How can you reset in the fall?
Autumn has always been a season of renewal for me. As a kid, I looked at going back to school as the perfect milestone to set new goals – even more so than the New Year. Now that I’m an adult the emotional connection to resetting in the fall has not changed. The combination of fresh notebooks for school, leaves changing colors, and the crisp fall air always makes me want to take a step back and start anew. Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few essential things to do at the end of the summer or early autumn that help set you up for success for the rest of the year. Here are five ways to reflect, refresh, and reset in the fall.
1. Refresh Your Goals : The beginning of fall means that the year is three quarters of the way through, making it a perfect time to check in with the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Even if you’re not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, fall is still a great time to take a look at where you are, reflect, and assess.
If you’re not on track to complete a goal (or goals), take a step back to really think about why you’re not on track. Are you not doing something you should be doing? If so, create a plan as to how you will course correct in the fall and winter.
Also, be sure to ask yourself: Is this goal still relevant to you? Do you still really want to do this? Don’t be afraid to amend your goals. It’s not always about completing a goal for the sake of completion. Sometimes our circumstances change, or our beliefs, and that specific goal doesn’t make as much sense as it did six months ago. What is important is that you’re acting in a way that reflects your personal values. Don’t think of it as failing, think of it as refreshing your goals. Need some goal inspiration? Try The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.
The combination of fresh notebooks for school, leaves changing colors, and the crisp fall air always makes me want to take a step back and start anew.
2. Hydrate Your Skin – Summer is rough on the skin – UV rays, chlorine, and salt water. And in just a few months, the harsh winter air will dry out your skin even more. Use the fall to hydrate your skin to repair the damage from the summer and to prepare for winter’s harshness. If you can, get a hydrating facial from a professional. For an at home treatment, I recommend Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask.
3. Review Your Budget – The fall is the perfect time to look over your finances. I know it sounds crazy, but the holidays will sneak up on us soon! As fun as the holidays are, they can be expensive. You can prepare for the extra spending with a little fall planning. If you’re not on budget, make a plan to get back on track. Once you’ve assessed your budget, list out the holiday expenses you anticipate, i.e. travel, gifts, parties, etc., and estimate the total costs. After you’ve figured out how much you will spend, figure out where you will cut back in the fall months to make sure you are staying within your budget. It sounds early, but you will be thanking yourself in January. The Mint app is very helpful for creating and tracking your budget.
4. Deep Clean Your Home – Throughout the summer, I am always on the go. With all of the vacations, yard work, family visiting, spending as much time outside as possible to soak up the last drop of sun, my house gets forgotten about, especially the inside. Everyone always talks about “spring cleaning”, but I love the fall time to really clean out my house. Go through your closets and get rid of any spring/summer clothes you did not wear this year. Take a look at your winter stuff too, especially coats, and donate the stuff you know you won’t wear this year. (The fall is a perfect time to donate winter attire to a local nonprofit serving people experiencing homelessness.) Then, organize your winter gear to make getting dressed in the morning a breeze; get a basket for each member of your family to store their hats, gloves, etc.
Once I’ve purged my house of unused clothes, shoes, makeup, books, home décor, I do a deep clean. It feels so good to have less dirt and clutter in the house and feels like I have mini-fresh start.
5. Escape to a Cabin in the Woods : I know summer can be filled with travel and it might sound crazy to take a vacation right after it settles down but I think a mini-vaca in the fall is a perfect way to reset. You can make it a family trip, couples’ getaway, a vacation with your girlfriends, or even a solo retreat. It doesn’t need to be a long trip. Just three or four days is all you need.
Here is My Do’s & Don’ts For a Fall Cabin Getaway
DO Use this time to finish that book you have been meaning to finish or catch up on your magazine subscriptions.
DO Rent a cabin with a hot tub. Relaxing in a hot tub outside with a cool fall breeze is truly a delight.
DON’T Schedule a bunch of activities and rush to complete them. A Fall Cabin Getaway is about doing what you love, but in a slow, relaxed pace.
DO Research what is around your cabin (hiking trails, restaurants, sights), before you go, so you know what is available to me. Each morning wake-up, see how you feel, then decide what to do with the day.
DON’T Be connected to the outside world. If you can, turn your phone on airplane mode, at least for portions of the day. Definitely avoid social media. A phone cleanse will allow you to be more present throughout the trip – and even when you return home.
DO Wear a big comfy sweater. I like this one from Patagonia here.
These are just a few ideas and by no means another Things To Do List for you to complete. The fall is a time for you – ‘you’ the human, not ‘you’ the mom, wife, employee, or the many other hats you wear every day. This fall, I really recommend doing what you need, not what you think you should. Any way you find that you can meet your needs is setting you up for success, not just for the rest of the year, but for many years to come.
A version of this post appeared on Barefootblonde.com in the Contributor section. Images by Amber Fillerup Clark of BFB.
Stephanie DeLacy unapologetically shares what it’s like to navigate the world as 20-something white girl, with humor, profanity, and raw vulnerability. Stephanie recounts stories of her travel, mental health, and the journey to loving her body. Her descriptions of dating are bawdy but incredibly relatable. She courageously describes her dysfunctional childhood, healing from trauma, and how she’s evolved as a survivor of sexual assault. At times, heart wrenching, her stories will evoke raw emotion and connect to you on the most guttural level. She hopes to inspire authentic living and human connection. Stephanie lives in Cleveland with her dog and two cats.