It’s easy to slack off in the summer and let your progress (and yourself) go. Women business owners and leaders, in particular need to be mindful of two things, in the summer months: progressing and resting. Both things fuel us tremendously. So yes, you should definitely take some time to rest, rejuvenate, and refresh yourself. You should also set summer goals, so you can be sure you are taking the time to rest, plus make some additional traction, in your areas of focus for the year.
Sometimes us, hyper-focused, challenge-driven, A-type girls need help with summer goal ideas, too!
During my years, as a public school educator, one of the biggest dreads at the beginning of the school year was dealing with summer brain drain aka s “summer lag” with students. (Fun Fact: Did you know I used to teach high school math, then worked in curriculum and testing?)
Summer lag is when students lose a significant percentage of the material they learned from the previous school year. Some studies have shown that, on average, students lose about 2 months worth of reading and math skills. This number is significantly higher for students living in environments that do not place a high priority on education.
Let me tell you, summer lag is worse than jet lag.
It takes a lot for students to overcome this each school year. As they matriculate through their academic career, it prohibits students from making the kind of gains they could. For some, it’s a daunting reality they never recover from, without intense remediation efforts.
Educators a like, regardless of their content areas, all agree that doing simple things like reading books, practicing math facts, and spending time playing outside (instead of watching TV, playing video games, and scrolling their favorite social media site) can help curve summer lag. Some studies have even shown that students who participate in these kinds of activities can actually make significant academic GAINS over the summer. I’m all for that!
This summer, I’m making it a point to set goals that not only stretch me, but also enable me to maintain my need for a healthy challenge. Challenges refuel an interesting part of my brain and soul. As a woman business owner and leader, I’ve seen what happens to me, my life, my business, and my family, when I’m not intentional in the summer, by setting goals for myself that have meaning and allow me to thrive in areas that are important to me.
I want you to do the same.
Set. Summer. Goals.
Remember this, if you aim at nothing, you’ll land there every time. Let’s avoid that by giving you some summer goal ideas, so you can have a both restful and productive summer!
#1 Reading Is Fundamental
Reading is to the brain as a workout is the body. I actually believe that.
It’s. Just. Good. For. You.
As a woman business owner and leader, reading is a gamer changer for you! Our brains are wired to receive information through the written word. Studies even show that the single most important factor to a child’s academic achievement is reading while they are young. I believe the single most important factor to business and leadership success is reading.
Reading gives muscle to your memory, reduces stress, and best of all, keeps your brain young, fresh and vibrant.
Summer Goal ideas
- Read 3-4 books this summer (any genre)
- Subscribe to a magazine + read 2-3 articles a week
- Subscribe to audible + listen to your favorite books as you drive, shower, wash dishes, and do life. (I usually listen to the same book I’m reading, at the time.)
- Read a play or sonnet
- Read a book of poetry
- Join or start a book club
#2 Get Organized
I heard a phrase once: “We organize for our coming destiny.” (unknown)
This is true.
Whether you choose to get organized or not you are preparing for your future. It’s almost as if you are preparing for things that haven’t happened yet, as if they had already occurred.
Organization becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for your life. You’re speaking life into the destiny of your business. Organization is about preparation to do the work of the vision of your business before the work arrives. I’m talking about more than just organizing your closet. There are many other areas you can organize (or prepare for the coming destiny) in your business.
Summer Goal Ideas
- Purge your office and desk
- Organize your business forms and client sheets
- Purchase a new planner (I love the PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters!)
- Catch up on your bookkeeping system
- Clean up your email inbox (oy vey!)
- Purge large/old computer files
- Update Cloud storage
- Review & purge your phone and other mobile device apps
#3 Refresh Your Blog Or Start One!
Like I always say, your blog is the storefront of your business. Yes, social media is great (and I LOVE it), but it’s only a tool. On any day, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and the rest could all shut down on you (or shut you out).
Where would your customers find you?
How will your business make money?
Your blog is the home base for where your clients find you, interact with you, and you make business transactions aka money honey! It’s also an extension of your brand and online image.
If you don’t have a blog…
Start. One. Now.
If you do, it’s a great time to take a look at updating it and giving it a fresh, new look! There are tons of beautiful, feminine themes out there. My favorite are the themes created by Lauren over at Restored 316. (At the time of writing this, I am currently using the Darling Theme. Check it out!)
Summer Goal Ideas
- Pick a new theme (Restored 316 is AWESOME!)
- Update the colors on your color scheme
- Redesign your logo
- Update your fonts
- Delete plugins you’re not using
- Give your post pictures an update
- Check your site’s speed and update it
- Check your links and update dead ones
#4 Grow Your Network
New opportunities are all around us! Summer time is the best time to get out and explore those opportunities. It’s also the best time to grow your network and expand your reach.
