As the leaves change color and the temperature gets colder, I always find myself reflecting on the summer months and preparing for the end of the year. (End of the year? When did that happen?) I find that each new season is the perfect time for a fresh, new start. It’s time to hit the “reset” button on our lives. After a summer of taking care of the kids, indulging in sun and fun, and, let’s be honest, munching on a little too much fried State Fair food (on a stick!), it’s time to get back into a routine. This month, I want to focus on new beginnings.
As a Minnesotan, I love fall. There’s something comforting and familiar about the changing season. Sure, I love taking advantage of those hot summer months—they are few and far between, after all—but I’m in my element most from September to December. Now that summer is over, I am patiently waiting for a month of 50-degree weather, followed by the introduction of Starbucks’ infamous red holiday cups.
But, in the meantime, I’m doing the following (and I invite you to do the same):
On the last few months. What did I do this summer? How did I feel? I’m going to spend some time writing down my favorite moments and hanging up my favorite pictures from the season—reflecting on the good as well as the bad. I’m going to write about my summer, and allow myself to feel deeply. One of the best remedies for those winter blues (I know, I know, I said winter) is to get in touch with ourselves and pay special attention to how our lives are unfolding. Reflecting on the past helps us prepare for our futures.
To help finish out the year strong. Research has proved time and time again that setting [smart] goals, and writing them down, helps us become the very best versions of ourselves. Humans need motivation. We need something to strive for. Whatever our goals may be—starting a new book, finally re-organizing our cupboards, trying a new workout routine—we need to write them down and make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Once you’ve got your list, hang it on your fridge or bathroom mirror so you are reminded of what you’re chasing when the days get tough.
So we actually reach these goals! I, for one, am guilty of giving up too often. Let’s face it, whether you’re at an office all day or at home taking care of your family, life can be exhausting sometimes. By reflecting on the past and setting goals for the future, we can stay motivated and focused as the winter winds shuffle in and try to knock us off our feet. We got this!
PRACTICING SELF CARE
Lastly, this fall I want to practice self care. I didn’t take very good care of myself this summer—both mentally and physically. Time got away from me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say that. But I’m trying to keep in mind that what’s past is past and it’s time for a fresh start. It begins with setting aside time to take care of our mind, body, and spirit. This might mean starting a new project, joining a gym, moisturizing our skin on a daily basis, or leaving our work at work. Whatever it looks like for you, set aside time to do what you need to do to make this season the best of the year. May it be filled with apples, pumpkins, smiles, and love.