A New Summer Mindset

Does your summer look like this? 

You’ve welcomed the freedom that comes with summer break.

You’ve welcomed the relief of completing another school/work year.

You’ve welcomed more white space, and less structure.

AND in an effort to make the most of all this extra time, you’ve anchored yourself to this expectation of productivity that often ends up bringing more feelings of failure than success.

It might sound something like this… 

“With all my time this summer, I can’t wait to:

-Overhaul my garage

-Clean out my closet 

-Clean out my files

-Create a new laundry system

-Donate and consign 

-Master Facebook Marketplace 

-Do a meaningful service project as a family

-Travel to see friends and family.”

An even more intense version of this can show up if our kids go away to camp, with visions such as:

  • Playing tennis or pickleball every day 
  • Seeing friends because we don’t need a sitter
  • Overhauling our kid’s closet and purging the clutter while they’re not looking
  • Getting the big work projects done that have been lingering 
  • Meeting clients for coffee or lunch
  • Training the dogs not to jump

As I process this list on paper, I realize how ridiculous it sounds. And yet, I’m not alone.

We need to right-size expectations. 

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.” – Matthew Kelly

So many of us struggle with setting unrealistic expectations in an effort to create great things, especially leaders and entrepreneurs. 

As we’ve written in previous blogs, setting big goals and expectations delivers a dopamine hit. It can feel really good to dream about a better version of where we are. 

And we should dream – achieving great things isn’t possible without it. 

AND – it’s only one part of the equation. 

Getting lost in lofty dreams can cause us to overestimate the time required and underestimate the capacity we have to follow through. We over promise to ourselves and can’t help but under deliver. 

This is a recipe for a punishing internal narrative and a sabotaged vision.

We can do something different. 

We can set goals while maintaining a realistic mindset about what’s possible. Here’s how:

  1. Reframe what success looks like in this season. If you could realistically accomplish only 3 things (this summer), what would they be? Make these goals specific so that you know when you’re winning.
  2. Communicate with your partner or team. Lay out your goals and your why behind them. What do they see and how can they support you? 
  3. Identify the process to create success. Plan the steps that need to be taken to realize your goal. What can you outsource that would change your life? 
  4. Celebrate the wins. Write down everything you CAN and ARE doing. Replace the narrative of “here are all the things I didn’t get done” with “here are all the things I DID get done”. This is a game changer.
  5. Reflect on your success from previous seasons. How have you already changed? This goes hand in hand with #4. When you acknowledge the evidence of where you’re changing, you’ll believe you can keep doing it. 
  6. Acknowledge the truth. Your to-do list is not a reflection of your worth or your success. Full stop.

Let’s finish well. 

We’re halfway through summer in my world and a lot of people are just two weeks from the finish line. 

What does it look like for you to finish well? 

Maybe it’s one more trip, or intentional time to be present with your kids as you close out Summer 2023. 

Your values and goals belong to you. 

What will you honor as mattering most? 

This is not a hard question, we just think there’s only one right answer. 

If you can’t decide, simply pick one. 

We want to know how you celebrate this new win.