The final bell has sounded. Goodbyes have been said. The hallways are empty, and summer has begun.

You may be a student. You may be an adult whose job is in education. You may be the parent of a school aged-child. For just about all of us, the end of school and beginning of summer has an impact on our routines. For a huge percentage of our population, summer provides the largest block of discretionary time we will have all year.

Those three months will go back like a flash, and the bell will sound again. Students all over the country will complete that first writing assignment of the school year, the one entitled, “What I did during my summer vacation.”

What will you do on your summer vacation? How will you make your summer count? What skills have you wanted to learn? What new habits have you wanted to add to your life? If it’s going to happen, now is the time. Without some thought, however, August will be here and you will have little to show for it.

As you think back over your life, what are the summers that are memorable for you?
…The summer you learned to swim?
…The summer you learned to ski?
…The summer you learned a musical instrument?
…The summer you took that great trip?

Are you ready to build some more memories? Start by taking a blank sheet of paper and writing your own, “What I did during my summer vacation” letter. Write it as if August is already here. Write it from the standpoint of someone who is able to accomplish great things, because you do have the power to do great things. If you are a parent, work with your son or daughter as they craft their letter. As an adult, write your own letter. The little ones need to see that just because you are grown does not mean you stop growing. Having our story on paper is the beginning.

Now make it happen! Brainstorm the steps that will get you from where you are to where you want to be. Trap those steps with pencil and paper as you go. Make them as specific and clear as possible. Put the steps in whatever paper or digital planner drives your day so that making progress on your goal is integrated into all else you do.

Hang on to your letter. Re-read it weekly throughout the summer. With the letter as your compass and your paper or digital planner as your roadmap, you can make it happen.

This could be the summer to remember. It’s up to you. What are you waiting for?