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10 Cool Things We All Need To Have In Our Backyards

10 Cool Things We All Need To Have In Our Backyards

Your backyard is your own little piece of the outdoors. How you decorate your slice of paradise can have a big effect on how much you enjoy your time spent outside.

These 10 cool things you need to have in your backyard will make the exterior of your home a place that you, and your family and friends, will never want to leave.

1. A Summer Kitchen

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    A summer kitchen does more than help you spend more time outside in the warmest months of the year — it helps keep the interior of your home spick and span when you throw outdoor parties. Include a refrigerator, grill, cabinetry, and plenty of counter space to ensure that you don’t have to perform tasks inside while your friends and family are enjoying the outdoors.

    2. An Extra-Large Hammock

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      Forget about fighting over the hammock on every beautiful day. An extra-large hammock makes it possible for your family to relax in the shade together. There are a wide selection of jumbo hammocks available, ranging from those that fit two people to those that can hold more than 1,000 pounds of weight.

      3. An Outdoor Projector Screen

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        Cramming onto the couch to watch a movie is now a thing of the past. You can now invite all of your family and friends over to watch a movie together on your jumbo outdoor projector screen. Don’t forget to supply plenty of lawn chairs for everyone to enjoy the show.

        4. A Special Reading Nook

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          Turn your backyard into a tropical paradise with a sheltered reading nook that you can enjoy in all types of weather. Pack the nook with plenty of pillows or comfortable reading chairs to inspire everyone to spend more time with their books.

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          5. Fire Pit Swings

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            It’s hard not to want to spend more time together when you have comfortable wooden swings dangling the perfect length from the warmth of the fire. Fire pit swings ensure no one is forced to sit on dirty logs or in uncomfortable lawn chairs during gatherings around the pit. Even better, you can use this awesome backyard feature in all seasons.

            6. An In-Ground Trampoline

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              What’s better than growing up with a trampoline in your backyard? Growing up with an in-ground trampoline in your backyard. The in-ground trampoline makes it easy to hop onto and off of the trampoline and eliminates injuries associated with falling several feet off the side.

              7. An Outdoor Shower

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                You don’t have to live near the ocean to enjoy an outdoor shower; although, you’ll love being able to rinse the salt away if you do. An outdoor shower is ideal for rinsing off after long summer days playing outside in the grass or the pool. Opt for a waterfall shower head and surrounding tropical plants to make your outdoor shower feel like a special oasis.

                8. The Ultimate Swing Set

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                  Swing sets have gotten far more elaborate in recent years, and many don’t require you to be a kid to have some fun. Choose a play set with a full climbing wall, zip line, rope ladder, or other features to turn your backyard into an action-packed obstacle course.

                  9. A Backyard Stream

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                    You don’t have to live in the mountains to enjoy the luxury of a stream flowing through your backyard. There are a number of websites available to help you build a do-it-yourself backyard stream with your own water supply and items you can find at most hardware stores. When the stream is finished, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a more scenic backyard atmosphere and the soothing sound of flowing water.

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                    10. A Cocoon Hanging Chair

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                      Cocoon hanging chairs are some of the coolest places you can hang out. These hanging swings are designed for children and adults, providing shade and a comfortable place to relax outdoors. Their nest-like appearance is fun for kids playing or adults lounging, and the compact design of some models means you can take your chair out of your backyard and use it for other outdoor adventures like beach vacations and camping excursions.

                      Featured photo credit: Nan Palmero via c2.staticflickr.com

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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