Making the Most of Summer: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

Image Credit:


I have become a regular listener of The Lazy Genius podcast with the host, Kendra Adachi. Her motto is one that I can get behind – Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.  

One of the recent episodes that resonated with me was #313 – 10 Questions for the Start of Summer. I first listened to and took mental notes when this episode aired in May. It’s already July and, as usual, I feel like the summer is sadly slipping by. I truly want to make the most of the summer, so I decided to sit down, listen again, and complete the exercise of answering these ten questions:

  1. What are you most excited about?

  2. What are you already exhausted thinking about?

  3. What are the top three things on your summer bucket list this year?

  4. What outfit makes you feel good in the summer?

  5. What are your favorite summer sounds and smells?

  6. What summer events need to be made smaller?

  7. What House Rule* worked well last summer that you want to use again this summer?

  8. What was something you Decided Once* last summer that would be helpful again this summer?

  9. What household task will you be least motivated to do?

  10. At the end of the summer, what will you be so glad you did and what will you be so glad you didn’t do?

*Lazy Genius principles

What am I excited about? My favorite summer sounds and smells? At first glance, the questions seemed a bit vague and even somewhat irrelevant to me. However, as I listened to the podcast host explain each question further, I was inspired to reflect on each one – and I shared my thoughts on a few of the questions below.

For example, question #1 – What are you most excited about? The host, Kendra, explains this could be an experience, a trip, a person you get to see, a tradition, etc. “Name what you’re most excited about. Saying it will help you prioritize it,” Kendra encourages. This makes so much sense to me – life often gets busy and hectic, and we end up pushing things aside when we don’t make them a priority. Last summer I was hoping to take a road trip to Lake Superior to visit a friend, but it didn’t happen. This summer, I’m making it a priority.

Let’s talk about question #5 – What are your favorite summer sounds and smells? I had never really thought about it, but I love the sound and smell of a crackling bonfire on a cool summer night. Kendra explains that identifying and naming your favorite sounds and smells will help us enjoy experiences even more. She goes on to share this example, “You love the sound of kids playing in a sprinkler, and that knowledge will help motivate you to actually pull out the sprinkler when the kids ask because you can’t get the sound without the sprinkler.”  This really resonated with me because sometimes I don’t feel motivated to have a bonfire - it just seems like too much work after a long day in the sun. However, focusing on engaging my senses makes the extra effort of gathering the firewood and building a fire worthwhile.

And for question #8 - What was something you Decided Once* last summer that would be helpful again this summer?  Decided Once is one of the 13 Lazy Genius Principles – it’s a decision you make one time about one thing and you keep doing that thing until it doesn’t work for you anymore. Decided Once has saved me from having to make extra decisions. For example, every Tuesday my boys and I have lunch at Subway after their golf lesson. My boys are picky eaters, but they love Subway and it’s close and convenient to the golf course.  Another thing I decided once earlier this summer was to prepare snack platter whenever my kids’ friends come over for lunch - another concept I learned from The Lazy Genius podcast. A snack platter is basically a kid-friendly charcuterie board – mine usually includes deli meat, sliced cheese, lettuce, apple slices, grapes, pickles, and buns for build-your-own deli sliders (so simple and always a crowd-pleaser).

My composition notebook is filled with handwritten notes on all ten of those questions from the podcast. I was surprised about how insightful and motivating this reflective exercise was for me, and I encourage you to give it a try, too. Don’t forget to listen to this podcast episode first for a full explanation of each question.

Happy summer, educators! Here’s to making the most of this fleeting season.

Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

Share your thoughts