About now, most of us are feeling the pressures that come with Summer planning. Work, trips, sports camps, music camps and family vacations circling in your mind. Which ones to choose? Summer is a time when we are supposed to be able to slow down and relax a little with family and friends. Don’t let anxiety rob you of memories that last a life time. The key to a good Summer is having a strategy. Here are 4 steps to help you plan for a sensational Summer.
1.Don’t Plan Too Big. If you’re like me, then you will buy your first bike and immediately begin dreaming of taking a trip cross country. Once I thought it through, I decided to enjoy a 10 mile ride before I would think of biking over 2000 miles. Don’t plan too much or too big. It will kill the moment. When it comes to our children, they do not need big or extended activities. One of my son’s best memories is when we picked up barbecue chicken dinners at a local church and had an impromptu picnic in the park, complete with playing on the playground. Look at your community website for small activities, such as movies in the park, special events in the library and festivals. There are memories to made everywhere, right here right now.
2.Involve Your Kids in the Planning Process. I have a checklist of places I would like to visit. Over the years I have checked many destinations off of my list. Summer is great time to travel. Naturally I enjoy bringing my children on my adventures with me. Choosing which destinations to cover this year has been weighing on my mind. Are we ready for the cross country drive or should we head north to Canada? Deciding to ask my children what they would like to do was a great decision. I discovered the place they really want to go is only two hours away. Easier than I thought. As children grow up, you can’t just take them with you wherever you go. They have ideas-and plans, of their own. Asking them is a win-win because there are places they want to go and they are happy you will take them there. You can enjoy your list on your own time. Everyone wants a vacation with no friction.
3.Look for Deals. Check out popular sites to find deals for your family or personal adventures. Subscribing to online market places can help you with ideas and savings. Activities range from hourly, daily or weeklong adventures in places you may have never thought of. Make sure you read the fine print before you purchase. Many offers have some limits you will need to consider before committing, though most of the fine print is reasonable.
4.Use Your Smartphone. In world where many are ranting about the overuse of smartphones, I need to express that the technology of a Smartphone is incredible. There is a reason they call it “smart”. It saves you time, takes you to some amazing places you may never find on your own AND allows you to capture the events with a high quality camera. On a recent trip to New York City, I employed my GPS Walking Directions to help me make my way across town. My Smartphone GPS took me on a route I would normally not take. This route allowed me to have a nice lunch at Grand Central Station, have the best coffee I’ve ever had in Greenwich Village and take the High Line, a walking park above New York City. Having a Smartphone also allows me to check in on work needs in an efficient and timely manner, while enjoying my time “on the go”. Don’t be afraid to say, “Siri, directions to the nearest museum or park!” on your next adventure. You will be surprised at what you will find.
Making Summer sensational is all about planning, good communication with your travel partners and bringing along the right tools to help you. Also, be flexible and include some last minute, short adventures when the opportunity arises. Nothing will take the place of simply enjoying the place and the moment you are in.
Summer has suddenly parked itself right in front of us. Don’t panic, even if you haven’t seen your legs (or anything else in daylight) since last November. However brief, Spring gives us a great window of opportunity to maximize our Summer experience. A few steps and you’ll be on your way to a fabulous Summer!
1. Evaluate the Situation and Act. That extra 5-10 pounds? I’m calling it a defense mechanism against the cold weather. We just don’t need the insulation anymore. Figure out honestly just how much insulation you’d like to get rid of. But ladies, for God’s sake, don’t punish or starve yourselves. You are more than the ever changing and subjective numbers on your clothes. Instead, pick an activity that you enjoy and make time for yourself to do it. I recently bought the first bike I’ve ever owned. Riding is not a chore or drudgery, like the gym at 5 am (I’m actually nauseous just thinking about it!) Biking is something I look forward to and it also gets me into tip top shape. Find your activity and have some fun!
2. Wear the Correct Size Clothing. As a former Booking Director at AMS Models & Talent, I can assure you that unless you’re an 18-25 year old runway model, size doesn’t matter. However, what does matter is that you are wearing clothes that fit you, not 1-2 sizes too small. This is a common mistake in a size obsessed culture. It’s also an issue because a 12 in one brand is an 8 in another. Again, get over the number. Make sure your clothes fit you. Wearing clothes that are too small looks sloppy and can actually make you look bigger than you are. Not to mention the discomfort of cutting off your circulation. Imagine a life where you’re not desperate to get home just to unbutton your pants. 🙂 This leads to my next tip.
3. Be Kind to Yourself. Take inventory. Trust me, even supermodels don’t look like supermodels. They are heavily made up and then photoshopped. Don’t compare yourself to someone who isn’t even real. Figure out your attributes and accent them. Everyone has something that makes them beautiful. Remember, there is nothing more attractive than personality and kindness. My guess is that if we are kinder and more encouraging to ourselves, we’ll be kinder and more encouraging to others, leading to an overall sense of happiness. You are beautiful!
4. Make a Checklist to Get Summer Ready. It can be overwhelming when you think of all you have to do after being bundled in layers for months. It is also very expensive. Make a list of all you have to do to be the best version of yourself. Then, choose your plan of attack. If you cannot afford to go to the spa, google ideas on how do it for yourself at home. One popular trend is to use coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin. A Spa service provider, Ha, insists the result is baby soft skin. (Caution! This may wreak havoc on your tub). You may also decide to get one service a week until you are in good shape for Summer. Making a Summer maintenance “To Do” list will help you manage time and your wallet, and keep stress at bay.
I was recently reminded by my friend and Dale Carnegie educator, Jeff Goldstein, that we should always be enthusiastic no matter what age we are. No excuses! The trick is to focus on what we want, not the cost of getting there. The point of getting ready for Summer is that we can enjoy it. These tips are only a few ways to help in the process.