Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Starbucks through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Starbucks, all opinions are my own.
There’s a global understanding that January is the official time for resolutions, new beginnings and an overall rebooting of your routines. I’d like to challenge that norm! Summer is an excellent time to re-evaluate. Whether you’re the resolution type or not, we’re officially past mid-year so why not take a moment to step back and refocus all of the moving parts of your life.
And so, here are 7 ways to refresh your life this Summer
If you are the January resolution type, summer is the perfect opportunity to go back and revisit your annual goals. How are you doing towards your long term goal? How about month over month? If you were planning to update three areas of your home, are you currently more than half way through? How about your financial goals? Priorities shift, life changes and it’s easy to put off long term goals until next month… or next year.
So many people talk about work/life balance. Some say that balance is impossible with our current work environment. My work very much blends into my personal life and vice versa. I think there’s a different type of balance to aspire to. My mom is a business and life coach who always tells people to look at the following areas in their life: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and financial. Before you can recalibrate your priorities you’d need to rate yourself in those five areas of life. If you’ve done well to keep up with your reading, spiritual time (whatever that looks like for you), and budget, but neglected exercise and “me” time, there’s your opportunity to recalibrate. Swimsuit weather can also be a nudge to up your fitness game.
So grab a piece of paper and rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each category. Which areas do you plan to improve in the next 60 days? And how about by end of year?
I LOVE photos. But man, am I bad about backing up those memories. I keep saying I want to create photo books. I’m very all-or-none when I’m in a project, so I can’t envision just creating ONE photo book; instead, it’s “let’s create annual books for all of the years that I’ve been with my husband!”. Then of course I get overwhelmed thinking about organizing and wading through five years of photos. So, for me my first step towards the remembering goal is to set up a better system for us to organize, label and display our photos. After I get that system in place, perhaps we’ll start with a 2013 book. After that, I’d love to get the first half of 2014 started and ready for the rest of the year. If those projects turn out to be fun, THEN I would back track. Truth be told since our wedding was in 2012, I have a feeling there would need to be 3 books just for that year!
After you’ve taken the time to recalibrate your priorities, you might find there are some relationships you’d like to focus on. Why not take the opportunity to thank a friend for something they’ve done recently, acknowledging them for a job well done on something they’ve been working on. Last week a blogger friend sent me a Starbucks e-gift card as a virtual “thanks.” Although I wished our schedules aligned so that we could enjoy our drinks together I loved her nice “thinking of you” touch! Thanks for the treat, Autumn!
While I’m challenging norms, I’d like to challenge the idea that “Spring Cleaning” needs to exclusively be a spring thing. The other day I was looking at my closet trying to decide what I wanted to wear. I had the urge to take out all of my winter clothes and do some purging. I find it’s easier, for me, to let go of clothing in the opposing seasons. When it’s cold outside, I think to myself “but I don’t have another sweater that is that warm, even if it is itchy.” While it’s 97 degrees, its easier to be real with myself. Maybe your closet isn’t the thing that needs refreshing. But I can venture to say there is at least one area of your life that could use a little refresh – your makeup stash, your car, your skincare….
This particular area of refreshing is a bit difficult for me. At least once a month I find I need to take a break and restore some sense of order in one area or another. This month my blog inbox was the area that could use some restored order. I blocked off a few hours over the weekend and revisited my email filters, file structure, and follow-up plans. After taking that time, it was much easier for me to have a bigger picture for what’s on the agenda for the rest of the year. Blogging is fun! I love it, in fact. But it also takes a lot of work. So escaping to Starbucks with some headphones for a couple of hours was a much needed planning time.
I equate the “Restore” objective to taking a step back and looking through a long lens at the big picture so that you can see which areas need to be focused on to restore balance.
When was the last time you did something relaxing? I am terrible at relaxing. Like, seriously TERRIBLE! But this month I did two relaxing things: 1) I went on vacation! 2) I read a book, just for fun.
There’s a reason that summer vacations are so popular. Some people vacation to get TO the warm weather, while some are vacationing to escape summer heat. It was 97 degrees in Texas yesterday. The brief moments I spent in my VERY hot car, made me miss the weather I’d experienced a few weeks prior in California.
My company is based in the Los Angeles area. We’d scheduled a planning meeting. My mom and I decided to extend my work time and have a little playtime. She and I have traveled all over the world over the years. My business meetings were scheduled for a Monday and Tuesday, so we arranged our flights for late Friday night. We spent all day Saturday and Sunday exploring Santa Monica beach, Santa Monica Pier and The Getty Museum. On Sunday evening we met up with some of my team to attend an excellent food and drink event.
Having the opportunity to put our feet in the sand and breathe ocean air is relaxation beyond measure! Before we headed out to the pier we stopped by the Starbucks on Washington Ave (near Venice Beach) to try out their new Starbucks Teavana® Shaken Iced Teas. They come in 3 flavors:
- Teavana® Shaken Iced Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade™
- Teavana® Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade™
- Teavana® Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade™
My mom opted for the Teavana® Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade, while I had the Teavana® Shaken Iced Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade. They were both excellent! This photo only slightly gives justice to how refreshing that moment was. Salty ocean smell, sweet iced tea combined with tart lemonade, and the sound of birds overhead. Perfection, really!
I noticed I haven’t taken time to read lately, so I dedicated part of my recalibrating time to that endeavor. I am a high-information sort, so I’m always reading blog posts and online newsletters but it’s been several months since I finished a book. I generally read non-fiction but the occasional novel is a nice mental break for me. I find taking time to escape into someone else’s creative world helps spark my creativity. I started and finished a book this month. I still can’t decide if I liked the book but at least I took a break to join that *very strange* world for a few hours. Have you read Gone Girl? Love it or hate it?
Thanks to the folks at Starbucks for giving me an excuse to look at how I can shake up my summer! What I didn’t mention elsewhere in this post is the fact that I have a serious tea addiction. Hot tea, iced tea, tea mixed with lemonade, and very much flavored ice tea! In fact I have a Pinterest board dedicated to my love of teas, and Starbucks’ teas of course.