Everyone always has big plans for the summer. From setting off on that trip you've always wanted to go on, to taking language classes in your spare time, the goals we set for ourselves during the summer months are oftentimes the most fun, desirable, or ambitious we have.

However, as July rolls past and August lies on the horizon, more and more people find themselves in a sort of "summer slump." They aren't where they thought they would be by this time, professionally, socially, or recreationally, and so they give up - waiting for next year to bring bigger promise and better opportunities.

But luckily, it doesn't have to be that way. Indeed, by following the five tips below you can make sure your summer as fun and productive as possible, revitalizing your days and helping you go into the fall with the warm feeling of having accomplished something. 

5. Make a Time Table

One of the most helpful organizational techniques for slump-ridden people is to create a time-table: a list of what you want to accomplish and when you want to accomplish it by. Though it might seem simple, writing a literal list for yourself may be just what you need to get your summer going in the direction you want it to go in. Plus, the feeling of actually checking something off makes your accomplishment feel fully realized, a benefit that, for many, makes all the difference in the world.

4. Go Outdoors

 For many people, one of the very best ways to make yourself feel better is also one of the most obvious: go outside and enjoy the weather. From joining recreational club teams (some softball leagues will be starting their seasons soon), to simply laying out and enjoying the fresh air, you'd be surprised at how good the outdoors can feel. Plus, the summer is waning fast: best to enjoy the weather and sunshine while you can!

3. Meet a Different Friend Every Week

Another thing that often gets overlooked is catching up with old friends, a prospect that often sounds nice in the abstract but can be undone by lack of planning. However, while it may take some measure of initiative to actually set a date, catching up with old friends is one of the best ways to make the last month of your summer memorable. Plus, forcing yourself to meet someone different every week will ensure your social life remains diverse, an unexpected advantage that will work wonders for relieving boredom.

2. Find a New Hobby

Everyone always recommends "finding a hobby," but in this case, the conventional wisdom is absolutely correct. Indeed, finally trying that one thing you've always been interested in, whether it's sailing, painting, or ballet, will almost certainly help your time fly by. Plus, studies show that people with hobbies are more agreeable, motivated, and happy, three advantages that make the time invested well worth it.

1. Give Back

However, the absolute best thing you can do to make your summer feel worthwhile is to give back to your local town or community - a frightening prospect for many, but one that never fails to pay back in spades. After all, volunteering, charity-work, and community-organizing are some of the most important, rewarding experiences you can have, time spent that makes you really feel like you're doing something important. That, plus the added benefit of working to make some sort of impact, makes the prospect of giving back too good to pass up: a double-whammy of service and self-improvement that will help you leave your summer feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for the year to come.