Why You Should Take on a Summer Project
You know that thing you've been wanting to do but keep putting off? It could be reading all of the Harry Potter books, learning a new skill like how to sew or play the piano, or to take your kids on that trip to Disney Land you've always wanted to do. Summer is the perfect time to invest in yourself and to take on a project you've been wanting to do! I always think of summer as time off since I've been trained to have a couple of months of vacation from school. While I'm a huge proponent of rest, I'm also a huge fan of achieving your goals and getting shiz done! Why not use this summer as a time to accomplish something you've always wanted to do?
Ideas for Your Summer Project:
Dabble in photography
Learn how to brew beer
Make a commitment to exercise
Start writing a novel
Learn an instrument
Attend a retreat
Start a blog about something you're passionate about
Learn a new professional skill that would help your career
Clean out your garage
Read X number of books
Enhance your cooking skills (take a class, try new cookbooks)
Take up a sport (golf, tennis, cycling, etc.)
Add a fur baby to your family or foster
Go somewhere you've always wanted to go
How to Design Your Summer Project:
Now that you've chosen what you want to work on this summer, you need a plan for how you're going to accomplish your project.
Decide what your end goal is and why you're taking on this project. By attaching your project to a bigger why, you have more skin in the game and your mind understands why you're doing it so you're more likely to stick with it.
Put your project into quantifiable terms. For example, if you want to read more this summer, decide how many books you want to read, like 10 books. Or if you want to dabble in photography, determine how many days per week/month you want to dedicate to your new hobby. You could say that every Saturday you want to go out and take pictures of something.
Figure out what materials you'll need and get them right away so that you don't have any excuses holding you back from starting your project. Reading 10 books? Buy them from your local bookstore or Amazon, or check them out from the library. Starting photography? Find a basic camera that you can practice with. I recommend buying a used Canon Rebel to learn on.
Outline mini goals and schedule them into your calendar. Oftentimes when we set a large goal for ourselves, it can seem overwhelming. By setting up mini goals and celebrating our small victories, our large goal seems more attainable. Let's go back to the book example. If you want to read 10 books this summer, you can divide that number by 3 so that you know you need to read 3 books for two of the months and 4 books for one of the months. With that knowledge in mind, you can set a mini goal to read 1 book each week while having two weeks of free time somewhere in there where you don't need to read. With photography, there are tons of mini goals you could come up with. Here are some examples: take a photo of something new every day, focus on a different theme each week (people, landscapes, animals, etc.), try a new concept every week (composition, night photography, etc.).
Enjoy the process. The whole point of taking on a summer project is to accomplish something you've been wanting to do AND have fun. If you start a project and you realize you don't like it, there is no shame in scrapping that project and picking something totally different!
When you look back on this summer, my hope is that you'll be able to have something to show for it instead of it passing you by. I know that I've had a number of summers where I look back and can't remember them that well because I didn't do anything very memorable. In case you're wondering what my summer project is, I actually have two: creating a ton of content on this blog for you and learning videography for my photography business. I would love to hear what your summer project is! Please feel free to share it with me.