A Fresh Start for Fall

person typing on a laptop

There’s something about fall that makes you ready for a fresh start. 

Maybe it’s that nostalgic, back to school feeling: the excitement of buying new school supplies and clothes; the giddy anticipation of the first day of classes. Or maybe it’s the changes we see with the arrival of the season: the leaves changing color, the days getting shorter, and the sudden chill in the air.  

Whatever the reason, fall is a great time to take stock of your work and personal goals, and hit refresh on your routine. 

While new year’s is usually the time of year in which we define our goals and resolutions, transitional moments like the changing of the seasons are just as auspicious. These transitional moments naturally put us in a more contemplative mood and make us look forward to embracing change. 

Here are some of the ways that you can refresh your goals, routines, and tools this fall.

Refresh your supplies

Just because we’re not students anymore doesn’t mean we still can’t stock up on new supplies. Our office tools help us stay focused, productive, and efficient. We owe it to ourselves to maintain a fresh and steady supply. 

Take stock of your current office supplies and make sure you have enough of the basics. These can include:

  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Washi tape and post-its
  • Organizers for your supplies 
  • New folders and notebooks 
  • Staples and scotch tape

Fall is also a great excuse to give your regular office supplies a stylish upgrade. After all, we’re adults now and deserve to have supplies that not only perform well, but also bring a smile to our face. Trade up your spiral notebook for an elegant cover. Elevate your writing tools with a sophisticated fountain pen or rollerball pen. 

Create a calming routine

When September rolls around, we all tearfully say goodbye to the slow pace and carefree days of summer, and immediately get back into madness mode. Instead of lazing around at the beach, we endure long, stressful commutes. Instead of reading a book outside, or lingering over a meal, we check our work emails and scarf down our lunch in front of our computer.

But what if we could bring the tranquil spirit of summer to our hectic fall days?

While we, unfortunately, can’t be on vacation mode all the time, we could still try to adopt a slower and more intentional pace. 

One of the ways you can make your life feel more mindful is to introduce a morning or evening routine.  Here are some ideas to get you inspired:

Morning routine. If you’re tired of rushing off to work bleary-eyed and stressed, maybe a morning routine would help slow down the pace.  Whether it’s fifteen minutes or an hour, this is sacred time that’s just for you. You can do light stretches or enjoy a cup of coffee or write in your journal or use this time to work on a dream goal. 

Evening routine. Don’t worry if you’re not a morning person. An evening routine is just as soothing and beneficial. You could meditate for five minutes or take a hot bath or reflect on your day and write in your gratitude journal. An evening routine would help make bedtime easier and have you feeling calm and refreshed the next day.

Create a weekly system

Another way to make life easier this fall is to choose a weekly system that helps you tackle errands/tasks with greater ease.

Meal planning. If mealtimes are a source of stress, maybe a meal planning system would help you out. You don’t have to be overly ambitious and make a month’s worth of meals. Maybe it’s making breakfast in advance or having back up frozen meals for those days you don’t want to cook. Start small and then expand as you go.

Weekly review. If you’re looking to stay on top of your tasks/errands, find time at the beginning of the week to make your to-do lists and update your calendar. This way, you’ll have a solid game plan for the week ahead.

Cleaning/organizing system. As we all know too well, a clean living space can seemingly turn messy overnight. Identify a day that you can devote to cleaning and organizing so that things don’t pile up. Or tackle a specific “zone” like the living room or kitchen to make this task more manageable and focused, and less overwhelming. 

Review your goals

Re-energize your goals with a fall review.

Take a look at your personal and professional goals. Then ask yourself: which goal or goals would I like to accomplish before the end of the year?

While we might not be able to accomplish big, ambitious goals this time of year, we can certainly put a dent in them and make satisfying gains. You’ll end the year on a positive note and get a headstart on your big goal for the upcoming year. Here’s how:

Create micro goals. Micro goals are super satisfying because you can knock off a bunch of them in one fell swoop. And the rush you get from achieving one micro goal will motivate you to finish another and another. 

So let’s say your long term goal is to write a screenplay. Break it down into a string of micro goals. Maybe it’s signing up for a writing class. Or forming a writer’s group. Or drafting an outline. Complete as many micro goals as you can and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your big goal. 

Adjust your strategy. So often, we wait until the end of the year to review our strategy. But by then, it might be too late to modify our plan.

Use the start of September to take a look at your strategy and measure your progress. What’s working? What’s not working? Do you need to manage expectations? Or do you need to make your goals more challenging?

After taking stock, you can fine-tune your strategy to make your goal-setting process more effective. Maybe your original goal was to run 5 miles everyday but you’re finding that you’re not running at all. Instead of abandoning your goal altogether, you can alter it to make it more realistic and achievable. Maybe that means running once a week or three times a week. It’s easier and more motivating to start small and exceed your expectations, than to feel like you’re falling short every time.

We hope these tips have given you some extra inspiration and will help you enjoy the remainder of the year. Feel free to play around with these ideas and make them work for you.

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