July articleMartes, 2 de Julio de 2019
'Goals for the summer: make the most of it!' by Emma Hearle
It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer (at least to those who live in the Northern Hemisphere!). And being a teacher means that summer is a lovely long time off work and six generous weeks of doing nothing. Except, you know all those things you’ve always wanted to do but find yourself too busy to even think about doing? We’ve all been there; putting off that language we want to practice or that new sport or activity we have always wanted to take up. Or perhaps you’ve simply always wanted to spend more quality time with family and loved ones. Well, why not make the most of your time off this year and set about achieving one of your goals and do something new? After all, January isn’t the only time we can set goals, right? Here are some of mine to give you some inspiration.
Eat out less and have picnics
Growing up, my Mum was always the queen of picnics and summer was her busiest time of the year! With three children and a clan of friends, cousins and neighbours often joining, she’d opt to save the money eating out and make one of her famous picnics for a day out in the holidays. Packed with sandwiches (I mean the Brits did invent the humble sandwich!), scotch eggs, pork pies, sausage rolls, fruit and crisps, we’d all be asked to carry it down to the beach, park or wherever it may be; initially complaining, then feeling forever grateful as we’d sit around chatting on the blanket, tucking in to the feast! Of course there would be arguments over who got the biggest sausage roll, the bag of prawn cocktail crisps or last egg and cress sarnie, but being an adult now I can see what a smart choice it is to prepare your own food rather than going out to a restaurant. Perhaps it’s the weather here or the temptation of living so close to so many great places to eat in Barcelona, but I spend a fortune on eating out during the year so this summer I am going to make a conscious effort to spend some time preparing some food ahead of a day out or trip up the coast. Maybe even a bottle of bubbles to make it an adult friendly picnic too!
Stop Rushing. Slow down and enjoy life
We’re all busy. In the winter, the weather is a great excuse to walk even faster as we rush our way from point A to point B. Don’t be ruled by a clock. Of course don’t inconvenience others by being late, but let yourself wander. Walk to a further metro stop (or equivalent) on your way to meet friends. Steal a few extra minutes to admire some flowers or just savor the feeling of warmth from the sun on your skin.Summer is a perfect time to not schedule in everything. Go with the flow more. Be spontaneous and make decisions based on how you’re feeling, not on what you think you should do. I find rushing about isn’t even possible during a hot, Spanish summer when just walking out of an air conditioned building can break me out in sweats without even going anywhere! I’m going to be more mindful and take the time to do things I want, when I want. If you can’t do this in the summer, when can you?!
Learn a New Skill
This summer set aside one hour a day to learn a new skill. It can be tedious starting something from scratch, but with a long summer break from work, reduced working hours or simply longer days, we have more time to develop our skills set and learn something new. I have always wanted to master iMovie and make videos of my own with music, visual effects and voiceover. There is no better time than summer to do this with those hours of footage of you and your friends having fun on holidays. YouTube has great tutorials too if you don’t want to pay or need some help getting started.
Drink more water and less beer
Again I’m going to blame Spain for this one - the beer here is just so cheap (and good)! When I’m hot and need something refreshing to drink, I seem to gravitate towards the beer when it should be water! This summer I’m really going to try to order more water when I’m out with friends instead of automatically going for a caña or even a cheeky mediana! We all know the benefits to drinking more water but this always goes out the windows in summer when this should be a time of hydrating myself more!
Try a New Sport
Another great thing about summer is that you get to spend lots of time in nature and the great outdoors. This means there are lots of sports you can participate in. This summer, I’ve set the goal of trying a sport I’ve never tried before. Being in Catalonia, I thought taking up a water sport, such as paddleboarding or kitesurfing, may be a good idea or perhaps trying a cheaper hobby like rollerblading. I have a pair of rollerblades I got in Decathalon about five years ago that I have used less than a handful of times so I think that’s something I could do this summer. Or if it’s not a new sport or activity you fancy, you could resurrect one from your youth or one you don’t have time to enjoy during the year. Get out for a run or cycle ride with friends or dust off your tennis racket for an evening knockabout when it’s a little cooler!
Write in your journal / start a blog
This is something I have been telling myself I’d do as a new year’s resolution for about the last 10 Januarys! It could be something you keep private or perhaps you fancy learning how to start your own online blog and post about your travels, hobbies or day-to-day musings for others to enjoy reading. I was given a beautiful leather journal for christmas about 6 years ago and am embarrassed to admit it’s still in the packaging it came in. What should I write? Would people even be interested in my life if I were to upload bits to a blog? I should also set myself the goal of not worrying too much and to just go ahead and give it a go this summer. After all, you never know unless you try. All the big bloggers and social media folk had to start somewhere!
Whatever it may be, I hope your summer has kick started in the way you had hoped, and you are fully making the most (and of course enjoying) your time off. If none of these ideas sounded like a bit of you, you could always focus on your English this summer and set aside time to learn some more phrasal verbs or even just get hooked on an English speaking series to be top of your class in September.
Whatever you are doing this summer, have the best time and get inspired!
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'Goals for the summer: make the most of it!' by Emma Hearle
Descuentos muy dulces en Le Caramel de Parets y muchos más en otros establecimientos.
25 minutos de conversa personalizados con un profesor nativo de Cambridge School.