Sum-Sum-Summertime: Play Now or Pay Later
It's summer. Yippee. Run to the hammock and let's play a game. I want you to lie back and relax into thinking about something you want to accomplish this summer. Here's the sentence. Fill in the blank:
"This is the summer I want to ..."
What? Name your heart's desire. Keep it clean. Think about your own well-being.
Want to run a 10k? (Great for the body.)
Learn to play guitar? (Good for the brain.)
Meditate for 15 minutes a day? (Marvelous for equanimity and everything else.)
You know my theory: When the seasons change, so can we. In summer especially, we tend to take more time for ourselves, play more and have more fun. If you're ready this summer, you can create new habits and attitudes that make your life richer and riper.
Below, I've listed seven. Find a few that speak to you and make them happen. Small changes bring big rewards. Who said that? I did, I do, I will, over and over:
1. MEATLESS MONDAYS. This summer, join the trend to cut back or eliminate red meat in your diet. A Monday without burgers means you can enjoy forms of protein that aren't tainted with hormones or antibiotics. I'm talking beans, nuts, cheeses. This Monday, I'm making myself giant white beans sprinkled with feta, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil. I'll probably add some Sriracha sauce, but that's just me. Once you get the hang of meatless Mondays, you can move on to farmers market Fridays, when you sustain yourself with fresh summer vegetables and fruits bought locally and cooked in your own kitchen.
2. WALK OR BIKE MORE. Figure out ways to drive your car less this summer -- good for the planet, very good for the heart. Just for fun (and to help create a new habit), keep track of your mileage in a journal. Ride your bike to work, to shop, to school. If wearing a pedometer steps up your activity level, get a good one and wear it with pride all summer. Yes, working walks and bike rides into your daily life takes planning and courage, but you can do it, if you want to. If you don't want to, please stop complaining about how tight your jeans are.