7 things to do this summer to help you achieve success

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By Erin Eagan

The thought of summer conjures up different ideas for people. For some, it truly is summer vacation — a time to relax and recharge. For others, it’s a time to get motivated and mark items off an ongoing “To Do” list. Both schools of thought are perfectly acceptable.

I recently came across an article posted by Inc. entitled “7 Odd Things Successful People Do Over the Summer That Lazy People Do Not,” written with good intentions but poor execution. I believe its objective is to inspire and motivate, and there is some valuable info if you have a single-minded vision of success, for example; but for many of us, success can take a number of different forms. (I’m also not sure calling a group of people “lazy” is necessary, but I get that it’s a more click-worthy title. It got me to open it up.) 

I don’t think any of the items listed in the article are at all “odd,” nor do I think that people who don’t do any of these things lack success. I also strongly disagree with author Nicolas Cole that summer is “just another excuse people use to avoid digging in and getting to work.” That’s a pretty strong statement. Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to give people more credit than that. I’m also guessing that the writer hasn’t endured one of Wisconsin’s long, cold winters, leaving us chomping at the bit by the time spring rolls around.

I wanted to use some of the information though, so I’ve come up with “Seven Things to Do This Summer to Help You Achieve Success.”

1. Make a list of things you want to accomplish
Is there something you want to change about your current situation? Are you unhappy with your job? Maybe you would like to move up in your organization, or even try a whole new career. Perhaps it’s something as simple as wanting to read two books per month. Anything goes here.

2. Create an agenda
Now that you know what you want to accomplish, how can you best there? You’re in charge of setting your own course this summer. Plan ahead and hold yourself accountable every step of the way.

3. Set a lot of mini goals
By keeping goals realistic, they are more achievable. Crossing each one off your list is a satisfying sense of accomplishment and a good way to keep the momentum going.

4. Make good use of your time
As William Penn said, "Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." It’s easy to get distracted, especially when the air is warm and the sun is shining. But don’t stray too far off the course you’ve set for yourself. And remember, it’s important not to confuse busyness with productivity. 

5. Spend some time out of your comfort zone
What is something you’ve never done before, that the very thought of has you feeling uneasy? Go ahead, give it some thought. Going to a movie alone? Running a 5K? Really challenge yourself and you’ll be amazed at how good it feels once you do.

6. Do some mental detoxing
Bad habits are hard to break. So is changing our way of thinking. As the Inc. article states, “We vastly underestimate how the redundancy of our daily lives ends up affecting our mood, thought processes, even our ability to be creative.” You’ve probably read about the many ways of detoxing our bodies, but just as important is detoxing our minds. 

7. Wrap up any remaining projects
Finish up what you can to avoid having carryover into the fall, or even winter. Start the new year off with a clean slate. You’ll be glad you did.