Last Updated on July 18, 2023
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching for summer and all the good things that come with it! Between the warmth, sunshine, fun, and relaxation, there’s a lot to bring us joy. But it’s also ideal to strike that perfect balance between fun, relaxation, and staying consistent on the things you care about.
This is why summer is the perfect time to set new goals! These highly motivating summer goals will give you all sorts of ideas for goals of all kinds. Heck, your goal can even be to do less and finally give yourself a well-deserved break from being so busy! Not every goal needs to be about hustle culture and milking our productivity.
These summer goals will help you identify what you could use more of in this season of your life. Let’s dive in!
How to Set Summer Goals
First of all, there’s something that needs to be said about goal setting if we want it to be effective. I know we’ve all jotted down an exciting list of goals in a notebook somewhere, only to never look back at it again.
But that’s how we lose sight of our goals! And, as you can guess, that’s why we don’t reach them.
So we need to plan our summer goals in a way that actually keeps them top of mind and present in our regular routine. And this means including them in our life by pairing them with certain habits.
Every Summer Goal You Make Should be Paired With a Habit
This rule can and should be applied to pretty much any goal you make, ever. Establishing habits that guide us and keep us on track to meeting a goal are essential! I’ll give you some summer goal examples that show what I mean.
- Goal Example: Getting in better shape
For starters, you need to get more specific on what getting in better shape means to you. Does it mean achieving a certain physique? Does it mean improving your health and energy? Does it mean being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded? (Listen y’all, I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I still get winded up those dang stairs sometimes!)
Once you’ve pinned down your goal in more specific terms, you can think about the habits you need to set to keep you on track to meeting the goal. If your goal is to get into better shape and by that you mean looking and feeling stronger, you know you’ll want to focus your efforts on attending the gym and strength training regularly.
Your habits can look something like, “I’ll schedule in my planner to go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and do 45 minutes of strength training each time.”
This way, you’re actively working toward your goal every week all throughout the summer! Just think of the progress you’ll make when September rolls around.
- Goal Example: Plan a trip to Cancun
Even with a goal like this, there’s habits you’d want to put in place to stay on track. The last thing you want is to end up booking an expensive last minute flight, then realizing that you also didn’t plan out any activities to actually do in Cancun!
So even when I plan vacations for myself, I actually set aside time in my calendar each week, similar to the gym example, to do a little vacation research here and there.
Your habits for this can look something like, “I’ll schedule in my planner to do 1 hour of trip planning every week on Sunday mornings. The first week will be comparing flight prices and booking the tickets. The second week will be finding a hotel. The third week will be planning restaurants to eat at. The fourth week will be booking excursions and activities I’ll do, etc.”
So, really, this framework can be applied to all sorts of different goals! And applying this framework to your summer goals will make you all the more likely to stick to them, achieve them, and do a little happy dance in the end because you did it!
Setting Seasonal Goals Is Key For Breaking Down Bigger Goals
Setting summer goals also gives you the chance to break bigger goals down into more digestible pieces. Think about how daunting New Year’s resolutions can be, because you’re expecting your December to look the same as your January! In a year’s time, a lot of your goals may have shifted or needed to be revised.
But when you set seasonal goals, you can more accurately envision how the next 3 months will go compared to how the next 12 months will go. Which also makes for an easier time setting yourself up for success.
So if you had any big goals you made back in January (or big goals you’ve been thinking about in general), now is a good time to revisit those. See how you can fine-tune them to be a little more manageable this summer.
Ultimate List of 40 Motivating Summer Goals to Set in 2023
You ready to kick this summer off with intention?! Keep reading to see 40 highly motivating summer goals you’ll want to add to your bucket list ASAP. Whether you want your seasonal goals to be focused on summer fun, getting in a productive groove of bettering yourself, or simply relaxing and prioritizing your self care, these goals cover it all!
Pssst! You don’t wanna forget these summer goals! Pin ‘em for later!
Fun Summer Goals for 2023
Get out there and see the world! This can be as small as traveling to a new town an hour away that you’ve never been to before, or as big as a dreamy beach vacation on the other side of the country. You’ve got options! You can also be brave and travel solo or if you’re lucky, coordinate with a group of friends to make awesome summer memories.
