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I don’t know what it is about the seasons, but when the weather changes so do my dreams about getting into shape. As the cooler winds of summer blow in, I want to be outside. I abandon the gym for walks outdoors and find myself challenged to stay focused. Rather than sitting at my desk, I’d prefer to be outside rollerblading or swimming.
Summertime is designed to remind us that “the living is easy,” or so the song says. The kids are home from school, you may have vacation time, and if you live in a city where the temperature is high, you just may not want to move very fast, so it’s important to try to get your exercise in before the hottest part of the day. It’s an easy way to keep yourself motivated.
I often hear people lament how challenging summer can also be. The kids may be home, but you still have work to do. Or you have a dream vacation planned, but between gas prices and traffic, you may be wondering if this is what a vacation is supposed to feel like. It can become harder to take care of yourself and watch what you eat. Read on for some tips and practices for clarity and success this summer…
How to Create Your Best Life This Summer
1. Go easy on yourself. Plan easy meals like a variety of salads. It’s harder to want to cook a healthy family dinner when it’s 100 degrees outside, so make a tasty whole-wheat pasta salad that you can keep in the fridge with lots of veggies. Salads don’t have to be boring, mix it up and add healthy toppings. My secret salad ingredient is fresh ground pepper. It makes everything taste fresh.
2. Have fun. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make eating healthy and working out easier and/or more fun?” Is there something that can be combined like having family/friends over for a make-your-own taco bar or healthy BBQ and then a nice long walk after dinner?
3. Be realistic. As a big dreamer, don’t immediately compromise your dream down to what you know you can realistically accomplish. But be sure to make your weight-loss goal realistic. There’s nothing more demotivating than putting a number out there that you know deep down you cannot achieve in the time frame set for yourself.
4. Get clarity. Be clear about what you want, including how you want to feel while accomplishing your dream. We are all visual people, so post a picture of your ideal body somewhere you will see it every day…in your closet, on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator.
5. Acknowledge doubt. Most people either ignore or get consumed by their doubt. I assure you, once you become aware that there is a Doubter inside of you that is not the enemy, you are much less likely to be stopped by it. Hear from your doubter, write down a list of objections as to why you think you CAN’T so that you can face your doubts head-on and move toward a list of why you CAN.
6. Find support. Enroll your family into this dream and hear from everyone. Whether with your family, friends or company, when there’s “buy in” to the dream or vision, it tends to get accomplished with greater ease. When they know they are your support system, they will be less likely to bring home fast-food or ask you to bake a batch of cookies….
7. Reward yourself. Make sure you have some summertime fun. Whether you get away or stay at home (my new favorite place to vacation, a “staycation”), carve out quality time for doing what you love. Reward your weight-loss success with little things like a spa day, movie or even a pedicure.
These simple practices will recharge your battery, giving you more for everyone around you and, most importantly, for your dreams of being fit this summer. How are you taking care of yourself this summer? —Marcia Wieder
Marcia Wieder is a 14-time published author, personal transformation expert and former president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. To receive three powerful ebooks to help you design a dream come true life and body visit www.dreamuniversity.com/gift/.