By network, I mean your close business friends and associates. These people can share the industry you’re in or they can be in a different one.
Personally, I like have diversity in my network. (I think you should, too!) It can helps you grow, gives you a rolodex of referrals for your clients and associates. Plus, it’s a built-in support system for your business. After all, us business owners are wired differently and weird to most folks. So, it’s great to hang around weirdos and have a few on speed dial. 😉
Summer Goal Ideas
- Attend a conference or networking event (offline and online)
- Reach out to your colleagues in your industry
- Reach out to other women entrepreneurs not in your industry
- Volunteer in your local community
- Join an exercise class
#5 Get Personal
It’s oh so easy to lose the personal side of entrepreneurship, especially if you work from home.
Most days it’s just me + my laptop + good music, when I’m working on my business. Outside of the occasional phone call or a quick run to Staples, I don’t have to interact with another human being, in person. For most work-from-home business owners, this rings true. This baffles people who don’t work from home.
This is good for the introverted side of me, but it’s horrid for the extroverted side of me. I wavier on the fence of needing my quiet time and needing people to thrive.
The other side of this is that your clients also need to see the personal side of you. We know we’re all humans, but that personal touch you bring to your business is what really connects you to your clients, touches their hearts, and reminds us of our humanity.
Bottom line we were designed to need and crave human interaction and relationships. Without them, it’s impossible to live a healthy full life and make the kind of impact God has designed for you.
Summer Goal Ideas
- Make a phone call to encourage or just “check in”
- Set a weekly lunch date with a business bestie or friend
- Send handwritten notes to your clients and associates
- Work at a local coffee shop a few days out of the week
- Send an inexpensive gift to your clients or associates. (Hint: Check the clearance racks at Target!)
#6 Polish Up On Your Skills
Like the old adage goes, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
It’s so important to stay on top of your skills, as a woman business owner and leader. I’m not just talking about your basic business skills either. Your technical, social media, marketing, and even those soft skills, (like self-motivation, flexibility, collaboration, negotiation, etc.) need to be evaluated and spruced up regularly. I believe the number #1 way to improve your business revenue and grow is to improve yourself and your skill set.
Remember, learning is never out for the pro! Become MASTERFUL!
Summer Goal Ideas
- Review old classes you’ve previously taken
- Take a new class on business, leadership, or marketing
- Learn a new language
- Develop your vocabulary by reading the dictionary or studying words
- Play board games – this helps with strategy and critical thinking!
- Learn how to play chess – the ultimate strategy game!
- Join Toastmasters
#7 Find Out What Makes You Tick!
There’s is nothing like understanding how you are wired. It’s liberating to know that your “supposed” weirdness is your normal and it’s totally acceptable in this world.
Though I find value most well-known personality tests, my absolute favorite is The Kolbe™ Test. It’s actually not a personality test, but an Instinct Test. It tests your unique method of operation or modus operandi aka your “M.O.” (I’ll talk more about why I love this test later on, but for now, just know that you NEED this in your life!)
Trust me when I say – the way you go about business, leadership, and you life will never ever be the same!
Sumer Goal Ideas
- Take The Kolbe A™ Instinct test
- Take The Kolbe B™ Career Instinct Test
- Review your reports
- Discover how you TRULY operate
- Review your other personality test results and compare
#8 Relax. Rest. Rejuvenate.
Rest. Rest. Rest.
I believe that rest is one of the keys to success in life. Too many people believe the lie, “I’ll rest when I die.”
How is that a fulfilling life that Glorifies God?
It’s the glorification of busy.
I think it’s more fruitful to follow God’s example of resting. Even Jesus and his disciples would steal away and rest after ministering to the masses. Women business owners and leaders face a unique set of challenges, as they are also the nurturers, caregivers, life-givers of their families. So while building a business and walking in your call as a leader, in the Kingdom, you’ll want to make sure you are tending to your needs and giving yourself the proper self-care and rest it needs and deserves.
Look, if you want to have longevity as a woman business owner and leader, while really enjoying your life, then learn to REST!
Summer Goal Ideas
- Take a Vacation or Staycation
- Plan a Spa day
- Get a Fitness analysis
- Go camping or RVing
- Set your medical appointments for the next half of the year.
- Pull back on your work schedule and work only 3-4 days a week.
- Plan a ladies night out
- Learn how to sew, crochet, knit (or pick it back up!)
- Take an art, dance, or music class
#9 Brainstorm Ideas
This is the PERFECT time to allow all of those ideas you’ve had bottled up in your heart and mind to just flow!
I would run to Staples and grab a sparkly journal and a pretty pen. Name your new journal “Dream Journal.” In there, jot down any ideas that come to mind. I usually put one idea per page, so I can go back and flesh out some of those ideas later on.
Make this part of your morning or nightly routine! You’ll be surprised how your ideas start to flow!
Summer Goal Ideas