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Over these past 18 months we have all been awakened to many new insights and realities. For some, we had the real-life epiphany that this journey we are all on is so very short, and we truly never know what lies ahead of us, so we better start living with more gratitude. For others, we became acutely aware that where we focus our time, energy and attention needs to shift…perhaps that means getting out of a career we don’t love in order to follow a deep-seeded passion; or maybe it’s a realization that it’s time to start saying “no” to the things that no longer serve us and eliminate days that feel as though they are riddled with obligations instead of joy. Whatever U took from this past “lesson of a year-and-a-half”, let me add a few more ideas and insights to ponder as U head into the warm summer months ahead.

This is the time of year when many of us take some breaks, build in a little more downtime, and have some good ole fun! While U are doing those things U enjoy most, remember, if U have lofty goals…whether those goals are in regards to your business, your health, your relationships…this ISN’T the time to throw so much caution to the wind that U lose sight of those things that matter so much to U. So this summer, make some room in your days to reflect. And as U do, remember these three guiding principles to help keep U on track and focused, while still enjoying the deep breaths that summer so beautifully brings.

1. Focus on progress over perfection.

U may be away from work more over the next few months, or eating a little more junk food than U typically would during a different time of year that is more structured. The reality is, life is an ebb and flow, and just like the ocean, we need to learn to roll with things…some days we hit the mark, and some days we don’t…and that’s okay. U made fewer calls than U might have made back in the office? U ate an extra dessert or two while enjoying a beautiful sunset? Listen, this is the joy of life! As long as U are still incorporating getting the most important things done, and eating mindfully MOST of the time, U are doing great! Too much regimen and structure can zap the fun out of our days. It’s about progress, not perfection.

2. Celebrate the wins, no matter the size.

Here’s the thing…if U are a Type A, Driver type personality, goals are your jam. Achievement is your lifeblood. Improvement and challenge lights U up! I get it! And oftentimes we can get SO hung up in the “what’s next to tackle” mindset, that we forget to enjoy the satisfaction of our accomplishments and lose sight of the baby steps that got us there. This summer, take a deep breath, and with it, a true accounting of all U did do and achieve! Maybe the doors to your business are still open after a global pandemic had U in a chokehold. Celebrate that U are still here and still building and growing! Maybe U stuck with a fitness routine even during the cold, dark winter months when gyms were closed…rejoice! Your relationship with your spouse and your children is both intact and loving after being quarantined and confined to a small space together for months on end? Amazing! The truth is, surviving these past 18 months with some joy in your heart and a smile on your face is reason enough to celebrate…so do it, and give yourself some well-deserved credit. U earned it.

3. Keep moving forward…it’s not the speed at which U get there, it’s that U get there.

This ties back to the idea of “progress over perfection”, however it goes a step further…this has to do with your pace. I know plenty of people who seemingly “have it all”, yet, they don’t. They may have “the stuff” that creates the outward optics that others so desire, but their days are empty and uninspired because while they are burning the midnight oil, they’re simultaneously burning the candle at both ends. Their relationships are shallow and lackluster because their focus is on “what’s next” instead of “what is”. While many of us want to achieve and succeed so badly, we don’t take into account what that achievement and success really looks like. So this summer, define it…for U. Is it more quiet time built in to your days and weeks…time just for U? Is it having a bouquet of fresh flowers in your home each week that brings a smile to your face each time U pass by them? What does success and happiness TRULY look and feel like…for U? Once U define it, it’s about taking those small, consistent and deliberate steps to getting there. Just one small step in front of the other, at whatever pace is right for U.

The journey of life is a marathon, not a sprint. If we go too fast, we miss the beauty. Take the time to grow, learn and enjoy the ride of life. And this summer, savor the sweetness of not just that ice cold lemonade, but ALL that U have accomplished along the way.