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The Key to an Enjoyable Summer

Ever notice how everything is better with a little breathing room? If you want this summer to be fun and memorable, jot down everything that would make it fun and memorable—and do maybe one third of it. The key to an enjoyable summer is to not overcrowd it.

How to Find the Best Use of Your Summer Time/Energy

Try writing down (or thinking about) your responses to the following: "I may not have done everything, but at least I ..."

Be as creative or as random with your responses as you would like. Give no thought at this point to how feasible it is to do all the things you're writing down. Just write. Examples of what might be on your list:

"But at least I ..."

  • Got my sleeping back on track
  • Took back my time by learning how to delegate
  • Took back my life by learning to say no
  • Finished that book I've been wanting to read
  • Saw one good outdoor concert
  • Taught the kids how to do laundry so it isn't all on me
  • Put my vacation days to good use
  • Took Fridays off
  • Spent time with people I love and like—not online but face to face
Once you have your list, review and decide which items matter most. Put them on your calendar so you have them to look forward to.

In the words of Stephen Covey, “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside."

In a recent speech where I polled the audience on polite ways to say no, one participant offered the phrase, "I have plans." That's it! A friendly no and complete explanation in three syllables.

The Nice Thing About "I Have Plans"

It works even when your plans are to stay home and do nothing. Who doesn't need a low-key night at home now and then? If you're concerned about missing out on future invitations, you can always ask for a rain check.

Summer will be here in a blink. Have some fun this week daydreaming about how you can make your summer count—and what you'll need to say no to in order to pull it off.

Everything is better with a little breathing room—especially summer!

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at