With fall and back to school just around the corner, it feels like the beginning of a new year even though it isn’t January first. The fall gives us an opportunity to set new goals, make new plans, and redirect our energy into those New Year resolutions we’ve neglected. So no matter if you are heading to graduate school, back to college, staying at your job, or having a baby, these goals for this coming “school year,” will be ones you’ll be able to relate to.
Don’t Try To Be Wonder Women
It might not be impossible to work 40 hours a week, take online classes, have a social life, call your mom, cook dinner every night, and walk your dog, but it might not be the best choice for your mental and physical health. Realize that you can’t do everything. That it’s ok to cut back on an activity, hours at work, or fewer credits because you’re just too busy. We were meant to thrive and enjoy life, not be living one cup of coffee to the next.
Be Less Concerned About What Others Think
In our social media driven world, it can be too easy to get caught up in putting our worth in how many followers we have on Instagram or how many likes our last post got. It can be easy to compare yourself to that woman at work who seems like she has her life always together or that mom that never seems to snap at her kids. But everyone has real problems and struggles that we sometimes can’t see. So embrace your gifts and talents and realize that they don’t have to be determined by someone else.
Try Something New
I know that above I stated not to try to do everything and exhaust yourself, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try something you’ve always wanted to. That could be joining a pottery class, a small group at your church, a young professionals club, a walking group for single moms, or taking dance lessons for adults. If you are passionate about something or have always wanted to try something, fall is a great time to sign up for classes and organizations.
This can apply if you are taking classes again or just working a regular job. Do today what you don’t want to do tomorrow. So instead of taking that extra nap, start studying for your quiz tomorrow. Work out in the am so that you don’t have to put it off in the evening. Instead of saying yes to yet another episode of Netflix, decide to turn in early for the night. You’ll be amazed how much free time you’ll have when you start using your time better.
Be Intentional In Your Relationships
Set aside a weekend to go out with your best friends, have regular date nights with husband or kids, and call your parents on the phone. Make sure that you make the people you care about in your life a priority. Start building those intentional conversation times now, especially if you just graduated from college or grad school, so that your friendships can continue into the future.
Enjoy The Outdoors
With technology, it can be too easy to sit engrossed at our computer screens when the whole world is waiting to be explored outside. I am not saying you need to start buying Patagonia jackets and North Face winter coats and going hiking, but you should take some time each day to look outside. Especially during fall, when the leaves are changing colors, and it still isn’t too cold, it can be beneficial to take a walk each day. Even during the winter months when all we want to do is snuggle inside with a good book, force yourself to go sled riding with friends, ice skating, or just take your dog outside to explore.
Now, this might look different for each person, but nothing is truly as rewarding as helping someone who is in need. So try to help out at a soup kitchen once a month, get involved at your local church, offer to babysit your neighbor’s kids, stay up to date on the news, or donate to a charity. Just look for ways in your community that you can start to be an asset to others. I am sure that both you and the people you impact will appreciate it.
I hope that these tips can help you as you start to map out what your fall and winter months will look like. With the shedding of the leaves that happens each fall, it really is like we are getting a brand new start physically as well as mentally. So don’t miss out on these opportunities to become the best you that you can be before the ball drops on New Year’s Day.
For those who aren’t returning to school for the first time, here are some tips for coping!