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5 Ways to Maintain Summer Motivation

Summer motivation

5 Ways to Maintain Summer Motivation

It’s hard to maintain summer motivation! The weather is warm, the beach is calling and cottage meals are on the mind. With all of the welcomed indulgences of the season, it can be difficult to sustain motivation for our healthier lifestyle goals. Workouts get skipped, meals don’t get planned and food isn’t prepped for the busy workweek ahead. 

Summer motivation

Today’s blog is on 5 Ways to Maintain Summer Motivation (despite our inevitable challenges). By keeping our momentum in the summer, we can slide smoothly right on into the fall season without feeling like we’ve regressed in progress. 

5 Ways to Maintain Summer Motivation:

1. Think long-term.

Starting a new habit can be less challenging than maintaining one. The continual effort in sustaining a routine that is the biggest challenge for most when it comes to long-term behaviour change. Think of juice cleanses or intense workouts. We can start them, but can we sustain them? It isn’t always easy.

Often when lifestyle changes begin, they are set with gusto, determination and often over-ambitiousness. The challenge with setting BIG goals, like exercising daily or making a balanced dinner every night, is that they may be unrealistic. People often get fooled because such goals might be achievable in the short term but they often prove difficult to keep up over time when stress and real-life commitments start popping up. 

Choose sustainability

The summer is an ideal time to start or maintain healthy lifestyle shifts because you can grant yourself grace to be moderate and realistic in setting your goals. 

When setting goals, ask yourself: What is the outcome I am seeking? How will I feel better when doing this activity? What is the benefit to my mental or physical health? What will need to change in my lifestyle to facilitate this shift? Is this sustainable? Finally, how do I visualize myself keeping this routine up six months from now?

2. Stop the Excuses

Excuses are unnecessary and only stall your progress. For example, I couldn’t do X because it was too hot to go outside. Or I couldn’t do Y because it was too cold outside. Let’s stop the dependence upon weather as a decider for physical activity or lifestyle habits. Come up with an alternative! Take responsibility for what you want to do. Especially if we are being realistic with our goals. If you find yourself feeling guilty for not committing to the shifts you’re implementing, you might be setting a goal that isn’t right for you. 

Meal planning angry phone call

If excuses keep arising, try making smaller goals that are easier to manage. For example, if you would like to cook more, perhaps cooking a new recipe one extra day a week is a good place to start. Plan which date would work best for you, then put it in your calendar. Every Wednesday, I cook. This could be a standard weekly commitment in the calendar. You can also use a meal theme for this day if you want to make planning worry-free and easy. 

If you’re not sure whether your goal is big enough, think of the benefit of doing this moderate goal consistently for three months. Would you improve from where you are today? Small steps add up to a big journey.

Think of your goals like a ladder. We can’t skip rungs. We can’t jump to the top. We can just keep moving one rung at a time.

Achieving your goals is like climbing a ladder. You can’t skip rungs or jump to the top. All you can do is keep climbing!

3. Create “Non-Negotiables”

When prioritizing yourself and building greater self-love, it is important to create boundaries which help to create a healthy routine. Try coming up with a list of healthy parameters or what I like to call “Non-Negotiables.” This way, no matter how busy you find yourself, you can practice these self-nurturing activities.

Creating “Non-Negotiables” that work for you sets the foundation for sustainable lifestyle changes that will be easier to maintain in the long run.

Andrea’s “Lifestyle Non-Negotiables”:

  1. Have three meals a day (even if very busy or ‘out and about’).
  2. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
  3. Have convenient, healthy meal options available. For example, packing snacks for between clients, batch-cooking for an easy re-heatable meal or stocking up on pantry basics for times where groceries are running low.
  4. Make time for regular exercise as a way of increasing productivity, decreasing stress, and boosting mood.
  5. Plan a “free day” once a week for down-time.
Andrea D'Ambrosio, Dietitian

These “Lifestyle Non-Negotiables” are from my blog, 3 Ways Self-Love Improves Diet

4. Prioritize yourself! 

When it comes to maintaining summer motivation, we cannot forget about the importance of self-care. If we are running ourselves low, how can we possibly keep our momentum? Therefore, prioritizing your needs above the needs of others is crucial. It may sound selfish and unachievable. Especially for care-givers, mothers, and teachers of the world. However, if we are not able to take care of ourselves, how can we possibly be the best version of ourselves to take care of others?

Think of self-care like a cup of tea. If your cup is empty, how can you fill someone else’s? It’s not only important, but necessary to take care of yourself first.

Think of yourself as a cup of tea. Your metaphorical cup needs to be filled first! Then you will have enough to spill over to nurture and love your family and friends. We need to fill our cup first! During the hectic summer season, think about how you can prioritize your self-care despite busy schedules work/family schedules and social commitments. 

Ask yourself: Do you need a day to be outside reading, painting, or visiting a friend? Is your body craving the movement of a yoga class? Do you love camaraderie and the outdoors? Perhaps you want to join a hiking club? Ask yourself what will make you feel the most rejuvenated and nurtured! No guilt required.

Prioritizing ample self-care makes it possible to cascade more wellness into other nurturing activities. 

5. Establish your purpose.

Finally, to maintain summer motivation, you need to get clear on your bigger purpose. What do you want your lifestyle to look and feel like? Why? Having a clear reason and vision for your life can prove helpful in creating your reality.

purpose

I recommend thinking of internal benefits that may result from a lifestyle habit change. For example, how will packing a lunch help you internally? Well, it may lower stress, increase productivity, and improve your energy levels versus eating out or going long periods without eating. Therefore, when deciding if you want to pack a lunch, you can reflect on the bigger purpose of how you feel on the INSIDE. Considering the benefits inspires action.

Bottom Line:

Summer motivation does not have to fade into the glowing sunset. We can stay flexible with our goals by being realistic, being mindful of our excuses, coming up with “non-negotiables”, prioritizing ourselves and knowing our bigger purpose. There’s no failure in modifying our goals or activities. It’s a journey. Small progress is still progress. Avoiding the “all or nothing” mentality allows us to remain patient and loving with ourselves throughout our lifetimes. 

Remember: achieving your goals is a journey. Small progress is still progress.

Now it’s your turn! How do you maintain summer motivation? What do you find is key for staying on track?  What is crucial for you to feel nurtured and enriched with self-care?

P.S., If you are interested in more information on Self-Care, check out these previous blog posts of mine, 7 Self-Care Tips to Improve Diet and 3 Ways to Prioritize Yourself.