Dying to try a new activity or two, but too busy to get to it? As it would happen, the lazy, hazy days of summer are the perfect time to finally tackle those goals. With plenty of freed-up time slots and travel-friendly weather, the sunniest season is ideal for fun, interesting and even productive gratification. So get excited about the possibilities and refuse to neglect your summer daydreams. Follow through on your intentions by creating a summer "bucket list."
The term originally referred to a list of things you must do in your lifetime - before you kicked the bucket - and was popularized by the Rob Reiner movie of the same name. The term has evolved to mean something closer to things to do before a certain date, in this case, by the end of summer.
Creating a bucket list not only helps you evaluate and appreciate the things you haven't done, it compels you to do them immediately. As the adage goes, what you write down gets done. In that spirit, we have compiled a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing and your pens scribbling on your very own list.
1. Finish something you've already started. When creating a bucket list, the aim has traditionally been to try new things, but completing something can be just as rewarding. You can continue to learn a language, restore the garage or plant your dream garden. No matter what incomplete project you've stored away, finishing it will make you both proud and relieved.
2. Do something active. Bucket-list activities don't have to be extreme (of course, they certainly can be). If bungee-jumping and skydiving aren't your thing, perhaps hiking a local trail is, or maybe camping with loved ones at the nearest lake. Run (or even walk) for charity. Do something that you'll personally enjoy.
Whether it's a trip across the country or down the street, make it yours.
3. Overcome a fear through immersion. Always wanted to ascend the Eiffel Tower, but too afraid to look down? Love traveling, but hate flying? The summer is a great time to overcome debilitating phobias. Immerse yourself in the activities that challenge your fears. Scared of heights? Tour a skyscraper or visit the Grand Canyon. Scared of water? Take swimming lessons; you'll learn to love it. Not only will you open doors for yourself, you'll have a great time doing it.
4. Maximize your summer weekend. Ensure a great weekend by planning activities early in the week. Seek out fun in advance and get excited about it during the week. By the time Saturday hits, you'll be exceptionally prepared and roaring to go. For good ideas on how to maximize your summer weekend, visit GetButtonedUp.com.
5. Look up and reserve free activities. Just because you're low on funds doesn't mean you can't enjoy experiences that are rewarding.
You may be surprised at how many free activities there are this time of year, from concerts to food and wine-tastings. Check on community and local government sites to see what's going on in your neck of the woods.
6. Enter with a confident mindset and don't let failure discourage you. Confidence is the key to any bucket list. Don't second-guess yourself. Whether planning to run a 5K for charity or preparing to cook foreign cuisine, if you lack confidence the process will become a disaster. One way to boost confidence is to choose something you are good at and see if there is a contest you can enter. You may be surprised with how well you do, and you'll learn a few things along the way.
The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to yourlife@getbuttonedup. com.