Just be sure to set a specific destination, plan what you’ll pack, what you’ll do and eat on vacation, and anything else you need to get in order. Travel involves a lotttt of planning, so make sure you’re giving yourself all the time you need to plan it all out!
2. Spend time with family and friends
Summer is perfect for scheduling get-togethers. And with lovely warm weather out, you’ve got a ton of options! Picnics, BBQs, day trips with your besties…the sky’s the limit! You can plan for fun activities both indoors and outdoors and that’s always a plus this time of year.
3. Go on a road trip to a new destination
You don’t have to plan an intensive plane trip to get out there and explore. Road trips are fair game too! Road trips make for great weekend trips when you don’t have enough time to deal with airports and flying. You can make it a day trip by going to the next city over, or it can be an all-out cross country road trip if you have the time and resources!
4. Attend a music festival or concert
Summer is the season for music festivals of course. This can also make for a great road trip, so you might be ticking two things off your summer goals list at once! I’ve been to Lollapalooza in Chicago twice and I would love to go to Bonnaroo in Tennessee some day. These are often the highlight of my summer and are such a good experience, so I highly recommend.
5. Visit a museum or art exhibit
History, science, art…there’s all kinds of different museums to suit your tastes. Some might be more interesting than others, but you won’t know what you’re missing until you try them out. You might just find a newfound appreciation for museums! Some of them are even free, so they’re worth checking out.
6. Visit a national park or nature reserve
I know my ultimate summer goal is to spend more time outdoors and national parks are hands down one of the most beautiful ways to do so! The warm summer weather makes everything look so green and full of lively, vivid nature. While visiting popular national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are the most stunning experiences, you can also find smaller nature preserves in your local area that are worth the visit.
7. Try a new type of food
If you’re adventurous with your food, you should broaden your horizons even more by trying a new food you’ve never had before. This could be food from an exotic country, a new ingredient, or playing around with different cooking techniques. This one’s definitely a delicious summer goal!
8. Plan a weekend getaway with friends or family
Because we all need one of those every once in a while! I know how hard it can be to coordinate getaways when multiple people’s schedules are involved, but even if you can get one or two friends to come along for the ride, it’ll be a fabulous time! You can always rent a cute little Airbnb somewhere in the city, or somewhere more remote out in nature…whatever vibe you’re feeling!
9. Try all the ice cream spots in town
Not sure how many ice cream spots you have in your town, but in my town, I could realistically accomplish trying them all at some point. This is your chance to try new flavors, experiment with topping combinations you never thought of before, and simply enjoy!
I know I cannot get enough ice cream. I worked at an ice cream shop in high school and I was the only employee that literally never got tired of ice cream (I took full advantage of my free scoop every shift. Can’t say I regret it.)
Productive Summer Goals to Better Yourself
10. Get Fit
Now that getting up for an early morning workout isn’t absolutely unbearable in the cold anymore, fitness just got a little bit easier! Your fitness goal can be anything you want it to be. If you don’t want to accomplish anything too intense, you don’t have to. Even the habit of simply getting regular exercise is an amazing addition to your lifestyle. Find a gym, try a workout class, take up an active sport, or whatever you fancy!
And remember, to stay on track with something like this, this is when you’ll really wanna hone in on establishing those specific goals and habits. What does “get fit” mean to you? How many times per week will you be active, and when? Consistency is key!
11. Learn Something New
Learning is a lifelong process. You’ll never run out of things to learn about, and that alone is quite a gift! One of the best summer goals is to find something new to learn. This can be anything. Learning a language, finding a new hobby, picking up a musical instrument, and so much more. Luckily, there are so many resources both online and in your community to learn something of interest.
Giving back to your community is a summer goal that will make you feel good and will make others feel good too. You can give back to your community by volunteering at a local shelter, helping animals at the Humane Society, working with children, or any other cause you’re passionate about.
13. Learn to cook
There are so many delicious, refreshing summer recipes out there just waiting to be made! Think of fresh ingredients this time of year, like fruits, veggies, and other whole foods. And thank goodness for online tutorials and endless recipe ideas right at our fingertips! You can also go the old fashioned route and ask friends and family for their special recipes.
