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7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

Summer is right around the corner. We want to make sure that we’re fully prepared to have the best few months ahead of us. Most of us are too busy finishing off our work projects or exams to think about what needs to be done beforehand, which usually leaves a lot of opportunities and experiences on the table.

Luckily, we’ve accumulated 7 things you should start doing now to make this your best summer yet.

1. Plan Ahead For Travel

The best prices for summer vacation packages was 2 months ago. But don’t worry, it’s never too late. As long as you’re not leaving in the next week, you can still find a lot of great deals online by taking some time to look.

Check out Hipmunk’s 90-Day price chart, which gives you the round-trip flight prices for your desired locations for the next 90 days.

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     2. Try Out A Foreign Language

    If your goal it to travel to a foreign country, it only makes sense to learn a new language. Whether your goal is to travel to South America, Asia, Europe, etc., your experience can be much more enhanced by being able to communicate with the locals in the city. They can show you hot spots, you can build relationships, and live from the point of view of the locals, instead of depending on what journalists from the media outlets share online.

    Check out this free Learn a Language Challenge, which offers you 10 new most common words in your target language every morning (5 mins/day), or if you want to improve your speaking skills, check out Rype.

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      3. Get Your Finances In Order

      With all this talk of travel, we should naturally discuss getting your personal finances in order, because none of what we want to do in the summer can be done without it.

      If you’ve been going out every night to eat and overspending on things you don’t urgently need, it’s probably time to start saving. This isn’t us trying to sound like naggers, but it’s just reality. If you want to travel, enjoy new experiences, and have the best summer yet, it’s going to take money.

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      Check out Mint.com which integrates all of your bank accounts for you, and gives you a visual analysis of your expenses, income, and investments in one place.

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        4. Get Your Health Right

        Nothing works without your health. If you’ve been putting off getting in shape and eating healthy, it’s time to reconsider.

        One incentive is to be able to hit the beach this summer without shame, but the bigger incentive is to have more energy in your daily life. Energy gives us motivation to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and continue to be active throughout our day, week, and month ahead.

        Check out the 7-minute workout, which helps you go through over a dozen different exercises within a span of 7 minutes. Now everyone has the time to get in shape, no matter how busy you are.

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          5. Make the Most Out of Networking Opportunities

          With summer coming around the corner, the opportunity to network with the people you want to meet is shrinking – at least until the end of summer. It’s likely that whoever you want to meet is also going on vacation or taking time off networking to spend time with family and friends, so you should reach out to whoever you need to beforehand.

          Take 15 minutes a day in the morning, afternoon, or evening to reach out to someone you respect, and ask them for a quick coffee while you still can.

          6. Learn a New Skill

          The best part about summer time is not just rejuvenation, but recreation. Recreation of your goals, your knowledge, and skillsets to increase your chances of advancing your career and becoming more valuable in the marketplace.

          Time is always of the essence, so check out these tips on how to learn faster. In summary, we just have to make sure that we’re not multitasking, modeling the best out there, and being persistent with our daily practice habits.

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          Learning how to code? Code something everyday.
          Learning a new language? Practice everyday with a native speaker.
          Learning how to write? Get up and write everyday.

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            7. Re-Connect With Old Friends

            Even the best experiences can’t be fully enjoyed without friends and family around us. Is there an old friend that you’ve lost touch with due to work constraints and other obligations? It happens to all of us, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you can take action.

            Before summer kicks off, message or call up an old friend, and use the next few months to connect together.

            Which of these tips will you take action on to make this the best summer yet?

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            Sean Kim

            Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

            Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

            For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

            But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

            It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

            The Importance of Saying No

            When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

            In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

            Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

            Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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            Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

            “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

            When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

            How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

            It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

            From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

            We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

            And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

            The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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            How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

            Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

            The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

            1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

            Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

            2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

            Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

            3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

            When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

            6 Ways to Start Saying No

            Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

            1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

            One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

            Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

            2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

            Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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            Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

            3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

            Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

            Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

            4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

            Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

            Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

            5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

            When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

            Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

            A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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            6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

            If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

            Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

            Final Thoughts

            Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

            Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

            Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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            Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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