Summer Ground Rules

summer-birds-end

This summer, I’m not going on any big trips. I’m not starting any  new, hugely time consuming jobs. I’m not planning anything big at all, really. The current plan? Get myself more on track.

I’m turning 25 in July, and I came to the realization that I’m not where I would have liked to be for my impending age. I’m still in University, I’m not saving up to move out, I’m not dating anyone seriously to consider a long-term life with, I’m not working a career job… I don’t even have my driver’s license yet.

I’m not saying that I regret anything- I’ve done a lot of things, too. I’ve traveled to almost a dozen countries, spent two years working with a charity organization and raising almost $80,000 for charities around the world, continued to work as editor-in-chief for a music magazine that is slowly becoming more successful, I’ve managed over 30 people at once in my spare time, and I’ve gotten myself halfway through a Bachelor’s degree in business.

But at 25, I just wish I had found a way to procrastinate less, watch less TV, and spend less money. I wish I had found a way to start putting more money away for my future, or work on those pesky, annoying tasks that adults have to do (like, get a license). I’m turning 25 and I feel like I’m perpetually stuck at the age of 16. I’m so happy and proud of myself for all of my accomplishments, but I also feel like I’ve spent so much time working on some projects, that others get conveniently forgotten.

This summer, in an attempt to avoid the “quarter-life crisis” that I’ve half-joked is coming my way, I’m setting myself some ground rules, and some goals (those will come soon enough). Five rules that I’d like to remind myself of every single day, as I continue to work on myself  and hopefully accomplish a few things that bring me closer to a happier place in my life.

The Rules

1. Set an alarm 5 days a week.
I let sleep steal so many hours from me, and make me far too unproductive. I spent so much of my time in the last 6 months or so living on a lack of sleep, that I’ve spoiled myself with 9-10 hour nights’ of sleep lately. Whatever it takes, even if I need to get to bed a bit earlier, I want to be up earlier than 1o or 11, even on some of my days off.

2. Always make the tough choice.
I want to apply this to all areas of my life. Whether the choice is between chips or an apple; paying off a bill or going out for dinner; accomplishing an annoying task or watching TV, I want to make the decisions that make me a better person in the long-term, not just make me feel good in that instant.

3. Make the time. 
I often convince myself that certain things don’t get done because I didn’t have time for it, and “at least I got those other things done”. But the truth is, those other things aren’t always important. I want to make the time to do the things that are more important, and that I’ve somehow pushed back and forgotten about.

4. Do things for me. 
I have found myself so often very close to burning out, or being so over the edge of that cliff that I stop caring. I think about others a lot more than I think about myself, and I will always prioritize work that affects others before I take any time for me. In an attempt to avoid a burn out, I want to do more things for me. It’s important to make time for important things, but it’s also important to take an hour to read, or enjoy the nice day!

5. Take chances. 
I’ve been learning a thing or two about failure, these last few months, and it hasn’t been easy. But I imagine it’s good for me, and in the long-run I’ll see some great lessons come from it. The thing with failure, is it finds a way to inflict fear and self-doubt in you. I want to keep taking chances on myself, no matter how much I may grow to doubt a certain ability or another. New opportunities will never come if I don’t at least put myself out there and give things a try.

Comments

  1. My life looked so different at 25, then what I thought it would…I had a mini quarter life crisis, but I am so glad things turned out the way they did. The closer I got to 30, the more I let go of what things “should” look like. You have done so many amazing things so far! The rest of your 20s will inevitably rock!

  2. I think this is a great list. 25 was a weird age for me to turn…I always thought I’d have a kid by 25, and when I got there I was like NOPE NOPE NOPE. It definitely felt weirder to turn 25 than it did to turn 26 or 27 or (I imagine) 28. I wish you luck on all of these things :)

  3. girlwiththeredhair.com says:

    Don’t rush too grow up too fast.. Just remember the grass is always greener on the other side. I LOVE my life, but with a mortgage to pay, a full-time job I have to go to even when I don’t want to and pets to take care of sometimes the grass on your side of the fence seems greener to me.

    That said, I think it’s really important to build structure into our days. Even though when I was in University I was like you and very BUSY between extracurricular stuff, homework, working part-time, freelancing, etc. etc. there was never any structure across every day. I think that having the structure of a full-time job now really helps me build a lot of those adult things you mentioned above into my life.

    Hopefully that kind of makes sense, haha. Good luck with all your goals for this summer. You can do it :)

  4. I think you’ve really accomplished a lot at almost-25! Between your magazine and being president for CASA Cares and all the traveling you’ve done… that’s more than a lot of people can say for themselves! But I do understand wanting to make better decisions with your downtime (though, GIRL, you have EARNED your downtime after the crazy few months you’ve had!) and having more structure. I think the plans you’ve put into place will really help you feel better about how you spend your time, making sure it’s well spent and productive.

    But I also want to say that having a day or two where you do nothing but read and/or watch tv? Perfectly okay! Take advantage of having this time off. Once you start working full-time, it’s not so much fun anymore. ;)

  5. You should be so proud of everything you’ve accomplished, it’s amazing! It’s so impressive you’re setting these ground rules for yourself too, here’s to even more exciting things in your future x

Trackbacks

  1. […] 8. Remember the Summer Ground Rules. I wrote them MONTHS ago and had kind of forgotten about them, but I’d like to try and get back to the ground rules when I make decisions. They’re still totally valid and I don’t apply them often enough yet. […]

  2. […] 8. Remember the Summer Ground Rules. SORT OF. These ground rules have been my mantra, if you will, over the last few months. Sometimes I forget about them though. It would be worth printing them out, because they are more than just “summer” ground rules. They feel like life ground rules, and I always want to be thinking about them. […]

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