Things You Learn in Therapy

Ep97: Summer Goal Setting: Practical Advice for a Fulfilling Season with Dr. Beth Trammell

June 07, 2024 Beth Trammell PhD, HSPP
Ep97: Summer Goal Setting: Practical Advice for a Fulfilling Season with Dr. Beth Trammell
Things You Learn in Therapy
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Things You Learn in Therapy
Ep97: Summer Goal Setting: Practical Advice for a Fulfilling Season with Dr. Beth Trammell
Jun 07, 2024
Beth Trammell PhD, HSPP

Feel like you always aim for a "good summer" and then sometimes fall short?? Listen in as we explore intentional goal setting for the summer months. We will share practical advice on how to set realistic and specific goals. Whether you're looking to boost your health, plan unforgettable trips, or finally tackle those lingering projects, this episode is packed with actionable strategies to turn your summer dreams into reality.

Parents, this episode is especially for you too! Dr. Trammell delves into how to balance rest and productivity for your kids during their summer break. She emphasizes the importance of defining chores and responsibilities, ensuring that the season is both enjoyable and structured. Learn how to create a summer bucket list, prepare for potential setbacks, and make the most out of every moment. Tune in to gain inspiration and practical tools for a summer that's both enriching and enjoyable for the entire family.

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www.bethtrammell.com

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Show Notes Transcript

Feel like you always aim for a "good summer" and then sometimes fall short?? Listen in as we explore intentional goal setting for the summer months. We will share practical advice on how to set realistic and specific goals. Whether you're looking to boost your health, plan unforgettable trips, or finally tackle those lingering projects, this episode is packed with actionable strategies to turn your summer dreams into reality.

Parents, this episode is especially for you too! Dr. Trammell delves into how to balance rest and productivity for your kids during their summer break. She emphasizes the importance of defining chores and responsibilities, ensuring that the season is both enjoyable and structured. Learn how to create a summer bucket list, prepare for potential setbacks, and make the most out of every moment. Tune in to gain inspiration and practical tools for a summer that's both enriching and enjoyable for the entire family.

Support the Show.

www.bethtrammell.com

Speaker 1:

Hello listener, I am Dr Beth Tramiel and this is Things you Learn in Therapy. I am an Associate Professor of Psychology at Indiana University East, where I'm also the Director of the Master's in Mental Health Counseling Program, and I'm excited about summer, and today's first episode of the summer season is really about exploring intentional ways that you can kind of plan for the summer, right, and so I want to start by having you think about what it is that you want the summer to look like, right, whether that's with your kids or with your work schedule or your home schedule or projects you want to get done that you have been kind of putting off until a different season has come. So I want to talk a little bit about goal setting. I actually talk a lot about goal setting in both my you know therapeutic practice, but also in working with students and other people. Right, that goal setting is something that while we kind of think, hey, yeah, I know how to do goal setting, and then you don't achieve your goal, and then you're like, well, what just happened there? So I find that most of the time, folks who set goals don't have a specific, the goal isn't specific enough, and so we're saying like, I want to work out more, I want to drink more water, I want to spend more time with friends. It's usually like a more statement, but we don't actually talk about what more looks like.

Speaker 1:

If you are wanting to work out more over the summer, then you have to establish where are you now and what is realistic to move to achieve your goal right. So if you're working out once a week and you say, well, I'm going to work out five times a week, is that actually realistic for you? Being specific is one thing, but then also being realistic about your goal is another potential pitfall that people fall into, that they shoot for the moon and then it's like, well, actually two weeks later you give up on your goal. And so I want to encourage you to think about kind of two things within goal setting being specific about what you want that to look like, and trying to be realistic. And so maybe it's about traveling, maybe it's about your health, maybe it's about some sort of social goal, whatever that looks like for you. Try to be really specific about that, particularly as we think about the next couple of months of summer.

Speaker 1:

And one kind of final thing I'll say about goal setting is that we have to be prepared for setbacks or obstacles to achieving our goal. For example, if I'm trying to lose a few pounds over the summer, I need to be prepared for all of the sugary treats that may come ice cream stops or celebrations with friends or family reunions, things like that. I have to think and be intentional about what I am planning to do when those obstacles come. So when there's a buffet of food out and I'm trying to lose weight, I need to prepare myself for a strategy of what that's going to look like. So maybe I'll say I'm allowed to have one dessert when we are at the buffet of food with my family, but not 12 bites of every dessert, which is kind of my MO, if I'm being honest.

