No more late night study sessions, papers to write or deadlines. No more rushing to class only to spend 20 minutes having to look for a parking spot. But let’s face it, how many carefree summers do you have left? Are you going to make the most of this one or will you opt out for the sloth route? (i.e. sleeping late, eating last nights leftovers for breakfast, stepping over a week’s worth of laundry to get to the bathroom, hangovers from hell…)
There are no excuses. Take advantage of this time to dig yourself out of a rut, make new habits, break old ones, be happy, and live hysterically. I have found in my own personal journey of improvement that it is never too late to begin and it’s always too soon to give up.
Just pick one activity per week from each of the categories below... and watch your summer of change unfold! Let’s get started:
"Make Yourself More Interesting"
What separates you from everyone else? You’ve got to keep in mind there are millions of other people out there who are living to the fullest. They constantly entertain us with their YouTube videos, tweets, risk-taking, talents, and etc. How can you differentiate yourself?
• Map/plan out your next big trip
• Make a bucket list
• Choose your ideal “last meal” and make it
• Make up your own signature cocktail • Watch an award-winning foreign or Sundance film
• Memorize a greeting like “hello” in 10 different languages
• Write out the opening lines for your hit movie
• Teach yourself the rules for a card game you’ve never played. Suggestion: Spades.
• Learn a party trick. Suggestions: learn a common rap (see “No Diggity”) or how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew
• Fill up your social media profile with your interests. Find and “like” Beyoncé or Duck Dynasty, whatever your “thing” is
• Make a playlist of guilty pleasures and play it with friends. It’s also a good icebreaker!
Too often we just read about and think of ways we can make positive changes to our bodies. Turn these ambitious goals into reality; crave victory for yourself. Choose at least one challenge per week and watch these healthful tasks get easier to complete as the weeks roll on.
• Do 50 jumping jacks
• Complete an entire fitness video
• Ride a bike for eight miles
• Go meatless
• Juice the majority of your foods for a day
• Go on a five mile run/jog. Start slow, take breaks and pick up the pace as your endurance builds over time
• Have a substance-free day. Cut out things your body’s used to like caffiene, nicotine, energy drinks or study aids (Adderall, Vyvanse).
• Detox for a day - you can find all different types online from all-vegetable meals to a complete cleanse
• Try the Paleo (aka Caveman) Diet, based on the ancient diet of wild plants and animals consumed during the Paleolithic Era
• Focus on sitting up straight – posture is not only important for your physical appearance, but your confidence and back health, as well
• Attend a Yoga/ Pilates class (hot yoga is all the rage right now)
"Treat Yo Self"
Even if you’re balling on a budget, it’s important to be good to yourself. Don’t go through life penny-pinching just because you don’t think you’ve done something reward-worthy. Make an occasional splurge!
• Go to a spa or take a long bubble bath
• Wear your favorite frumpy outfit all day
• Buy yourself flowers
• Go see a live performance
• Enjoy McDonald’s fries or a gourmet treat from Cupcake
• Spend a gift card that you haven’t gotten around to using
• Go all out at dinner. Appetizer? Check. Salad? Yep. Entrée? Duh!
• Treat someone else. Chances are you’ll feel better about yourself, too
• Have a “Spanish Lunch” - one that lasts for two hours and allows you to really enjoy the company of people around you
• Buy that overpriced shirt you’ve been anxiously awaiting to hit the clearance rack
• Hit up a Happy Hour (Don't forget about Sonic’s 2-4 p.m. half-price drinks)
• Go to your favorite store, whether it is Bass Pro Shops or Target, and buy something
• Don’t set an alarm and sleep in until your body says it’s time to get up
Downsize your life by getting organized. Imagine how refreshing it will feel when you can actually see your floor. Try these small tasks and you will find not only more space in your room, but in your cluttered mind, too.
• Write a list of what you’re thankful for
• Get up early and watch the sunrise
• Organize your closet by color
• Block/unsubscribe from pesky, recurring emails
• Read an actual book with paper pages
• Learn how to make a meal that reminds you of home
• Throw away all of your old socks or underwear with holes in them
• Tackle a nagging task you’ve been meaning to accomplish for months
• Sort and fold the clothes in your dresser drawers (so they actually shut)
• Stay away from social media for a day. Try to remember what life was like before Facebook (if you can’t remember ask your parents).
• Focus on making yourself more naturally energetic and optimistic
When was the last time you were intentionally quiet? No, I mean really quiet. Try actually concentrating on your thoughts without distractions. Be still, be mindful and allow yourself to think before every action.
• Are there any mistakes from the past haunting you?
o Take this day to write them down
o Concentrate on letting them go
o Remember every day day is a new beginning
• Make a list of quotes that inspire you
• Focus on your breathing. There is power in disciplining yourself.
• Spending 30 minutes meditating
• List your greatest weakness and brainstorm ways to strengthen them
• Write out your greatest strengths (These may help at your next job interview) Be mindful of your negative thoughts and find a silver lining within them
• Try actually listening to others when they vent or confide in you. Don’t make it about yourself.
• Try not to lie, no matter how minor. You’ll be surprised how hard it is
• Get in touch with an old friend
...See the new you next Fall!