Fall is just around the corner. Kids and college students are preparing to go back to school. You might already be tired just thinking about the endless task list that comes with this time of year. Here’s a little something to remember during this season. You have choices!
Here are some helpful steps to take when looking at your fall schedule. Theses tips will work for both paper and digital planning.
1. C-Consider what you want.
What do you want your fall to look like? Dream those dreams. Do you envision yourself going on hikes and having bonfires with your kids or grandchildren? Will there be S’Mores? Or maybe it’s a night of reading books and drinking hot chocolate. Make that list. Write it all down. We aren’t editing the list right now, we are just dreaming. (idea: what type of self care would you like to do during the fall?)
2. H- Hone the list.
This is where we edit. Maybe we dreamed about hiking every weekend. Would that be realistic for THIS season in your life? Think about what was really important about this item on the list.
By asking a few questions and thinking about your own expectations, we can hone down the dream that we envisioned into something very manageable.
3. O- Orgazine your plan.
Now that you’ve considered what you want and honed down your list, it’s time to organize your plan.
Let’s go back to the hiking idea. What are the steps? Do I need to print out maps? Is there a program I could join? Do I need new hiking shoes? This is where we figure out all of the details for our plan.
4. I-dentify where it will go on your schedule.
Often times, especially during this time of year, we think that we can add everything to our schedule without deducting anything.
Let’s get serious for a minute.
It is absolutely okay, and I will even say, necessary, to eliminate things from your schedule in order to create the season that we want. If you have an already full suitcase, you can’t keep putting more into it. You must take some things out and rearrange some items, before you add new things in.
It is the same with your schedule. Remember, you have choices! They might be hard choices, but they are still your choices to make!
5. C-heck in twice a day.
This is a very important step that gets overlooked. We can dream and consider what we want, hone down our list, organize our plans, and identify where things will go on our schedule, but if we never check in on that schedule, we may not remember to make those dreams happen!
I am in the habit of checking my planner/digital calendar at least twice a day to remind myself of the things I want to have happen in my life. Before I made this habit, I put two alarms on my phone. Even if I wasn’t able to check in right at that moment, it programmed my brain that I wanted to check in on my list!
6. E-njoy a weekly planning date where you will
7. S-urvey your progress.
These two tips go hand-in-hand. I schedule a planning date with myself every week. I treat it like a special time with someone I enjoy. It can look like sitting at my dining room table. Sometimes I will take my planner to a restaurant or coffee shop for some one-on-one time.
It might feel like just one more thing to add to your to-do list, but I find that time spent in reflecting and planning is always profitable.
I use this time to look over my past week and month.
What things are working?
What things need to change?
Have I been able to make the things happen that I wanted to happen from my list of what I want?
Do I need to go back to step one and “Consider what I want” again?
I find that remembering that I have choices gives me great comfort. Making the choices that I need this fall season will help me obtain a level of control during a beautiful and busy time of year. I can focus on the things that are truly meaningful to me and, hopefully, find a way to let the rest go.