Two weekends ago, we headed for one of my favorite summer traditions. Blueberry picking. When we moved to the Midwest eight years ago, all the pick-your-own orchards mesmerized me. I’m now convinced that summer would not be complete without a bucket of fresh blueberries, picked by me. Our annual blueberry picking trip got me thinking though, because this time last year, I had just started my Live on the Weekend Challenge.
Last year, I made a radical discovery. I realized that I was wasting my weekends. Completely and utterly throwing most of my weekends away. I realized that I spent Monday through Friday working hard and living life with intention. I was diligent about using all the skills I teach here on Dr. Allison Answers. I spent a lot of energy, making sure I was getting the most out of my days.
But then Friday night would roll around, and it’s like I just kind of quit. Give up, and put the controls on autopilot. I spent too much time on the couch, watched too many Netflix episodes, and ran too many errands.
This realization hit me hard after a Monday morning phone conversation with my little brother. He asked me what I’d done over the weekend, and I couldn’t remember a single meaningful thing. So I decided to do something, an experiment of sorts. I decided to do things differently. To push myself. To reclaim my weekends.
As we picked blueberries this year in Michigan, I thought about the last year, and what I’ve learned about taking charge of my weekends. Watch the video to hear my biggest takeaways, and why it might be time for you to rethink how you spend your weekends.
Getting what you need out of a weekend is not a passive process. It’s can active one, one that requires effort, thought, and planning. Intentionality is one of my biggest life buzzwords, and it’s been critical in helping me reclaim my weekends. I’ve gotten better at checking in with myself, seeing whether I needed to recharge or rest. More importantly, I learned that these two things aren’t the same, and what I crave most come Monday morning is feeling recharged.
My number of fun memories seemed to quadruple over the course of my Live on the Weekend Challenge, as I got more serious about getting outside of my comfort zone and doing stuff. It also helped to be so public about my challenge, because my friends were awesome and got right on board. They alerted me to fun, upcoming activities, and were constantly checking in with me about our latest adventure. It was a reminder of the basic but powerful role of accountability and support. If you want to change something, tell the people around you what you’re up to, and let them help you stay on track.
Though my Live on the Weekend challenge is officially over, I’m forever changed. I’m taking all the lessons I learned over the last year and moving forward. Weekends are no longer about vegging and recovering from the long week. Instead, they’re about nourishing my heart, filling up my cup, and being strategic with the 48 hours.
Monday mornings feel different now, and I owe that to my experiment to reclaim my weekends.
How do you spend your weekends? Do you spend them recharging and doing things that nourish your soul, or do you spend them vegging or running around, getting ready for the upcoming week? Be honest with yourself about how you feel come Monday. Do you feel recharged and nourished or drained and tired? If the latter sounds more familiar, maybe it’s time to rethink your weekend.