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At one point or another, we’ve all had a summer in which we didn’t accomplish much.

For most of us, those summers end on a bad note. We tend to feel frustrated or annoyed at our lack of productivity and wish we had done much more with our time off.

Feeling that way is not fun, which is why even though summer is still a few months away, it’s never too early to start thinking about things you want to do during the upcoming break.

Whether you’re looking to make some money, see new things or just be healthy, here are five things you can do to avoid that feeling, and make your summer dreams come true.

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1. Write down three (attainable) goals

Take some time to think about what you want to achieve this summer. Are you looking to make some money or gain some valuable work experience? Do you want to hang out with friends or learn a new hobby? Putting them down on paper will help guide you through the summer.

Choose three goals and write them down or try out the Habit Bull app to help you set your goals. Regardless of which method you use, it’s important to place your goals somewhere you’ll look often. Now, all you have to do is let those goals guide you throughout the summer

TIP: When writing goals, think of the SMART acronym: Specific, ​Measurable​​​​​​, Achievable, ​​Realistic and ​​Timely.

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2. Get a resume ready

Applying for a job? Volunteer opportunity? Internship? While it may not be the most fun thing to do, writing a resume is a good way to start getting ready for the summer. Applications for jobs, volunteering opportunities or internships will all require you to present a resume. Even if you don’t think you’ll be doing any of those things this summer, it’s always a good idea to have one prepared just in case.

TIP: Although resume writing can be a drag, there are good resources out there that make the process a bit easier. If you want to find some great tips on how to get your resume ready, check out this great resource.

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3. Find a job, internship or volunteering opportunity

Finding a summer job is a great way to make some money while learning valuable skills that will help you as you move forward in life. The same can be said for internships or volunteering opportunities, which allow you to explore your interests while also giving you valuable experience (although most won’t pay you for your work).

In addition, getting a job, internship or volunteering opportunity can help you create a routine and maintain stability over the summer break–all great for ensuring mental health and wellness!

TIP: To find a job or an internship, we recommend visiting an online board like Indeed or heading over to a youth employment centre to learn about available opportunities and get some help with your applications. For volunteering opportunities, check out Go Volunteer.

4. Set aside some time for relaxation

While you may be tempted to cram your schedule full of work and events, relaxing is an important part of the summer too. Set aside time to hang out with friends, visit new places or chill at home. Planning ahead to have some down time will ensure that your summer is productive, relaxing and fun!

TIP: As you get ready for the summer, think of some activities you can do that will help you relax. Some options include getting outside, playing sports with friends, writing, practicing mindfulness, doing yoga or making art.

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5. Don’t forget about your health

As you balance your life between fun, work and relaxation, don’t forget about your health! Do your best to get outside and unplug from your phone. Also, stay active by swimming at a local pool or beach, riding your bike, skateboarding, going on walks, hiking local trails or checking out fitness classes at your local community centre. Try to maintain a healthy sleep routine, eat well and make smart choices regarding alcohol consumption.

Remember, even though it’s summer you still have to take good care of yourself.

TIP: Set yourself up for success by creating and maintaining healthy eating, sleeping and exercising routines. Again, try writing your schedule down, using the calendar on your phone or a sticky note app for iOS or Android to help you stay organized!

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Talk to someone about your plans!

As summer gets closer it’s important to share your plans with a friend, family member or trusted adult. Doing this will allow you to bounce ideas off of someone else, which will help you set goals for yourself and come up with a plan to make sure your summer is productive, healthy and fun!

What Next?

Want to explore and learn more? Here are a couple options that will help you.

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