14. Set financial goals
We all need adequate practice with managing our money, setting a budget, and saving for our future. Why not set some financial goals for yourself? You can save up for something you’ve been wanting for a long time or increase your financial literacy by learning about retirement and investing. Knowledge is power when it comes to finances, so learn all you can and absorb all the expert advice that’s out there!
15. Learn a new language
This one is a big challenge! But how empowering is it to be able to speak more than one language, right? You can open up so many opportunities for yourself just by being bilingual or trilingual. Learning a language can be a great advantage professionally as well as in your personal life if you ever do any traveling. This is another one you’ll want to be consistent with and make sure to do your research beforehand so that you can find a comprehensive program!
16. Take a photography class
Even if the only camera you’ve ever picked up is your iPhone camera, you can still learn photography! There are all sorts of workshops and classes to help you learn the basics or refine your skills if you’re already familiar with working behind the camera. Not to mention how much you’ll elevate your summer pictures when you’ve got the skills behind you!
17. Learn a new skill, like knitting or woodworking
Do you like getting creative or working with your hands? If so, skills like knitting and woodworking are a great idea! There’s also painting, sculpting, and more. Not only are skills like this personally fulfilling, but you can even make unique gifts for friends and family! Who doesn’t love receiving knitted blankets?
18. Take a dance class and learn a new style
I grew up dancing and it has always been a huge passion of mine. Everyone likes to think they’re a “bad dancer” and shies away from the idea of a dance class. But trust me, no one is magically amazing at dance without training! Everyone starts somewhere. There are plenty of beginner adult classes out there for a variety of styles from ballet, to contemporary, to jazz, to hip hop!
19. Learn to play a musical instrument
Another creative endeavor is to learn a musical instrument! Guitar and piano are some versatile options that come to mind and can sound amazing on a variety of different songs. There’s just something about being able to play your favorite song on an instrument that sounds so rewarding!
20. Take a pottery or ceramics class
Pottery and ceramics are some more fun class ideas! And you know what, everyone needs to let loose and do a messy activity like pottery at some point. I’ve heard that pottery can be really soothing and therapeutic, so it’s probably a good self care activity too!
21. Start a new hobby, like gardening or birdwatching
Gardening and birdwatching are the perfect hobbies to add to your summer goals! These give you the chance to get outdoors and really live in the moment of the summertime. You can start small with potted plants and upgrade to more elaborate plants in time. Birdwatching is also a great, leisurely way to pass time!
22. Attend a writing workshop or retreat
Maybe you love to write and remembered that writing is a great summer goal to focus on! Taking it a step further and socializing with your community is even better, which is why writing workshops are a good idea. Writing is such an independent activity, so it will feel good to get outside of your bubble, learn writing techniques, and meet others who are equally passionate.
23. Plan out your ideal life
Have you ever stopped to think about what the most ideal version of your life would look like? Most of us have some idea, but we haven’t mapped out every last detail. Thinking deeper about what you truly want out of life when it comes to where you live, what you do, who you are, and the people you have around you is very important. This can give you a sense of direction and get you inspired about the future!
Building a vision board is the perfect way to help you get a better picture of your ideal life. You might want to check out my vision board ideas to get serious about those goals and dreams of yours!
Make Planning Your Summer Goals Way Easier
Science says 92% of people don’t achieve their goals. After using this goal planner, it’ll be crystal clear why. (And how you can be the 8% who does!)
My Printable Goal Planner gives you the best strategy to brainstorm, plan, AND effectively achieve the right goals for your life!
Seasonal Goals for the Summer
24. Try a new outdoor activity, like kayaking or rock climbing
Activities like kayaking or rock climbing can be super adventurous and get you out of your comfort zone! Challenging yourself both physically and mentally while soaking up the nature around you is just peak summer goals.
25. Join a recreational sports league
Sports teams aren’t always just for kids! Check out what adult leagues may be in your area and see what you can get into. Some common recreational sports leagues for adults are soccer, bowling, tennis, and volleyball.