Speaker 1:

So think about intentional summer goals that you want to achieve this summer. Sometimes people see goals and they think about doing a summer bucket list, which I think is great. So, thinking about what are maybe bigger things that you want to achieve that you want to put on a bucket list, I encourage you to write those things down, post them in your house somewhere, tell a friend we have lots of good evidence to say that if you post it or if you tell someone else about your idea, your goal, your dream. You're more likely to achieve it because you've got people in your life who are going to try to hold you accountable to that. So what are things that are on your bucket list? Maybe you have five things over the summer that would be on your bucket list and you can start to check them off in an intentional way.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to talk a little bit about kids and summer specifically here, and so if you're not a parent, maybe you still listen in as a person who might just be interested in this. But specifically for parents, I want to think about what do chores and responsibilities look like over the summer for our kids? So I think summer definitely takes on a different rhythm than the school year, and that's great, you know. I think our kids need us to rest, which we're going to talk about in another episode. How do we do rest? Going to talk about in another episode. How do we do rest? Well, so tune in for that.

Speaker 1:

But it doesn't mean that summer should be without structure. It should be without any kind of responsibility around the house, and so, while you are allowing some space for kids to have rest and relaxation over the summer, I always encourage parents to maintain some version of a routine or structure, and so, for me, structure means clear expectations and effective routines. When we have those routines that we want them to get into, it doesn't mean they have to wake up at seven or eight in the morning, but it does mean that, hey, here is a checklist of these five things that I'm expecting you to do every day for the summer, so that might include chores around the house that are age appropriate, which, by the way, kids as young as kindergarten could be doing chores every day. There are some great chore lists for age appropriate types of chores. Getting your kids in the habit of doing things every day there are some great chore lists for age-appropriate types of chores. Getting your kids in the habit of doing things every day is great.

Speaker 1:

What I did with my own kids this year is sort of created a checklist of things that they go through, but allowed some variety, and so one of their options, or one of their requirements, is to be creative every day for 20 minutes, and so I gave them a list of a few ideas for what being creative could look like. So I want them to paint or draw or color, or they could go outside and kind of be creative in nature. They can build something they could do Legos, but anything that keeps them in this kind of creative mindset. For 20 minutes they have to read for 20 minutes. They have to have what I'm calling thinking time for 20 minutes, and that would include kind of word puzzles or a jigsaw puzzle or Sudoku or word search or things like that where they're just kind of thinking, or word search or things like that where they're just kind of thinking. They have to move their body and be together, and I actually added hydration for my kids this summer, which has been kind of a unique challenge for them because I think as adults we tend to focus more on drinking enough water for your body. But I realized last summer that they played outside a lot, they were at the pool a lot, and so encouraging good hydration for the kids was something that I included on their list. So that's just an example of what I'm doing in my own life and if you would like a copy of that list, I'm happy to share it with you. You can just email me and I'll share it with you as a template. It's actually very simple, just a simple Word document, but there are some ideas for you.

Speaker 1:

The short story is, having some sort of routine that works for you and your family is something that would be good to keep them in, even over the summer. So I think about my friend and fellow guest on the show. She's actually coming back again to talk about some court things, tara Egan. I always come back to something she said on an episode on how do we kind of balance social media with our teenagers in particular, and she said you know, the important thing is that kids show up for their lives every day. And so I think about what that looks like for you and your kids. How will they show up in their lives today, and what do you want them to do to show up in their lives today?

Speaker 1:

The last thing I want to talk about is sleep and making sleep routines still an important part of the summer. Not all of you are going to love me for this, that's okay, but our kids really need to maintain a consistent sleep-wake cycle throughout the year, and that doesn't mean that they have to go to bed while it's still light out for some of us, eight or 8.30, but it does mean letting them stay up till two or three in the morning and then trying to get their bodies back into the swing of school in a couple of months is just not necessarily advised. So you may just be kind of asking for more trouble later. That doesn't mean you have a day or two over the summer or a day or two a month where they're staying up late because they have a sleepover or whatever that looks like, right? I'm not talking about never doing this, not necessarily a black and white kind of thinker, but maybe trying to keep their bedtime at 10 and their wake up time at eight. If it pushes back an hour, you're probably going to be okay when we come back to August and you have to retrain their bodies to wake up much earlier and go to bed much earlier. But if they are extending their bedtime or their sleep-wake cycle by several hours, then it's just going to be harder to kind of get things back on track.

Speaker 1:

So think about ways that you can maybe maintain a constant sleep cycle or at least a similar sleep-wake cycle for your kids. Might be easier later in the summer when we're talking about getting ready for the school year to start, which will be an episode that I share with you later in the summer. So just a few thoughts as we are stepping into summer, and I just want to encourage you that intentional planning will make you feel more successful, but don't go overboard. You know summertime is about a different rhythm of life, and so my encouragement for you today is just to envision what that looks like and then take some intentional steps to make that happen. So thanks for listening today. Next week we are going to talk about how do we engage with teams. That is part of what we are going to talk about next week. So tune in for that one and until next time, stay safe and stay well.