Summer is almost here… and I am excited. School will be out, the weather will be warmer, and things are seemly getting back to “more normal” since Covid. We are looking forward to connecting with friends and family. However, I have to continue to remind myself to keep it simple. To ensure I am focused on living intentionally. Not just filling up summer because we can we amazing summers camps, super cool water parks to try, awesome events back on the calendar. I have to be mindful not to go OVERBOARD. Things are opening backup and masks are coming off. We have less structure and routine, more freedom, and space.
It feels so great to have space. However we need to remind ourselves not to simply just fill our space back up again. Keeping summer simply does require some effort and thought. Here are 3 tips to be mindful of as you get ready for summer.
#1 Banish "Busy-Ness"
Again, this summer I am choosing to banish busyness or at least limit using the word in conversation or in causal comments and really focus on intention.
Ask anyone—your coworker, your best friend, your significant other—how their day was, and the answer is usually the same: “Busy.” Busy-ness has been a badge of honor and a source of self-worth for our I am so-slammed-I-can’t-think-straight, no-time-to-eat, deadline-driven, I want it now society.
Our culture is so wrapped up with busy-ness and all of its glorification - I would love to help put out its' exaltation. This summer I am choosing to focus on being intentional with my time vs busy. Whether that is bringing my kids to their events, organizing spaces, coaching clients, or just snuggling with my kidos during a movie night. After all, all these things I have intentionally been added to my calendar.
Instead of going, going, going, let's channel our focus around intention, cutting back on those things that don't align with our prioritize and scheduling our calendars around WHAT is important.
#2. Have a Game Plan
Take time to think through and prioritize what is important this summer. You are working hard to declutter and simplify your life to give yourself more time, space and freedom. Protect that time, space and freedom you’re creating by being intentional about what you commit to and how you spend your time.
Decide what is most important to you, whether it’s more time with your family, more traveling, more time for a hobby, etc. Then make sure to say yes more often to the things that are most important to you. And say no to the things that don’t align with what you value most.
Saying no isn’t always easy. But remember that every time you say yes to one thing, it means saying no to something else. Make sure the things you’re saying yes to are the things that really matter most to you. The more you practice saying no, in a gentle, loving way, the easier it becomes.
Set up a calendar for the summer months. Fill it in with all of the activities you already have planned (weddings, vacations, visits from friends and family). This will help you see when you have pockets of time available for other things on our summer to-do list. I used Pam Barnhills’s free summer fun binder this year- link here
Have a family meeting to talk about the summer schedule and confirm what everyone’s obligations are for the summer. This includes, summer rules, daily schedules, I’m bored list, and chores.
Protect the blank spaces in your calendar. Resist the temptation to fill those empty days; leave yourself time to be spontaneous. When that day arrives, do whatever suits your fancy (and the weather), and don’t worry about not accomplishing anything. Sometimes spontaneity leads to an activity we’ve needed all along.
** Reminder: Choose the gatherings that matter. It’s summer, so there’s an endless supply of barbecues, lunches, and lawn parties. While it might be uncouth to turn down every invitation, ask yourself which ones you really, honestly want to attend. So often we tell ourselves that these things are mandatory– but they rarely are. If summertime is limited, we need to spend it with people we love. It is ok to say NO.
Making the most out of summer doesn’t mean you have to be on the go all the time, planning one activity after the other. As you plan your summer, remember to keep things simple. The simple, low key, unplanned moments are often the ones where the most magic happens. Often becoming the moments we remember the most.
Eliminating excess and being organized to allow focus on what really matters. Remember that simplification, like frugality, is a tool as well as a goal. The ultimate aim is not to just make your life simple, the goal is to make your life happy, purposeful and fulfilled.
Simplifying means eliminating anything that is a drain on your time, energy and soul while giving nothing back in the way of enjoyment, contentment or peace. Whether your single living in a one-bedroom apartment or have a houseful of kids in a 4-bedroom home, over time, you’re going to accumulate “stuff”. For some its closets chock-full of clothing and shoes, maybe its craft and hobby supplies, with babies and kids the paraphernalia and toys seem to multiply overnight—it’s just part of the territory.
If you need support as you embark on simplifying your space and calming your clutter find a professional organizer in your area to help support your journey. Of course, if you live in Minnesota around the Twin Cities- Mindfully Minimized can help.
This year as you plan your summer, remember to keep things simple. The simple, low key, unplanned moments are often the ones where the most magic happens. Often becoming the moments we remember the most.
With Gratitude & Grace,