Making A Summer Bucket List

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Making A Summer Bucket List  |  The Fresh Exchange


The key to a great summer season is based on a few things. These things usually consist of sunshine, bathing suits, good friends, some family time, a barbecue, and long days ending in bonfires. The one thing about these magical days is they quickly pass with all their fun, events, plans, and sleepy days in the sun. Last year we had a summer spent up north where more of it was spent working than it was spent accomplishing the things we had hoped. It was a fun summer, but by fall I felt a little sad that a few of the things weren’t accomplished that I had set my sights because of a busy schedule.

To make the most of this year, I decided not only to create a bucket list for myself, but to share it with you in hopes to inspire you to create one as well.

Mike and I leave for Michigan mid-July, and we are very excited to spend six weeks on the shores of Lake Michigan, but we want to make the most of it while walking away refreshed. To make this happen, I came up with a little strategy to create a bucket list that will make us feel we had the ideal summer. Here are the tips I used to create our list:

Be realistic:
We would all love to go visit every friend all over the country, but let’s be honest that that isn’t going to happen. Instead, look at your already existing schedule with work, weddings, family reunions, and so on. From there you should be able to see how much potential free time you will have to accomplish those things on your bucket list.

Challenge Yourself:
Sure you need to feel accomplished, but placing that one trip or event on your list that pushes you to be slightly uncomfortable in all the right ways will most likely be the highlight of the season. Choose at least one thing that feels just a little impossible. It will make you feel like a rockstar when you arrive at the doorstep of fall.

Set an Intention:
At the end of the season what would you like to feel? What would you like to have learned? Where would you like to find yourself? By setting an intention for yourself, you will have a natural filter to know what will make for your greatest summer. Last year, we set a poor intention for our summer. We expected the season to be focused on relaxing. Ultimately, work landed in such a way where it was exactly the opposite. Not a bad thing, but because our intention was missed we ended up feeling as if the season wasn’t nearly as satisfying. Intention and goals can make all the difference in how you perceive an outcome.

Plan for the Unexpected:
The unexpected will happen. Maybe you get a flat tire on the road trip you had on your list or it storms the whole weekend of your beach vacation. Make the most of it in whatever way you can. Remember you still hit the moment on your list and accept the unexpected as a part of the journey of the season. Look back at that intention you set. Most likely you will find the silver lining to those unexpected pots in the road. Instead, you may feel they are a part of what you hoped to learn or even experience this season.

Setting the ground rules with these simple guidelines we pulled together our own bucket list for the season and I am excited to share it. I always feel that sharing a bucket list publicly is scary not because of sharing what you want to accomplish, but because you might fall short. The good thing is sharing it publicly also means you have a higher success rate. That said, I am leaning on the latter of those two thoughts. What do you think?

Here’s our list!

Our intention is: Find a balance between pushing toward our dreams with work and living fully without stress or tension.

– Spend a weekend on the sailboat on Lake Michigan
– Take a trip to the Upper Penninsula and see Pictured Rocks (I have NEVER done this as a Michigander and it breaks my heart every year)
– Hike all the trails we love in Leelanau
– At some point in the season spend a few days in Charleston ( I mean it is only 5 hours away!)
– Go on our 2nd Mille Mitten road trip
– Spend as many lazy evenings watching the sunset as possible. 
– While up north walk the beach at least three days a week with no intention other than looking for treasures that washed up
– Kayak at least once
– Go stand-up paddleboarding
– Catch up with friends from Traverse City that we miss
– Sleep every night with the windows open and enjoy the lake breeze
– Never forget to take in every moment in its entirety. 

It is a simple list, but it is one we know will leave us feeling as if summer was not missed or lost this year. It will be more focused on balance, openness, and the realities of walking the work life/balance of the kind of summer we work for all year.

I would love to hear about your summer bucket lists! Work on it over the weekend and then share it with us in the comments section below! Remember it makes it more likely successful if you share it 😉

Have a wonderful weekend of bucket list making and sunshine my friends!

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