Want to Enjoy Summer to the Fullest? Set Some Summer Goals.
For generations, librarians have been masters at keeping kids engaged at doing something they’d rather not think about during the summer, and that’s reading. Look up any library across America and you’ll find its annual Summer Reading Program is one of the most popular kids' programs it hosts all year.
Why is it so big? It’s all about goal-setting and keeping your eye on the prize, as in the many rewards and prizes it offers for hard work.
That’s the same premise you can set together as a family when you look upon the summer with big wide eyes. Summer is more than swimming, picnics, and vacations. Summer is whatever you make of it.
It’s high time you reclaim your summer and make it one you’ll never forget. No, we’re not advocating doing something full throttle every waking moment of June, July, and August. What we’re suggesting is to simply stay focused and make a plan so that you’ll never be wishing “what if.” Call it a summer bucket list, if you’d like.
That said, it’s time to set your family’s own Summer Goals Program. Here’s how.
Don’t think of a Summer Goals Program as just keeping busy. The idea here is to establish a list of things your family would like to do this summer, sort of like having a mission statement that can keep you on track. After all, the summer season can be one of the busiest times of the year, so you might as well have a plan to keep you organized. So actually write your goals down and post them somewhere in your home for all to see. But have a discussion about it as a family and don’t add anything unless you all agree on it.
The fun things about having a Summer Goals Program is that you can try new things. Maybe it’s merely visiting a restaurant you never thought to try. It could be helping your youngster overcome a fear or doing something they’ve never done. Perhaps it’s stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something you’ve never done.
Any charity will tell you that goodwill flourishes at the holidays, but lessens shortly thereafter. Why not give your time to help a local organization, nursing home, or even one person? They say your character is what you do when you think no one is watching, so perhaps a goal could be just to bring dessert to someone out-of-the-blue, for no reason at all.
Sitting on the dock of the bay
Remember, a Summer Goals Program isn’t necessarily about staying busy every moment. It could be that your family promises to unplug every Sunday. Maybe you’ll pledge to have a bonfire once a month, play board games once a week, go on a daily bike ride, look at photo albums, visit grandparents regularly, or eat dinner together as a family every day, no matter what. It could be that you simply need to sit in silence. Whatever it is, slowing down can be a much-needed goal for anyone.
If it’s free, it’s for me
Your goals don’t have to cost a thing, either. Most of the ideas mentioned here cost next to nothing, and there are plenty of places in your area you can see for free. Perhaps you could visit a museum, beach, historical center, or shrine. Once-in-a-lifetime vacations are always fun, but sometimes the best memories are made when you don’t go anywhere and spend them right in your own backyard.
Our family sets goals each year, and together we’ve rewarded ourselves if we meet them. That could be something as simple as a special movie night out or ice cream. If it works so well for the library, then we might as well follow its lead and keep everyone purposeful in their pursuit.
Summer is a special time to make memories and grow closer as a family, and a Summer Goals Program helps you make the most of it. By the time Labor Day rolls around, you might just be looking back and calling it the summer you did sum-more.