I can't believe summer is well upon us already. The children are out of school and the lazy days of summer have begun. But this year, unlike so many years in the past, let's enjoy summer prepared, organized and with a plan to make it the best summer ever. First, you need to define what you want to get out of your summer; how you would like it to flow and what your expectations are.


My advice? Even if school is out of session, don't let yourself get knocked off the path of self-improvement. The kids are out of school, but you shouldn't quit learning.


Do take some time to enjoy the kids but don't spend your days lying in the hammock and drinking lemonade. Make this the summer you go hiking as a family, plan river float trips and sort out your garden.


There are more opportunities for activities in the summer because you have more time and more available hands, so take advantage of all of them. During the first week of summer holidays, sit down with the kids and plan out your summer. Make sure you use the following points to keep you on track.


1. Exercise time is non-negotiable. If someone in the family has to be at sports training, find a lift or let them ride their bike if it's close enough. Don't give up your workouts. If you must, be flexible and set a new time to work out. But make sure you keep doing what you have been doing and what works: exercise.

2. Healthy foods. Don't turn your kitchen into the school cafeteria. You don't need chicken nuggets, pizza and junk food to nourish kids, or to be popular with them.

3. Make this summer the summer of watermelon, berries, bananas, oranges, lean burgers, grilled chicken, wholegrains and water.

4. Don’t buy even one carton of Sunny D or Capri Sun. I mean it. Do not keep sugary drinks by the gallon readily available in your home. See if you can survive the entire summer without buying sugar-filled drinks.

5. Keep a jug of water or squash made with reduced sugar cordial in the fridge. Get the kids used to drinking cold water when they are thirsty. That's a habit that will serve them for a lifetime of health.

6. Every week, do a family activity that revolves around physical activity. Be a tourist in your own town if you aren't travelling, but get out, get busy and get living.

7. Have some fun.