How to Have a Fresh Start with the Summer Solstice
Why a Summer Fresh Start?
Summer comes into the year as a cornerstone. It holds the mark of the halfway point through the year, and brings with it the opportunity for humans to live diversely. Our productive days in the summer are some of the busiest of the year where we accomplish so much during the longer days; on the other hand, our lazy days where we shelter ourselves from the sweltering heat and indulge in ice cream, cranking up the air conditioning, and committing to being a couch potato amidst applying aloe are some of our least active days.
Between these two ends of the summer spectrum, there is one general theme: summer is energy and freedom. We shift our behavior with each season: in fall, we slow down; in winter, we hibernate; in spring, we bloom; and with summer, we flourish. The days are the longest they will be all year, with the sun shining hotly and strongly for longer than usual one day at a time. Our connection with the earth and nature is encouraged by the wonderful weather and outdoor activities.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year as the earth is the closest it gets to the sun. There is so much meaning in the summer solstice: a mid-year genesis, the turning point to shorter days, and the astronomical aspect of the earth being so close to our biggest star. What a time to celebrate and emphasize alignment!
When the earth is so close to a great celestial body like the sun, we should take advantage of the opportunity to connect with nature and feel its energy. The sun is so energizing, both conceptually and in its manifestation in summertime with its light and heat. The summer solstice also serves as a mindful milestone in the year: we are halfway through! I like to take this time to recognize the progress I’ve made, while also taking advantage of the timing and revitalizing myself to have a fresh start.
3 Ways to Use the Summer Solstice for a Mid-Year Rejuvenation
As the days flip to getting shorter and we go through the last six months of the year, now is the perfect time to refresh our dreams and goals for the year and evaluate how we can achieve them before the year ends! Here are some tips to have a fresh start with the summer solstice:
Reflect & Re-Plan
I like to refocus on my dreams for the year and how I can achieve them. Some of my endeavors are more long-term and won’t be accomplished in just one year, but I take this time to center myself and direct my focus to areas of need and where I don’t feel I’ve made sufficient progress.
To do this, I review what my goals are, which ones I have accomplished, and which ones I need to focus more time and energy on.
Before developing a plan for the dreams and goals you have left and how to achieve them, celebrate your progress! You’ve made it halfway through another year and if you have accomplished or worked toward the dreams you laid out at the beginning of the year, be proud of yourself!
With the goals you still have left to complete, deconstruct them and determine what you need to do to accomplish them in the time frame you’ve set for yourself.
Try working backward to develop your plan. Think about the last step that would need to happen before a goal is complete and write that down.
What step would precede that last step? Write that down next.
Continue working your way backward until you get to the point of progress you are at today.
Be detailed in your steps and then plug the first few steps into your planner so that you have a beginning timeline and can adjust as needed as you make progress.
Tuck the rest of the steps in a planner pocket or somewhere you can easily access it when you are ready to begin adding the next steps needed to reach your goal.
2. Ground & Get Active
Immerse yourself in the earth’s connection to the sun. Pick your favorite summertime grounding practice, and let the sun energize you. Connect with the earth, even if it’s just going outside barefoot and laying in the sun one day. The summer solstice has been a spiritually significant event ever since humans could put a name to it, so celebrate it and allow yourself to connect however feels right to you.
Summer is a time when your body is ready to be active. Can you shift your routines to make the most of this?
Can you begin getting up a little earlier in the morning?
Perhaps try planning outdoor movement for your body in the morning before the temperature begins to climb.
If mornings don’t work for you, can you begin taking a walk at lunchtime?
3. Balance & Unplug
After evaluating your dreams and goals and planning how to achieve them in the last half of the year, consider how you are going to balance those with the reality of life. How can you realistically achieve your plans while also enjoying the rest of the year?
Living mindfully and paying attention to the everyday rather than focusing on just your to-do lists and plans each day is critical; not doing this is how time passes you by and you miss important memories. Be aware of your need for balance so that you can stay present while also making progress.
Intentionally plan to unplug from your phone and electronics at least once on a weekly basis. The more you make a habit of doing this, the easier it will become.
How to Maintain Your Momentum
Set New Intentions
I find the need to plan balance into my days and weeks as I make my summer fresh start and become reinvigorated with new momentum after reevaluating my dreams for the year. I’ve always been someone that tries to squeeze the most out of each day, so when I created the JMB Living Journal, it was important to me to include prompts for:
What I can say NO to
A daily commitment to self care
How I’ll have fun
Beauty I noticed
What gave me joy
The first three of these prompts help me be more intentional with my time and ensure I don’t work 24/7. The latter two train my brain to slow down from time to time during the day to notice the little things and, in the process, sprinkle happy moments throughout my day.
I also set a new intention of something I want to focus on each month. My intention for the month of May was “Build Strength through Repetition”. I applied this intention to my life in several ways.
Physically through strength training (something that had been lagging in my workouts).
On my habit tracker, from an acknowledgement and reminder that repetition builds strength in the habits that I want to create.
And similarly in new routines that I have chosen to adapt for how I accomplish things in my business.
Make Time to Enjoy What Each Season Offers
The JMB Living Journal includes stories, poems and images that reflect the feel of the season and ideas for ways to enjoy everything each season has to offer.
When you take the time to refresh your goals each season and make plans for living mindfully in harmony with nature, you are automatically making more progress than you do when you create resolutions at the beginning of the year, while enjoying your life.
The Summer issue of the JMB Living Journal is my favorite so far. I love that by including new content in each issue, we can continue to allow the journal to evolve, and I feel as though this issue really encapsulates the feelings and shifts of summer, while encouraging mindfulness, growth, and flourishing with each day.
If you are looking for a measured guide to help you in your summer fresh start, the Summer issue of the JMB Living Journal starts on July 1st. You can add your reinvented goal steps to your daily plans and journal your progress, all while receiving daily inspiration and encouragement directly inspired by summer.