It may seem strange to start prepping for a great summer in January. The snow storms and wind gusts don’t exactly put you in a sunny mood. However, the more you plan in advance, the more likely you are to be where you want to be when June arrives. Here are ways to get you and your family ready for a great summer now.

Make exercise a daily habit.

Whether your goal is a beach body by summer or simply to get in better shape, why not begin while it’s still cold outside? Added bonus: if you exercise outside, you won’t be sweating for a while. Think about where you want to be in June. Is it a particular weight? Perhaps you want to run a certain distance. No matter what it is, break the goal down by month and then week. That’s how you’ll get there.

Decide what you want to do this summer as a family.

What’s the plan? Do you want to travel, or stay close to home? The winter blues aren’t as bad when you are looking forward to fun in the summertime. With a destination in mind, you can also start find good deals.

Set goals.

Think about your career, your kids’ academics, sports and/or life cycle events. Then develop a family plan. This teaches children to enjoy every moment while at the same time preparing for what comes next.

Commit to a healthy diet.

Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, what better time to include healthier food into your family’s diet? Build a habit of eating more fruits and vegetables, leaner meats and proteins, with plenty of water every day. You’ll be ready for bathing suits in no time. You’ll also have more energy, too.  

Start saving and budget accordingly.

If you’re planning some activities for a great summer, putting aside money for it now is a good idea. You won’t feel the crunch as much if you start saving months ahead of time. You’ll also teach your children good fiscal responsibility. Encourage older kids to contribute by working part-time so they can afford little extras on their own.

Sign your kids up for summer camp.

Summer camps, especially from KidzToPros, have benefits for kids, and adults alike. Parents who don’t get a lot of time off can work better knowing their kids are safe. At the same time, kids can have fun learning topics they can’t get in school. Take advantage of savings by enrolling them now.

Make self-care a priority.

Winter is a great time to take care of you. Each day should include ways to keep feeling good, even if it’s only for ten minutes every day. This includes meditating, yoga, skin care, or morning walks. You’ll be a better family caregiver if your batteries are fully charged. 

Book your travel and save.

Start pricing flights, hotels, campgrounds, or whatever you might be looking for this summer. Lots of places sell out quickly. Good deals can be found if you know where you’re going. Join rewards programs and email lists so you’re the first to know when sales happen.

Consider exchanging your home.

If you’d like to take the family somewhere this summer, but hotel rates are a bit more than your budget will allow, think about exchanging your home with someone who lives in your destination. You each stay in the other’s home and save money, not only on lodging, but on food, parking and so much more.

Buy tickets to shows, games, etc.

Planning ahead for a great summer is fun and also financially rewarding at the same time. Think about where you’ll be and what you want to do there. Baseball games? Broadway shows? Music festivals or concerts? Look for early-bird discounts and save.

Plan your landscape or garden.

When you look at your front yard, are you dismayed at all the snow and bare patches? Start ordering plants, seeds and begin cultivating a new look while stuck indoors. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful lawn or garden in no time. It’s fun eating right knowing those veggies come from your own hard work.

Check your home’s air conditioning.

Making sure your home’s A/C system is efficient and working well is so much easier during cold weather when you aren’t relying on it. There are usually winter discounts with local vendors.

Fix what needs fixing.

This is true whether you need to refinish the back deck or replace your hip. After all, might as well finish all the repairs you need while stuck inside most of the time. 

Sign your kids up for swimming lessons.

They’ll be ready to go, safely, when the pools and beaches reopen.

Research festivals coming to town this summer.

Lots of towns have fairs and festivals during the summertime. Many ask for volunteers who can then enjoy the fun for free. Look and see if any favorites are posting their schedules yet. Sign up for email notifications so you’ll know when they do.

Sign up to get email alerts for local museums.

They plan their displays, tours and showings months ahead of time. Find out what art, science and history museums are doing in your area or wherever you travel this summer.

Consider season passes to attractions in your area.

Make a list of theme parks, zoos, aquariums and other attractions you want to visit. Lots of them have winter sales. For example, in Florida, most theme parks offer yearly passes for the price of a one-day ticket. Take advantage of these sales by signing up early.

Learn how to do whatever it is you want to do.

What will make this a great summer? Scuba diving? Rock climbing? A trip to Puerto Rico? Sign up for scuba, climbing or Spanish lessons now so you’ll be good to go in six months.

In short…prepping for a great summer now can turn that dream into a reality. Planning also takes these short days, and sometimes dreary weather, and gives you something to look forward to. You’ll enjoy the process and reap the benefits when it comes time to enjoy warmer weather.


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