Every summer, starting probably five years ago, I started making summer bucket lists. I wrote out these long, extravagant ideas and created my "ideal summer." It usually included go swimming, take a vacation, try something new, get a pet, organize my room, get a tan, etc. I would fill up an entire page of things to do that summer, as if it were a deadline.
But it dawned on me that throughout each of the seasons in my life, I shouldn't be making to-do lists. I shouldn't be making these bucket lists every year to fill up my time and feel accomplished with every check-mark I make. Instead, I decided to make Summer Resolutions.
Like New Year's Resolutions, I want to change certain aspects of my life and ways of thinking so I can improve myself. We all make these, but come February or March, they're all forgotten. I'm guilty of this too. So I decided to make another round of resolutions, starting for the summer season.
Rather than checking off a bucket list, I want these resolutions and changes to be long term. I want to enrich my life, learn new things about myself, change my lifestyle for the better--I want to grow.
1. Read Bible
This is something I struggle with--reading my Bible consistently. Sometimes, I can study passages everyday and feel so intrigued and learn so much, but other times I'm distracted, bored and busy. This is something I want to change permanently and stick with for the long term. I feel like this is my New Year's Resolution every year, and I'm tired of repeating this! Reading and studying my Bible should be the focus of my entire life, not something I just do when I'm really feeling it.
I'm doing this by first reading my Bible daily (the obvious action) and also reading non-fiction books that deepen my faith. Since Lifeway is closing their stores, Grant and I went and bought a ton of books on clearance. I'm planning on reading these as well to keep me focused and learning. I chose several books on marriage, self-image, and how women can live for God. I love these types of books because I feel like they really are applicable to my life.
Check out: Why Her? by Nicki Koziarz, The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, The Art of Rest by Adam Mabry, and Preparing for Marriage by John Piper.
2. Eat Vegan / Cruelty-Free
I've been eating vegan and cruelty-free for the past few months, but I took a little break after the half marathon. We celebrated Dad's birthday weekend at a German restaurant, celebrated Shelby's birthday at Red Robin, and running makes me so dang hungry! So I've been eating meat for the past week or two, and I'm so ready to go back to my normal eating.
Eating vegan makes me feel SO much better, especially with my IBS. It really seems to help my digestion, even though I still eat meat-less protein (thank you Boca!). May be TMI, but I seriously have the best poops when I'm consistently vegan.
3. Practice Yoga
Along the same lines, yoga is one of those things that makes me feel so much better. It's relaxing yet it exercises my body in ways I couldn't imagine. It doesn't feel hard at all, but the next few days I am so sore! Yoga really gives me 'me time' and allows me to focus on the time being. I block out all my other stresses and things to do and focus on my breathing and body.
I practice along with videos from Adrienne (look her up on YouTube, her videos are seriously the best!) You can use the free videos online, or you can purchase the videos and watch them offline. This is the easiest way for me to practice yoga, because she explains things so well and allows me to learn new postures.
So my third Summer Resolution is to practice yoga more. I want to get back into the habit of doing this daily so I can be more in tune with my body.
4. Limit the Amount of Time I Work
This is a really hard one for me, because I love to work. I love being a CNA at an assisted living facility! I love my coworkers and I absolutely love my residents. Working also keeps me busy, which I love, but I think my passion for being busy is sinful. I constantly find myself wanting to work more hours, so I want to change this attitude I naturally have.
So although I love what I do, I want to limit the amount I work so that I can focus on other things, like family, friends, and self-care. Very few people really love what they do--so I consider myself very blessed--but we work most of our lives, so my resolution is to limit myself and relax.
5. Spend More Time Outside
Honesty hour: I hate bugs. I hate all bugs that can crawl, fly, or otherwise touch me. They creep me out.
But one of the most amazing things in my opinion is nature. I love to just admire what all God has created and how beautiful it all is. My favorite place to be outside is the beach, where I can sit and watch and hear the waves crash. This is where I feel closest to God.
But I also feel close to God when I'm in the woods. It's so quiet and it's just me, so it's the perfect place to think and reflect. Grant loves to hike, so we are planning on doing this together this summer. We also plan on kayaking and swimming! My goal is to just spend more time outside, whether it be in the backyard getting some sunshine (perhaps in my new pool--I'm excited), or hiking in the woods, or sitting on the beach. I just want to absorb as much of nature as I can.
6. Invest More Time in My Blog
I really enjoy writing for my blog and I want to watch it grow in the future. My dream is to take this blog and one day create a company that envisions holistic care for ourselves. I'm not exactly sure of the details and what exactly it will look like, but this is my long-term goal.
This semester has definitely been the most difficult one so far, and I feel like my blog has been put on the back burner. And while I do need to focus on schoolwork and studying, I've been so sad that I haven't been able to put as much time into my blog. It's something that I love doing, so this summer I want to spend more time with it.
I have plans to continue writing posts about my holistic care journey, as well as further develop the website itself. I want to grow the Essential Oils page and create a place to order products (like roller balls, hand soap, and body scrubs). I want to grow my social media presence, which is a real weak point for me. I need to spend more time with e-mailing my subscribers and also reaching out for new subscribers. There's seriously so much that can be done to grow my website and I'm so excited to work on it more this summer.
Do you ever make bucket lists or to-do lists for your summer break (or season in general)? I encourage you to instead make a new Resolution for your current season in life, so you too can grow in personal ways. Try new things and take chances, but be sure to focus on how these things affect your self-care, self-image, and growth mindset.
What is your new summer resolution?