If you are a person who gets time off during the summer, you can choose to be summer lazy, or you can choose to utilize a small portion of your time off to increase your chances of being successful in your endeavors. Here’s five things that you can do during the summer to recharge your batteries and build your chances of making it to the top in whatever you do.
Habits are the building blocks of success. One of the greatest leadership books of all times is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey. Do good things over and over until they start to happen without you even thinking about them. There are so many good habits you can build for yourself. Reading is essential to growth. Whether it is the sports page or books on philosophy, reading daily will keep your brain working and grow your vocabulary and writing skills, no matter your age. Exercising is another great habit that you can build over the summer. Even something as simple as a 30 minute walk regularly has great health benefits. How about journaling regularly? It helps you organize your thoughts, and it is a great way to record for you or your family the great things that happen. It is a proven fact that journaling helps your brain relive good events that happened to you and that has outstanding affects on your mood. My journal is actually a book of letters to my son. Hopefully, in years to come he will enjoy all of the great events in his life that I have chronicled for him. Maybe there will be smiles AND lessons in there for him. Spend your time off creating habits that will keep benefiting you for years to come.
2. Family time
As my son gets closer and closer to finishing up college, I am more and more aware that he is going to be heading out to start his own life soon enough and that means less time with me. Whether you are the child or the parent, you can drive more family time. A strong family is definitely one of the keys to success. Make sure you allot some time weekly to spend with the people you love the most. Share goals, successes and compliments. Every one will benefit from time spent together.
3. Learn a new skill
Isn’t there something out there that you have wanted to master. Get out there and do it. Learn to juggle, or play the guitar, or design websites, or learn to cook, or take up photography. There are countless “how-to” videos on the internet. Don’t know what it is that you want to do? Spend some time watching TED Talks, you are sure to find some inspiration there in the hundreds of talks they have online. There are sections and sections of books on every imaginable topic at your local bookstore. If you add one new skill each year, imagine the things you will be able to do in your life. My friend, Ed Kilgore, a former sports director in town climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro AND wrote a book, all after his 63rd birthday. Doesn’t matter how old you are, you can learn new skills.
Curiosity is one of the keys to great success. Take things apart and see how they work and then put them back together again. Go hiking or fossil hunting. Park your car and walk around new areas of your city or town. Visit museums and see things that are new to you. Eat ethnic foods that you have never eaten before. Drop your canoe or kayak in a place you’ve never paddled before. Exploration is a path to thinking and thinking is an ingredient to innovation and success. You don’t have to spend a lot money. There are also sorts of places to explore for free or cheap. Almost every town or city has nature trails or parks to explore for free. Get out there and see new things. You never know what you may find.
There are few more thought provoking or rewarding activities than giving back to your community. Even better if you can find an activity near and dear to your heart. There are not-for-profit organizations and church groups. You can participate in neighborhood clean ups, read books to young kids, or raise money for the local children’s hospital. Volunteering is also a great way to impress people and grow your network. This is also a great opportunity for family time. Working together, with the people you love, for a common good, is one of the most rewarding activities ever.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it grows your mind, body, or network of people you know. The one thing you don’t want to do with your time off is to waste it. No one ever gets better by watching hours of television on beautiful days.