More than any other season, autumn just has that feeling that distinguishes it from the rest of the year. Maybe it’s the invigorating chill in the air, or the memories of going back to school, but fall always makes me feel extra motivated and (like Robin Williams’ prep school students in Dead Poets Society) ready to Carpe Diem.
If summer is the season to loosen up and have some fun — fall is a time to reconnect with our goals and values and think about what’s important to us. The crisp air lends a freshness to everything, and I suddenly embrace getting back into a routine and thinking about areas of my life where I’d like to make some improvements.
So, who’s with me on making autumn resolutions this year? Or if resolutions aren’t your thing, how about setting a few intentions for the coming season? I’ll go first: I want to cultivate awareness throughout my day. Sounds a bit abstract, I know, but hear me out because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and the steps I’ve been taking so far have already been game-changing.
I’ve realized that I go through so many of my daily experiences on autopilot, usually in a hurry so I can squeeze just one more thing into my schedule. While this is great when it comes to productivity, it’s not so great for well-being since a lack of awareness translates to not thinking before I speak, act, or think — not to mention, I miss out on so many of the beautiful things happening around me because I’m not fully present in the moment. My plan is twofold: (1) I’m starting each day with a short daily meditation, which has been shown to greatly increase awareness through the rest of the day, and (2) I’m working on quitting multitasking, by taking a few practical measures like closing out my inbox when I’m working on other projects, and putting my phone away when I’m playing with my kids.
I’ll report back in a few weeks with how it’s all going, which efforts are working for me, and if I’m making progress. And if you’re feeling inspired by the new season, I’d love to hear what areas of self-improvement are on your mind? To get healthier, hone your skills, learn about a subject, grow a business? If you start with your goals this fall, just think what a great head start you’ll have when January rolls around…