Monday Motivation: 12 Ideas for your Summer Bucket List

Ninety-degree weather has proclaimed the arrival of summer loudly and clearly. For me, that means it’s time to make a seasonal to-do list. Not because I feel unproductive otherwise, but because it’s the best way to make sure I have every adventure I want. To help you be a little more adventurous this summer, I made a cheat sheet of activities to inspire a season of fun, meaning, and memories. Snag mine directly, or use ‘em to as a jumping off point to brainstorm your own!

Host a beach bonfire party.
What screams summer more than putting on a beach barbecue! My family has always made this a tradition whether it’s on the beaches of the Jersey shore or here in Malibu and I plan on continuing it this summer with my new husband and his family! I’m planning on passing this favorite summer pastime down to my own children one day. What’s better than hosting a bonfire with family and friends, complete with a few refreshing cocktails and delish eats?

Go BIG and write out a list of ambitious goals!
Generally we tend to have more reflection time during the summer making it the perfect time (I think even better then the New Year) to reflect on big and lofty goals! Even if you don’t loose all the weight, get that feature or land your dream job land your dream job, it’s healthy to have a record of what desires are important to you. (Need an extra jolt of support on clarifying and going after your desires? Take a peek at my book Soul Sessions–it’s 5 gorgeous weeks of loving, insightful encouragement.)

Volunteer once a week.
Volunteering can be so rewarding, and studies show that it can actually contribute to your overall sense of happiness. And keep in mind that It doesn’t even need to be once a week—going once a month will make a difference too, and it will make you feel joyful in return. Begin by researching soup kitchen, food bank, local hospitals, animal shelters or inner city schools closest to you and lend a hand!

Go on a spur of the moment weekend road trip.
Aren’t the best kinds of weekend trips the ones that happen impulsively? Begin by picking a place you have always wanted to visit (I’m dying to go to Paso Robles in wine country), grab your best girlfriend or boyfriend, and get on the road! Make sure to bring lots of good tunes for the car and make sure to take heaps of fun photos to remember your trip by!

Add some excitement to your summer reading list!
In my opinion summer is THE best time of the year to dive into new books! Perhaps begin by jumping online to research this year’s New York Times bestseller list, stroll through your local bookstore and see what jumps out at you, or even begin by asking your friends and family what they loved reading this year. I am going to challenge myself to read at least one inspirational/spiritual book and two just for fun reads this summer.

Take a vacation and leave your phone behind.
I hereby vow to take a vacation this summer that does not involve answering emails and texts all day. These days, we are way too attached to our phones. I am equally guilty! Try to designate long stretches of your vacation days to being phone-free. For example, if you’re headed down to the pool in the morning, leave the phone in the hotel room and perhaps give yourself permission to check it before heading out for dinner. It will feel so liberating!

Master the art of grilling!
Alright ladies, I know a lot of you out there, (like me too) tend to leaving the grilling to the men around us but I say let’s get our grilling game on! This might sound silly but summer is the perfect time to experiment with grilling that perfect platter of corn on the cob, chicken and veggie shish kabobs or steak. Let’s impress our family and friends by inviting them to a scrumptious BBQ prepared by you!

Practice nurturing.
Practice loving and nurturing something this summer. Learning to take care of something else will give you a richer, deeper outlook on life. This could mean something as life changing as beginning to plan for a family or buying a puppy or something more simple like planting a vegetable garden or even trying to keep a houseplant alive!

Simplify your closet.
There’s nothing like a bit of cleaning out your closet to help get you excited for new summer wardrobe staples. Begin by donate items you haven’t worn in a while, and reorganize the clothing and accessories you plan to keep for a fresh perspective. I like to organize by color. This will give you a great idea of what to add to add to your summer shopping list.

Take a painting or any kind of art class.
Whether that means making pottery or painting with watercolors art can be very therapeutic. Creating something artistic can brighten up your mood and instantly shift you into a place of creative flow. Also, you never know when you might uncover your hidden talent…this summer I’m going to broaden my horizons and try taking a pottery class!

Spend Sunday mornings hunting for treasure at local flea markets!
Become familiar with the flea markets in your area and promise yourself one special, vintage purchase this summer that you would love to bring home. It will get you excited about adding more new pieces in the future as well as refresh your décor for the summer season.

Throw a surprise celebration for someone you love.
Summer always seems to be a month with a lot of birthdays—at least it is for me! You too? Who can you plan a surprise birthday party for this summer? Think of all the joy and fond memories you will create for both yourself and that special someone! Maybe it’s a salsa dancing and margarita themed party or maybe you show off your new grilling skills with a backyard BBQ and refreshing cocktails….whatever you decide don’t stress yourself out and remember to have fun!

What summer adventures and activities are on your list?

Image Credit: Paris in Four Months


I am the proud author of Soul Sessions: A 5 Week Guide to Crafting Greater Joy + Making Big Things Happen. Need one on one inspiration?  Hire me.  You won’t regret it.

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