10 Habits to Try for a Better Summer

10 Habits to Try for a Better Summer

I’ve been thinking about ways to make this summer, the summer of my 30th year, simply kick ass.  I want to see concerts, have fun, spend time with the people I love, and live healthier than ever.  Maybe you want to be alone, on a coach, doing nothing all summer.  If so, this isn’t your blog. Close it now.  Go on, do it.

For the rest of us out there, let’s do this!

10. Stop Drinking Soda.  I’ve said it before. I’ve tried it before.  It’s nearly impossible for me to do but it has to be done.  Drinking soda is the new smoking.  Think smoking is a disgusting habit?  Well so is soda! And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you it’s also bad for you. Diet drinkers- same goes for you.

9. Say yes more than you say no.  This is more for the homebodies of the world who need to get out more.  When someone asks you if you want to do something fun, but you are nervous, or it’s not quite your thing, or whatever lame excuse, ignore yourself and say Yes! Get out there, see people, have fun!

8. Try something new each week.  I don’t care what it is.  Try fish if you never have.  Don’t make fun, we exist.  Try a painting class.  Go watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, or grand, just new. 

7. Be #1 in your life.  Not your spouse. Not your kids. Not your best friend. No one else.  Clearly this won’t work all summer long, or even all day long for most of us, but find time to make it happen.  Take a walk alone or with a friend.  Get a manicure or a massage.  Just take care of yourself, for at least a little while each week.

6. Be Outside.  We live in Chicago people. Winters BLOW.  I don’t have to tell you that.  So much of our year is spent in long underwear and boots.  Our summers don’t last forever here.  Enjoy it while you can.  I don’t care how.  Take a walk around the block.  Sit in a lawn chair.  Sunbathe. Go to the beach.  None of these items cost money, they all get you much needed vitamin D and a mood boost.

5. Create a summer bucket list and actually do it! This isn’t so much habit as a goal, but the idea stands.  There are things you’ve always wanted to do. Think color run, wind surf on Lake Michigan, kayak down the Chicago River, karaoke, etc.  Make a list of a few obtainable things and do them! You’ll feel accomplished; have stories to share, and do something you’ve always wanted to do!

4. Don’t tell everyone everything you are doing.  Keep some things this summer for yourself.  I know in this day and age, boy do I sound like my grandparents, we want to check in at every gas station, restaurant, stop sign, sidewalk crack, and the list goes on, but maybe keep a few things for you.  And if you can’t keep a few things for you, share them with people, wait for it- IN PERSON.  Novel idea, I know.  Save stories so you have something to talk about.

3. Get some exercise, but be creative! We have all winter and the crappy parts of the year to be stuck in a gym.  Do something different like try a pole dancing or belly dancing class.  Try jogging on the beach (it’s tough) or on the relatively new 606.  Try a race or just walk around one of the best cities in the world.  Just be original this summer.

2. Travel more.  People shy away from this because they think it is so expensive, but there are ways to do it on a budget! Want to fly?  Try Skyscanner.  It will tell you the cheapest place to fly during any given month or time period. Or it will tell you when the cheapest time to fly is.  Or keep it simple! Camp at the dunes, Starved Rock, or even in your backyard! If you want to go to a city but hotels are expensive, try staying with friends. My easy and cheap trip this year?  I plan on going on a road trip around Lake Michigan to check out lighthouses.  With gas prices where they are, it’s the perfect time to jump behind the wheel and move about the country.

1. Put down your damn phone and be PRESENT.  Now I sound like the mother of a teenage girl but it’s true! Cell phone games are a waste of time.  Facebook is a waste of time.  Put your phone down and be present.  This is especially true if you are with people.  Listen to what those around you are saying. 

That’s it! If you have a few more ideas, jot them in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you! Kudos to my brother for helping me come up with a list to make anyone’s summer better.

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