals move farther out of reach. When summer is over, and falls jolts us back into reality, it becomes easy to forget the promises we made to ourselves. We say, "Oh well, I'll start them again next year...it'll be my New Year's Resolution for 2018," then than that become 2019, or 2020 and beyond. Jeff Olsen tells us, "For things to change, you've got to change. For things to get better, you've got to get better. It's easy to do. But, then, it's just as easy not to do."
There are a few key ways, though, that we can remain focused on our goals and still find time to enjoy all the good things happening in the moment. After all, summer is the time to really enjoy life!
1. Create a daily schedule for the summer months. You may need to make adjustments to your schedule, as things come up, but even with extra activities there is always time to focus on your goals. This may mean eliminating an activity here and there and using your free time more wisely. The idea is to allow time for spontaneity while still accomplishing the things you need and want to do.
2. Do more things to increase your energy. If you live in a place that gets really hot in the summer, you know just how draining that heat can be. We're all more active in the summer months, certainly, but all that running around can zap your energy for the things that are most important. If you find yourself going out at at night to "paint the town," then blowing off your morning exercise routine the next day, perhaps you're lacking mental clarity and motivation when it comes to making the time to work towards your weight-loss goal (or whatever other goal you've set for yourself). Spend some quiet time and re-examine your goals. Are they still important to you? If not, determine what your new ones are and then focus your time and energy there. Daily exercise,healthy eating, meditation, laughter, and spending time in nature all excellent ways to maintain your energy this summer.
3. Don't think of distractions as distractions. This is my favorite tip. It's a kind of off-the-wall concept. Let's say that your friends have invited you to join them for a day at the beach. You really want to go. But you've promised yourself that this summer you'd hit the gym every day and work on loosing those last fifteen pounds. Rather than think of the invitation as a distraction, try thinking of it as an opportunity. Yes, an opportunity. You can actually do both! You don't have to give up the gym to go to the beach. The beach will be still there when you've finished your work-out...and so will your friends. So what if you cant spend the entire day with them? You'll feel great with loads of energy after your trip to the gym and guess what? You'll still have plenty of daylight hours to hang with your buds. It's a big win-win. And a pretty neat concept, am I right?
When all is said and done, you want to bring harmony to your life. That shouldn't mean forsaking summer fun so that you can constantly work on achieving your goals. It's more about time management and setting priorities. It's wonderful to have fun and live spontaneously during the summer, but it's also beneficial to stay focused on our dreams. Harmony is about finding the right balance between work and play.
“Whatever price you pay, there’s a bigger price to pay for not doing it than the price for doing it. The price of neglect is much worse than the price of discipline.” – The Slight Edge