A Mom’s Guide To A “Geek To Chic” Summer

pismo beach

The nerdy girl who loses her braces, gets contacts and comes back in the fall as the coolest girl on campus. The little freshman runt who grows a foot, works out and returns to school as the football hero.

Maybe it’s all the teeny bopper movies I watched when I was younger (ahem…or last week), but I always see summer as an amazing time for change and growth. It’s wonderful what can be accomplished in 3 small months.

Just because high school is a fading memory in our rear view mirror doesn’t mean we can’t use this season as a catalyst for change in our own lives. In the last ITA podcast I talked about purposeful motherhood and how setting small goals can lead to big change. If you’re inspired to make the most of this summer, grab a pen and paper and let’s start planning!

1. Set 3 Summer Goals

What would you like to improve over the summer? List 3 things. The main key here is to be intentional but keep it simple.

boy-soccer
Summer is busy, crazy and never goes quite the way we planned. Set broad but purposeful goals that will adjust to vacations, late night bbqs with friends and spontaneous family slumber parties.

Planning to hit the gym at 5:30am every day for 90 days might be overly ambitious.

Never underestimate the power of low goals. Forward progress is forward progress.

2. Simple Start: Write it down

When I take my kids to the park, each of my girls responds differently to the playground full of kids. I have one daughter who will run straight in and strike up a friendship with the first moving object she sees. My other daughter prefers to stand by me for a few minutes, size up the situation, and then join the children to play and have fun.

Many of us have similar responses to personal change. Some just dive in head first, change everything all at once and it works for them. Others need to go more slowly. The key is to remember that neither method is wrong. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

The simplest way to change something in our lives is to just observe – like my daughter at the park.

You don’t need an elaborate plan before you start. There is massive power in paying attention to what we are doing or are not doing. Commit to journaling a few lines each and every day and soon enough you won’t be able to help but take action in that area. For example:

Want to get fit? Write down (or take a photo) of everything you eat. Nothing more. No need to track calories or develop a nutrition plan. Simply writing down everything you eat will inevitably lead to positive health decisions.

Want to have more fun with your kids? Write down every fun thing you do each day with the kids. No need to plan or scour pinterest. Just take a minute each evening to write down the fun things you did that day.

Want to study the Bible and pray more? Each evening, write down what you read that day and who you prayed for. If you didn’t read or pray, write that down.

The point: The key is to faithfully write down what you did each day, good or bad. There is transformational power in simply paying attention to what we do. Just like shoving a rock down a snowy mountain will trigger an avalanche, simply writing down (i.e. paying attention to) our actions in key areas will trigger better decisions and actions in the days to come.

sunrise

3. Tell a friend

Tell a friend your goals and ask them what they hope to improve this summer. The richest friendships are the ones that sharpen one another. Maybe you could meet for coffee every other week. Or you could Skype every Friday. When you bring someone along on your journey, your chances of success skyrocket.

The Simplest Geek to Chic Summer Ever

1. Set 3 simple goals.
2. Write something down about each one daily.
3. Tell a friend.

Now that doesn’t sound intimidating, does it? The fact is that the most powerful change you can make is your perspective. It’s like starting an engine. Once you get it going the rest is easy.

So what 3 areas do you want to work on this summer? I’ve listed goals in the comments. Click here to share yours too!

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Comments

20 Comments

  • Kat says:

    My goals for the summer are:
    1. To track what I eat. As I’m getting..ahem…older, I want to be wiser about what I eat.
    2. To limit screen time – I want to be present with my kids this summer and not on my phone/laptop
    3. To be intentional with my kids this summer – I want to help them set and track simple summer goals.

  • Larissa says:

    My goals for the next few months (we’re not exactly in summer here in Aust, but we will have our 4 week school holiday break coming up end of June!) are:
    1. To go to bed earlier … and subsequently wake up earlier and more refreshed as a result of getting more sleep.
    2. To be intentional with my bible study, spending a little on it EACH DAY – even if that means only 5-10 minutes.
    3. To be intentional and present with my daughter – making sure I am spending some quality time with her every day, even if the main bulk of my time needs to be spent on uni studies.

  • daniela says:

    1. Track my food on lose it.com
    2. Get up at 6am daily
    3. Finish reading chronicles of Narnia with my kids

  • kelly says:

    1.set a budget for paying off bills
    2.make sure to spend time with hubby…FOCUS ON US
    3.to be intentional with and present with all 3 daughters…make sure i spend time with each of them!!

  • Breanne says:

    I love this, Kat. So simple and so good. I’m a huge fan of writing stuff but sometimes I forget and my journals go untouched for days (or weeks!). I can do three goals and I can write about them.
    1. Be more active, workout regularly
    2. Limit screen time
    3. Be more intentional with my time with my girls and husband

  • Kate says:

    Thanks for this easy to implement idea!! Narrowing it down to only three is tough, though. 🙂
    1. Keep up with the Hello Mornings challenge.
    2. Actually *DO* a lot of the fun activities I have planned for my kids.
    3. Knock out a chunk of my personal “To Read” list.

  • Lindsay says:

    It’s encouraging to read the goals others have set as well!
    Goals:
    1. journal/practice a time of reflection and quiet everyday
    2. Track my food
    3. Create an easy summer bucket list for activities with the kids

  • Gina says:

    Great post! Thank you Kat!

    Mu goals for this summer:
    1. Actually START making healthier choices
    (i.e. healthier foods/ physical activity every day) instead of just talking about it.
    2. Less screen time for me (do I really need to check my email/scour Etsy, etc.) and my family. I know this will provide a lot more time for intentional living!
    3. Create a budget for living under our means and stick to it.

  • Laura says:

    Love this! Thanks for the post!
    Goals –
    1-Walk 4 times a week
    2-Get back to reading regularly
    3-Less computer time – actually set times to be on it

  • stacy buck says:

    GOALS:
    1. have a family meeting and help kids set goals and wish list for the summer
    2. put my phone away when I walk in the door from work
    3. create and stick to summer meal planning and set snack times (kids eat ALL day:/)

  • Jackie says:

    1. “do healthy” – eat better, move more, get full rest

    2. Spend at least as much time with God as I spend with my electronic devices.

    3. Better plan my teaching actvities – have Fall lessons done in August for Ladies Bible class; VBS done by end of June; UkrIaine lessons done by end of July; STOP stressing myself out by procrastinating on every project!

  • Jackie says:

    Please notify me of follow
    up comments by email, I didn’t check that before I sent it, sorry!

  • Tiffany DeOs says:

    1. Slowly work towards a 6am awake time.
    2. Read Bible everyday.
    3. Do one fun thing daily with my children. Even if it’s just reading with them or playing cars.

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  • Pamela says:

    Kat, you mentioned before listening to podcasts while doing chores. This is something I want to incorporate into my life. Which ones do you like?

    • Kat says:

      Well, I’m a little nerdy and I mostly listen to business and blogging podcasts. But I also listen to all the Simplemom Podcasts (except the ones I co-host – because few things are more unpleasant than listening to yourself talk. 🙂 I also listen to Michael Hyatt’s podcast, it’s business-y but applicable to moms too. Sometimes I listen to Tricia Goyer’s podcast. Wish I had more relevant recommendations for you!

  • […] lists.  Because I like to brainstorm, rather than come up with manageable, organized lists (like Kat’s at Inspired to Action), I rarely get everything checked off.  So rather than giving me a sense of accomplishment, it […]