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Summertime Livin’ May Be Easy But Hard Work Is Looming

Welcome to the Seasons of Transformation blog takeover!

Seasons of Transformation, my next book and my first foray into the fiction genre, will be released on 11/1.

Seasons of Transformation follows Kate, a high-performer climbing the corporate ladder, as she encounters a surprise harsh personal winter. Through her journey, she will learn about the power of goals, life coaching and perseverance during her unexpected midlife transformation.

With the 11/1 release date rapidly approaching, the Operation Melt blog will be featuring a Seasons of Transformation takeover for the month of October. For the four weeks leading up to the release of Seasons of Transformation, the blog will feature topics inspired by the story I share in the book.

Click here for more details about Seasons of Transformation, including a free downloadable chapter. Please consider joining my Operation Melt email list to be notified when the book is available.


Before we jump into today's post, I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

Give a man a duck and he'll eat for a day… teach a man to duck and he'll never walk into a bar.

Summertime Livin’ May Be Easy But Hard Work Is Looming

Surprise Life Coach explores the goal success strategies, tips and mindsets found in the most unlikely places. From television shows to movies to music to books and more, life coaches are all around us, hidden in the most unexpected places. We simply need to pay attention, and we can reap the rewards from this free coaching.

Does this sound familiar?

The days get longer, temperatures rise, and everything in nature is growing prolifically. People seem a little happier and enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, or just soaking up the sun.

That’s right, I am talking about summer. I understand it’s October, and it seems summer is getting further away with every passing hour, but it will return. In this week’s Surprise Life Coach, I will share the most vital life lesson we can glean from the hottest season of the year.

And the livin’ is easy… really?

In the George Gershwin classic, Summertime, he says, “Summertime… and the livin’ is easy.”

Doesn’t this lyric feel like the perfect embodiment of how many of us view summer? It’s a time of recreation, vacation, cookouts, bonfires, patio drinks and other outdoorsy fun. It’s no wonder that we all feel a little sad when we reach Labor Day, the symbolic end of summer.

Summer sunset

But the view of summer as nothing but easy livin’ isn’t true… it’s not the whole story.

Ask any farmer or home gardener whether summer is all easy livin’, and they will tell you a different story. Summer is a time of endless watering, weeding, fertilizing and fighting off plant-destroying pests. And don’t get me started on mosquitos! Farmers know that a summer with nothing but easy livin’ makes for a fall without a harvest and a hungry winter.

With all this hard work, you might think that farmers, gardeners and others have grown to hate summertime. But that’s not the case. They love summer as much as anyone.

How can a time filled with so much hard work also be a time of fun when the livin’ is easy?

Can both things really be true at the same time?

Yes, it is possible; millions of people do it every summer. The successful mix easy livin’ and hard work into the same season because they have mastered the most important of my six steps to project managing your life.

Enjoy the Journey

The secret to blending hard work (like tending fragile, growing crops) with easy livin’ recreation is enjoying the journey. When you enjoy the journey to any big goal, the work feels less monotonous and grueling and more like you are having fun along the way.

Like everything else in life, enjoying your journey doesn’t happen automatically; you have to switch off the autopilot and choose discipline instead (see Discipline Not Default). Yes, I am saying it takes work to enjoy your work. Pretty meta, right?

The intentional effort needed to enjoy your journey comes in two forms: enjoying the work when you’re doing it and putting the work on hold to indulge in life.

Why Ask Why? Otherwise, Goals Die.

Enjoying the work you are doing all starts with your “why.”

As I explained in Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year, your why “sets the stage for why this project is important to do right now. It creates a sense of urgency by discussing the risks of not doing the project and the benefits of doing the project.” 

When you have a vital reason for working so hard, every step feels worthwhile, and you will enjoy it. Yes, your goal will still require hard work (right farmers?), but that work will be meaningful to you. The result will be feeling like you are building something and not just doing stuff (see What happens when progress stalls? Time to focus on building.).

Mix It Up and Stay Motivated

Want the work to feel a bit more fun? Make sure to use your Mind Control Powers.

Take time to get to know yourself. In particular, figure out what motivates you and makes you feel like you are having fun (music, videos, gamification, data tracking, etc.). When you know what your self-motivation hacks are, use them. Inject more of those things into your work as you progress toward your goal. The more fun you can make your work feel, the less it will feel like work at all.

Again, as I explained in my Operation Melt book, “your brain needs the flexibility to do different things and let you be in control of your journey versus the other way around.”

Break Time

I know this will sound a little like cheating, but here goes… If you want work to feel less like hard work, take a break. As we learned in The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

All work and no plan makes Jack a dull boy

Break time is allowed, encouraged and even required if you want your journey to be successful. Taking a break from your work, even if it’s something you love, is the only way to prevent burnout. Burnout is a merciless goal-killer.

Do the hard work when needed, but proactively plan time to put it on hold and take breaks. These breaks are a great time to remind yourself that the livin’ is easy during those dog days of summer.

Your springtime work to plant the seeds of a goal will require hard work during those dog days of summer. That work doesn’t mean that summertime livin’ can’t be easy; you just need to take steps to make that happen. Having a big why makes the hard work seem less grueling, and using your mind control powers can make it more fun. But, let’s face it, fun work is still work and can lead to burnout. The best way to pluck those burnout weeds from your garden is to take breaks to grant yourself grace and recovery time.

Are you ready for a partner who can help you balance working the fields of your goals with the summertime easy livin’? I am a certified Master Life Coach with training and experience in staying the course and enjoying the journey. I am ready to help you craft your enjoyment plan. Signing up for a quick mini coaching session is an excellent first step. Let’s work together to keep you on track for your bountiful harvest. 

Click here to learn more about my coaching services.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Seasons of Transformation on 11/1 to read how farmer Kate managed the hard summertime work in her journey.

Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

Breathe new life into your goals

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Published inDon't Take My Word For ItSeasons of Transformation