Have you ever gone to sleep one early June night, looking forward to all the possibilities that the summer could bring—only to wake up one August morning, wondering what happened to the amazing summer that you had planned? So have I. It’s easy to allow the freedom that summer brings to cause us to become lazy and watch summer just pass by.
Instead of having the same thing happen again this year, I’ve decided to go ahead and take action with what I’d like to pursue this summer. No, I’m not talking about hanging out at the pool with my friends and watching chick flicks until early morning. I’m talking about choosing to be productive rather than bored or lazy this summer by using my time wisely and creatively, while at the same time expanding my horizons.
For instance, instead of only focusing on my writing this summer, I’ve also decided to take ice skating lessons, study the art of acting and learn how to make journals. As teenagers we need to get our feet wet in many areas so we can find what it is that we're gifted in and have a passionate for. All of the things we take on eventually create who we are and can also be used as a form of worship.
Stretch yourself to your full potential this summer. Take on different responsibilities and branch into various activities. Take a step out of your comfort zone to take risks and try things that you would normally never try. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself. If you aren't sure where to begin, here are a few suggestions:
- Learn to play the guitar.
- Try out different forms of writing, such as short story writing, song lyric writing, poetry, etc.
- Study the art of photography.
- Make jewelry.
- Learn to bake.
- Take swimming classes.
- Make scrapbooks.
- Be more involved in your church and/or youth group.
- Learn to sew.
- Get a summer job.
- Volunteer at homeless shelters, nursing homes, charity organizations, etc.
- Learn how to make blog templates.
- Read more books than you normally do.
- Make a list of these things. It doesn't matter how long of a list you write or how far-fetched those things may be. You can’t achieve something without first having the idea. The more you can think of, the better.
- Put a star next to the ones that you would like to try out the most, or the activities that would involve more of your focus, such as volunteering.
- Prioritize. Do you have some school that you need to finish or work on this summer (like I do)? Be sure to focus on your priorities first and do these new things only in your spare time.
- Set goals. What are the things you’d like to spend most of your time pursuing, and how can you excel in that area? By setting goals you will give yourself something to strive towards. Allow yourself some space to stretch to your full potential rather than be stuck in your comfort zone.
- Discipline yourself. Although these things may seem fun to do, think of them as something that must be done. Discipline yourself by setting aside a certain amount of time each day to focus on your goals. This can be great practice and useful so that you won’t waste the summer away.
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
Have you ever felt as if the summer ended before you were ever able to take advantage of it? What new things would you like to try out this summer that weren't mentioned in the above list? What actions have helped you in the past in achieving your goals rather than allowing yourself to become lazy?