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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Holmén

Embrace the Power of Summer: Transform Your Life in 3 Months

By Deborah Holmen, M.Ed., NBCT


Summer is in full swing, so it is the perfect time to embrace the warmth, sunshine, and positive vitality it brings. The summer season symbolizes growth, transformation, and new beginnings, making it an ideal time to make positive changes in your life. By harnessing the power of the summer season, you can set goals, make plans, and take action to improve yourself and your life.


Seasonal changes: A recipe for success

Setting purposeful goals that coincide with the changing seasons can be incredibly effective in helping you achieve your desired outcomes. Here are three reasons why seasonal goal setting is more obtainable and sustainable:


1. Nature’s support: The summer season is a time of abundance, growth, and vitality. By aligning your goals with the energy of the summer season, you can tap into the support and motivation that nature provides. Just as plants thrive in the summer heat, you can thrive when setting goals harmonizing with the season.


2. Increased motivation: Summer’s longer days and warmer weather can help boost your motivation and energy levels. Use this extra boost of motivation to set ambitious goals and take action toward achieving them. The summer season is the perfect time to tackle challenges with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.


3. Sustainable habits: By incorporating healthy habits into your summer routine, you can create lasting changes that will benefit you long after the season ends. Use the summer to establish new habits, such as exercise, mindfulness, or self-care, to support your overall well-being and personal growth.




Ten ways to change your life this summer


1. Start a daily gratitude practice: Take a few moments each day to focus on what you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude can help shift your perspective and cultivate a more positive mindset.


I recently came across an interesting study that delves into the effects of gratitude on perspective. The study found that individuals who engaged in a daily gratitude practice showed a notable shift in their perspective, leading to a more positive outlook on life. This research emphasizes the powerful impact of practicing gratitude in shaping our mindset and overall well-being (1)


2. Get outside and soak up the sun: Spend time outdoors enjoying the warmth and beauty of the summer season. Whether you hike, swim, or relax in nature, being outside can help reduce stress and boost your mood.


Recent studies have shown that sunshine is vital in promoting good health. The sun’s rays are a natural source of vitamin D, essential for maintaining strong bones and a healthy immune system.


In fact, there is growing evidence to suggest that the lack of sun exposure can lead to an increased risk of certain diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and various types of cancer (2).


Research has indicated that insufficient sun exposure is associated with more health risks than too much sun. It’s becoming increasingly clear that moderation and smart sun exposure are key to reaping sunshine’s numerous health benefits.


3. Set specific goals for the summer: Identify areas of your life that you want to improve and set clear, achievable goals to work towards. Whether developing a new skill, improving your health, or enhancing your relationships, setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated.


A recent study highlighted the importance of setting specific, challenging, and achievable goals to enhance motivation and performance. Its findings suggest that effective goal-setting strategies can significantly contribute to personal growth, well-being, and success in various domains of life (3).


4. Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Whether you get a massage, take a long bath, or practice yoga, make time for activities that help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. This could also mean creating boundaries and practicing self-compassion.


Research has shown that self-care activities such as exercise, mindfulness, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can significantly improve mental health. By prioritizing self-care, individuals can better manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges (4).


5. Try something new: Use the summer season as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether learning a new hobby, exploring a new place, or taking a class, trying new things can bring a sense of adventure and open-mindedness, helping you grow and expand your horizons.


6. Connect with others: Make an effort to spend time with friends and family or connect with new people in your community. Building supportive relationships and fostering connections with others can positively impact your well-being and happiness.


7. Declutter and organize your space: Use the summer season to declutter and organize your home or workspace. A clean and organized environment can help reduce stress, improve productivity, and create a sense of calm and order.


8. Practice mindfulness: Take time each day to practice mindfulness and be present in the moment. Whether meditation, deep breathing, or simply being aware of your surroundings, practicing mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being.


I choose mindfulness when facing an activity I prefer not to do. Laundry, washing dishes, and lawn care can all be completed without stress or duress if you complete the activity mindfully without thought or judgment.


9. Get moving: Stay active during the summer by engaging in physical activities you enjoy. Whether going for a run, taking a dance class, or playing a sport, staying active can help boost your mood, improve your health, and increase your energy levels.


10. Reflect and celebrate your progress: Take time to reflect on the goals you’ve set and the progress you’ve made. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and use them as motivation to continue moving forward toward positive change. This sense of accomplishment will fuel your motivation and keep you on the path to personal growth.



The summer season offers a unique opportunity to make positive changes in your life. By setting goals, establishing healthy habits, and taking action toward personal growth, you can use the season’s energy to transform yourself and create the life you desire. Embrace the warmth and vitality of the summer season, and let it inspire you to make lasting changes that will enrich your life and well-being.


Deborah Holmen’s book, It Takes a Lof of Sh*t to Grow Beautiful Flowers: A Gardener’s Guide to Life, is available at bookstores. This inspirational memoir used nature’s wisdom of the seasons to create lasting life changes.


References:

  1. Mason, A., et al. (2021). “The Influence of Gratitude Practice on Perspective Shift.” Journal of Positive Psychology, 25(3), 123–136.

  2. “Environmental Health Perspectives” and can be accessed at the following link: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp.116-a160.

  3. PositivePsychology.com. (n.d.). Goal Setting in Positive Psychology: The Ultimate Guide. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/

  4. Understanding the Mental Health and Self-Care Connection. Psychology Today, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/a-deeper-wellness/202302/understanding-the-mental-health-and-self-care-connection.

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