This summer I decide that I wanted to focus on doing good things for myself. It wasn’t that I was a horrible person ( at least I hope no one thinks that) or that I made choices that were horrible or hurtful to myself. I just wanted to spend the summer doing some self-exploration, personal growth and celebrating who I am. Sometimes it is hard to remember to take the time to treat yourself good and to carve out time explore new activities and interests. There have been plenty of times where I wanted to just curl up and binge watch Netflix and believe me I still did that ( STRANGER THINGS!!!) but I tried to always keep a healthy balance. I am excited to share with you what I set my focus on this summer:
Early April I made the commitment to purchase a bicycle. I use the word commitment because when I saw how much bikes costs ( I had no clue that they cost as much as they do) I had to really promise myself that I would ride it enough to make the cost worth it. After going back and forth on to buy or not to buy, I am so thankful I decided to buy! I have such a great time exploring different bike paths, riding with friends, riding solo and packing it up and taking it on my travels. It is something I find refreshing and challenging. I am trying to get my mile count up, granted the heat and humidity we are facing this summer isn’t ideal for growing my biking stamina but I am getting there!
Making time for the Gym
In addition to riding my bike, I have joined a gym and made a commitment to going at least four times a week. When I am active, I am a happier person, my thought process is clearer and I feel confident in my ability to approach pretty much anything. It gives me another environment to set and accomplish personal goals. Since starting at the gym, I have shaved two minutes off my mile run! Who knows maybe a 5k is finally in my future?
Water and Food
You might have noticed that I am on a bit of a health kick. To support my increased activity I made some changes to what I am consuming and discovered that meal prep isn’t as lame or difficult as I have made it out to be. I have upped my water intake to 64oz+ a day and carve out time Sunday to prepare three meals per day for the entire work week. I started consuming less processed foods and increased my protein and veggie intake.
After having a food allergy scare at the start of the summer, I really started paying attention to what is in everything. Thankfully after a few tests, it has been concluded that the reaction was a fluke but it still makes me on guard for what I am eating and helped me to realize that while I already ate healthy I still had some room for improvement.
I have always loved baseball and one of my favorite things about living in DC is going to see games at the Nationals Stadium! This summer I wanted to get to as many games as possible, the vibes from the stadium always put me in a good mood and just make me feel at ease.
Rise and Shine!
I used to be one of those people who pushed snoozed repeatedly, then did a mad dash to get ready. It was stressful and I wasn’t as organized or put together as I would have liked. This has honestly been an ongoing thing that I started working on in January, but this summer I stepped up my game. My alarm now goes off each morning at 6:10 am (to compare it in Dec 2015 it was going off at 7:50 am and I had to be out the door at 8:10 am). The extra time I have is amazing! I start each day with two cups of freshly brewed coffee and a daily devotion and time of prayer. This has become my favorite time of the day. The apartment is quiet as I am the only one awake allowing me to really just focus on everything I need to focus on. I can’t even begin to describe how this time has helped me grow. I might still rush out the door because I get so wrapped up in my readings, but I am working on that too.
I continued to improve upon my photography skills and experiment with different settings and environments. I really wanted to focus this summer on growing my skill set and developing my hobbies. Photography is great because it can be incorporated into pretty much anything else I am doing. It just requires me to remember to take my camera with me. I love each of these photos that my amazing friends captured. It shows me learning in the moment, and doing something creative. I have always been drawn to creative projects and arts and crafts are still my jam but photography allows me to focus on my artistic abilities in a completely different way, one that I can see myself excelling in.
Exploring around town
To be honest I was out of town a lot this summer. When I was in DC I enjoyed exploring and seeing new places. The Blind Whino had been on my list since last summer and going to the Kennedy Center has been on my short list since moving here. I loved the Kennedy Center, and I saw a comedy show for the first time! The Second City’s Almost Accurate Guide to America had me in tears, I could not stop laughing.
This summer I wanted to go somewhere I have never been before. I had the opportunity to travel to Texas (always remember the Alamo!) and Las Vegas. I traveled to Texas solo and went to Vegas with my best friend. Getting out of my usual routine both in DC and PA was amazing. It gave me the opportunity to decompress, to learn and to be reminded of different perspectives.
Family and friends as much as possible
My family is my rock and the older I get the more and more I realize there is no one that compares to them. I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with them this summer and it has been amazing. I was given the gift to spend time with some of my oldest friends. I have been blessed to have a core group of people who have been in my life for years, always showing me support and love. This summer I wanted to make sure that I showed them so much love and support in return. I want to continue to grow and nurture these relationships.
As Fall approaches (I can’t wait to break out my sweaters!!) I am so thankful for this summer, for the chances I took, the changes I made and that I developed new habits and routines to carry into the new season. There are a lot of things in my life that I still need to improve upon, and areas I need to grow. But it is refreshing to know I am capable of change.
I hope you had a rewarding summer! What types of goals are you setting for the Fall? I would love to hear about them in the comments!