Like everything in nature, we are hot-wired to grow. We all crave to be a ‘better’ version of ourselves. For me, being a ‘better version of myself’ means feeling happier and more fulfilled, doing more of what I love, having a sense that I’m reaching for my potential and maybe even connecting with my purpose in life.
Here are three ways to help you be a ‘better you’ this summer.
At the height of summer, it’s bright at 4.30am so take advantage of it by getting up an hour, or even thirty minutes earlier and savour this brightness.
People like Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg and many others frequently extol the benefits of their early morning routines. Whether you use this time to exercise, meditate, plan your day, or to simply hear the bird song, I view this extra hour as a real gift, some precious me time.
Whilst it can be a challenge to swing my legs out of the bed, once I’m up and particularly when I go out into the stillness and young light of the early morning, I never regret it, it’s a time when I feel most alive. Sometimes we need more than sleep to replenish us!
I’m a big fan of The Artist’s Way, the book by Julia Cameron that spawned a movement around creativity (If you don’t know it and want to boost your creativity be sure to check it out on Amazon.) One of the central concepts of the book is the Artist’s Date where you organise a day for yourself full of stimulating and enjoyable pursuits. I plan to arrange several of these ‘personal dates’ this summer because for me, they are like mini holidays.
Whilst it is possible to have your mini holiday at the weekend, for me, it is even more of a treat when I take a day off. This ‘day out’ gives me time to think and reflect and simply step out of my normal routine. Of course if your first ‘date’ goes well, arrange a second one (dinner and a movie!)
Losing weight, getting that ‘beach body’ is many people’s lip service summer goal. Whilst health, fitness and general wellness is always important, we can set ourselves a more worthy and fun goal to work towards. (Of course we can lose weight emotionally as well as physically by dropping baggage, limiting beliefs, judgements and self-criticisms!)
In a recent blog post on My Bucket List I suggest having a mini bucket list for the summer ahead, perhaps two or three activities you want to plan, places you want to visit, people you want to connect or reconnect with.
These questions will spur you on.
For the third successive year, top of my list this summer is going on retreat. Yes, I’m taking myself away for a week of solitude and reflection (no phones, no wi-fi!) It is the biggest gift I give myself every year and the most rewarding.
Always remember with goal-setting, it is not about the goal itself, it is about who you become in the process of working towards achieving it. I think this quote, paraphrasing Michael Neil sums it up best – “The real purpose of a goal is to fall more deeply in love with yourself and with life.”
The daily routines and pressures of life often mean we go through each day on autopilot, juggling to do lists, a mobile phone and a watch. During the summer when nature is in full bloom, give yourself permission to break out of your normal routines, bloom and be the best of yourself.