What better season than summer to energize your mind, body and soul? We've got some ideas—now you take some action!
1. Take an evening class.
Have you always wanted to write an award-winning screenplay, whip up Celtic bracelets or speak French like a native of Provence? The time is now! Call your local community centre and sign up for a course.
2. Get a makeover.
Fancy yourself a redhead? Ask your hairdresser for a dye, or try a semi-permanent rinse at home. And what about your makeup? Book an appointment with a department store cosmetics specialist, and leave looking like a new person.
3. Spend quality time with your parents.
Banish pizza and videos and go out with Mom and Dad for dinner and a movie.
4. Find a blast from the past.
Stop wondering what happened to your best friend from primary school—track him or her down and find out. It could re-kindle a great friendship!
5. Clean out your wardrobe.
Be brutal! If that dress clings in all the wrong places or that jacket looks like a tent since you lost weight, bag them for charity.
6. Put your hand up.
Give something back to the community by volunteering to help a charity. Deliver meals to the elderly with Meals on Wheels. Sign up as a Red Cross volunteer. Help your local Humane Society by cleaning, feeding and walking stray dogs.
7. Spice up your social life.
Spend a night at a karaoke bar or theme park or line-dancing with a group of friends, and tighten your stomach muscles with all the laughing you'll do.
8. Formalize your weight goal.
Set on reaching a certain weight by your niece's wedding or your partner's 40th? Then try strategies to motivate yourself. List 10 things you'll enjoy when you're slimmer. Take two more walks a week. Drink one more glass of water per day.
9. Trace your family history.
Who knows, you may discover some interesting skeletons in the closet or a famous long-lost ancestor. Local genealogical societies are a great resource, and a lot of information can be found online.
10. Create a fragrant garden indoors.
Go on a shopping spree for scented candles, soaps, essential oils and potpourri. Want to be more hands-on? Hit the crafts shop and snap up some "how-to" books on candle-making and soap kits.
11. Overdose on fresh air.
Head to the park, but don't languish on a picnic blanket—get moving! Ride a bike, feed the ducks, throw a Frisbee, walk your dog, play a game of tag or rent some rollerblades.
12. Absorb more culture.
Art and history can be good soul food—spend an afternoon at a gallery or museum catching the latest exhibition. Can't be bothered fighting the crowds? Then check your local paper for smaller exhibitions at libraries or community centres.
13. Decode your dreams.
Was that snake you dreamt of an omen of danger? Keep a dream diary by your bed to record your dreams right when you wake up. Then discover what your subconscious is telling you with a dream analysis book or by looking it up online.
14. Feel young again.
Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, Thumper in Bambi—recapture the wonder you felt watching them by spending an afternoon at the movies and seeing the world through a child's eyes. If you don't have kids, offer to take your sister's or friend's kids—they'll love you for it.
15. Sit around a campfire.
Tell ghost stories, roast marshmallows and bellow old campfire favourites. The warmth of friends and flame will relax and mesmerize you.
16. Go bazaar.
Bright scarves, the smell of fresh flowers—at open-air markets your senses will get a complete workout. Better still, you can save time with diverse one-stop shopping by picking up ingredients for tonight's dinner, buying a new outfit, choosing a rug for the kitchen and purchasing some new house plants.
17. Plan the ultimate party.
Make it an evening of wine-tasting, a literary occasion, a "fortune-telling" night (organize a psychic to come and give readings) or a beauty session where you and your friends give each other manicures and pedicures while sipping champagne.
18. Redecorate your bedroom.
Large, black, square candles atop a bed of cloves on square saucers provide a touch of the Orient. Or try mosquito netting hung from a ring above your bed. The only limit is your imagination—so decide what ambience you want to create, then go for it.
19. Get the team spirit.
Want to have fun, make friends and burn calories all at the same time? Then sign up for a team sport such as basketball, soccer or ice hockey.
20. Make your own greeting cards.
Enjoy the artistic challenge of design using coloured cardboard decorated with anything from rose petals or leaves to watercolours combined with ink.
21. Save at the sales.
Tired of the frantic, last-minute dash to find birthday presents? Banish the panic factor by buying gifts for friends and relatives well in advance at mid-season sales.
22. Breakfast in style.
Pack a scrumptious breakfast, then take it to a scenic spot such as the beach or a local park.
23. Be a dancer.
But don't play it safe. Instead of ballroom dancing, try Latino, Irish, belly or tap dancing. It will do wonders for your waistline and your coordination.
24. Consult on colour.
Should you buy that fabulous jacket in taupe or cream to best suit your complexion? Ask a colour consultant (go to the department store to find one).