26. Host a summer party or BBQ
Who doesn’t love a good summer BBQ?! It’s delicious, it’s a good time, and it’s a great chance to socialize and maybe even reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while. You can keep it simple with hot dogs and hamburgers or go all out with grilled chicken, ribs, sides, and desserts!
27. Attend a wine tasting or brewery tour
Wine tasting is suuuch a summer activity that I romanticize! You’d be surprised at what you may find in your area. I didn’t think I had a winery out here in central Illinois, but apparently we do! (It’s no Napa Valley, but it’s got alllll kinds of wine to try, so I can’t complain.) Just check out what’s near you and you may be pleasantly surprised.
28. Visit a farmers’ market or organic farm
Farmers’ markets are such a summer staple. It just feels so good to explore all the stands and pick up the freshest produce you can possibly buy! I think it makes cooking so much more exciting when you break the norm of getting your ingredients from the grocery store.
29. Have a super cute aesthetic picnic
If there’s one summer goal you should put on your list for the sake of prioritizing your enjoyment, let it be a picnic!! Picnics are just so wholesome, happy, and of course, yummy. Don’t be afraid to be extra and bring along a charcuterie board, fun drinks, and a cute picnic blanket!
Self Care & Relaxation Goals for Summer
30. Get in touch with your inner child
Remember all the fun nostalgic activities you did as a kid? It’s actually important to revisit those as an adult! Giving yourself the freedom to be a kid again and make time for play can be fun and also helpful for your adult development. This is especially true if you dealt with some struggles during your childhood.
Getting into the process of reparenting yourself and making your inner child feel emotionally supported is a much-needed self care practice. My printable inner child workbook guides you step-by-step through rekindling your inner child after a challenging childhood. This journal will give you the perfect introduction to what “healing your inner child” really looks like so you can begin your journey.
Feeling out of touch with your inner child? Been through a traumatic experience? My printable inner child journal PDF can help you give your inner child the love they deserve but didn’t get.
This workbook will help you:
31. Read one book a week
Summer is a great time to relax and unwind with a good book! It might be a little ambitious to shoot for one book a week, but if you’re dedicated and have the time, it’s possible! I like to switch back and forth between reading one fiction book and one self-help book. I find this provides a good balance of education and leisure, but play around with whatever books you love most! It helps to make reading x amount of pages part of your morning or night routine.
32. Disconnect from technology
Aim to be more mindful and fill your day with intentional activities that actually make you feel happy with the way you spend your time. It’s okay to scroll here and there, but it’s also good to ask yourself if cutting back would help your mental health. You can replace your social media time with reading a book, going on a walk, stretching, or practicing mindfulness meditation.
33. Start a daily meditation practice
I try my best to spend just 5 minutes each morning meditating in front of the light of my balcony window. Taking even just 5 minutes for myself really sets my day up for success and gives me a moment of peace in an otherwise busy, hectic day! Try this habit for at least a week and see if your morning stress improves.
34. Write in a journal every day
As a journaling blog, how could this not make the list?! I know it probably seems like everyone and their mom is telling you to journal, but it’s for good reason. Journaling is a highly effective form of self care, making it one of the best summer goals to set!
Self-reflection through journaling can help us arrive at so many answers about our sense of self, our emotions, and thought patterns. I strongly suggest making it a point to journal every day this summer, even if just for 5-10 minutes.
35. Try a yoga or workout class
If exercise sucks or is boring for you, it’s possible that you just haven’t found the thing that clicks. Don’t give up on it! At least not until you try a few different workout classes to expose yourself to everything that’s out there. There’s yoga, pilates, zumba, barre, crossfit…so much to choose from!
36. Practice mindfulness and gratitude every day
If you’re looking for a simple, super do-able summer goal, this one is your answer. Mindfulness can be done any time, anywhere. You can even practice it right now by immersing yourself in your present environment. For example, noticing 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste (the 54321 grounding method, FYI!)
Mindfulness and grounding practices take you out of your head and into what’s in front of you, which reduces anxiety and anticipation. You can also write down 3 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day to give you a mindset boost!
37. Give yourself a 1-hour “do absolutely nothing” session every week
This one’s a game changer! I know firsthand how hard it can be to allow yourself to rest, especially when that to-do list won’t stop piling up. But not resting is truly unsustainable, not to mention counterproductive in the long run because you can’t be all that productive when you’re burnt out!
So give yourself an hour to do absolutely nothing. Nap, sit outside, turn your brain off and watch funny YouTube videos…anything that truly releases you from responsibility.
38. Treat yourself to a massage or facial
And don’t feel bad about it! There’s nothing wrong with splurging on yourself every once in a while, and we all know massages and facials are suuuper relaxing and much-needed. Schedule yourself at least one this summer. Or if you’re able, once per month would be amazing for you!
39. Get something new done at the hair salon
Summer is the perfect time to experiment with your style. If you always get the same thing at the hair salon, or if you never go, get something outside your comfort zone! This could be curtain bangs, highlights, fun colors, or whatever you’ve always thought about doing with your hair.
40. Take a social media break for a week
Taking a little social media detox is good for the soul. And it’s definitely helpful for your mental health. If you realize you get sucked into the self-comparison trap whenever you’re scrolling, you need to give your brain and your self-esteem a break! And who knows, this experience could be so eye-opening for you that you decide to ditch the social media for even longer than a week.
FAQs When Setting Summer Goals
What Is The Real Goal Of Summer Vacation?
The true goal of summer vacation all depends on your schedule and your interests. If you’re lucky, summer may be the time to finally get the chance to relax and recharge after being hard at work!
You might be able to do some traveling and explore new places. You might get to dabble in new hobbies and spend more time with friends and family. Think about some of the ways you might want to make a change to your daily routine during the summer time according to what you’re able to do and what you’re interested in.
Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have an easier schedule during the summer time, you can still take advantage of the season by making changes where you can. With longer warmer days, you can spend more time in nature, going on walks in the evening, or add something else to your schedule that helps you focus on self care.
This is also the perfect opportunity to see what kind of personal exploration you can accomplish. For example, making time for more self-reflection by creating a regular journal practice. No matter what you choose, the real goal of summer vacation is to have meaningful and fulfilling experiences that ultimately support your personal development. Think deeply about what that means to you and allow that to guide your summer goals in the right direction!
Why Set Summer Goals?
Setting summer goals that align with your values can be extremely rewarding. It always feels amazing to look back at the summer once September rolls around and be content with how you spent your time and the memories you made. It’s all too easy to get bogged down by work and the day-to-day monotony. You have to be conscious about making an effort to expand and explore beyond your norm. Doing this can make your summer one to remember forever!
Setting summer goals can help you…
- Feel a sense of accomplishment – By setting goals you’re excited about this summer, you’ll get an awesome boost to your confidence and be able to work toward positive change in your life.
- Feel motivated and inspired – If life has been feeling a bit dull lately, you want to give yourself things to look forward to in the future. Goals truly do serve as a great way to do this. Thinking about the end result and how great it will make you feel is highly motivating.
- Gain self discovery – if you’re reflecting on what you want to achieve, what you’re passionate about, and what brings you joy, you can learn a lot about yourself! You also give yourself the opportunity to learn new skills and develop healthy habits along the way.
- Master time management – any time you add something to your plate, things can get tricky to juggle! But taking on this challenge can really improve your time management skills. The struggle certainly gets easier with time, I promise!
- Explore the adventurous side of yourself – summer is a fantastic time to experiment and try new things, whether that be a new look, traveling to a new city, or trying things you’ve never done before. Lean into this sense of adventure and see what you learn about yourself!
- Get back in touch with self care – I know that self care can be easy to put on the back burner, but that never feels good. If you set solid self care goals for yourself, you can make it a priority in your life once again! Your mental health will 100% thank you for it.
Summer goals for a happy, fulfilling season
Now that you have a ton of awesome ideas to put on your summer goals list, you’ve got yourself set up for a fun-filled, relaxing, enjoyable summer season! It really is the best feeling everrr when you look back on your summer and can smile about the memories you made and the habits that enhanced your life. Make sure you give goal setting a try this summer! You won’t wanna miss out.