Friday Faves: Fall Planning

Never mind that it is literally 96 degrees as I type this. School is back in session, Labor Day has come and gone, and the calendar is flipped to the ninth month of the year. The official date of the autumnal equinox isn’t until September 23, but for all intents and purposes, fall is upon us. With the impending season change, it is time for me to kick aside the laxness that characterizes some of my habits throughout the summer months.

During the summer, we do minimal school, entertain more, and eat a hefty amount of birthday cake, as all 7 of our immediate family members celebrate birthdays during the four months between the end of school and it’s start. Family reunions, entertaining, eating out, sleeping in (if you consider 6 sleeping in) and a general relaxed approach to life has giving way to a more structured schedule.

In fact, I am far more motivated to resets, goal setting, and re-examining my whys and wherefores as September begins than I ever have been on January 1st. I never really pondered deeply why I am more motivated for kicking into high gear and resets in September while feeling militantly opposed to making changes in January, but Rachel recently wrote about her similar tendency, and it felt good to hear from a kindred spirit on the matter:

So, what to do with September, especially if one is a Southerner (possibly a Californian)? If one can ignore the protracted grasp of summer, like scorched gardens contrasted with tropical storms, and pools and lake swimming areas prematurely closing while the Costco parking lot appears as an undulating asphalt mirage, it’s a great time to do great things. Really, it is – stay with me….

September is the perfect opportunity to get ahead of the Holiday game, and to start a New Year without the burden of the Holidays on top of it all. And do most of it in the singular bliss of air-conditioning. I wrote a long while back about my New Year’s calendar not even starting until February. That worked better for my family than trying to cram our whole life plan into January, but it was still not entirely user-friendly for us and usually ended in unmet goals and a lot of aggravation. So, against my nature (rebel, though true to form, according to this model, I resent the label), I convinced myself that it was my idea to move the annual reset back to September 1.

My brain wants to already have accomplished and had my goals well under way by January 1, so Rachel’s post spoke to me. So here are some of the favorite things I have been anticipating and lining up over the past week:

  • Organizing the reading queue based on genre (Christian, fiction, nonfiction, etc)
  • More detailed menu planning for al three meals
  • Purchased the HASfit 30-day muscle building plan to supplement the HIIT training I do with my husband
  • Making a targeted but flexible daily schedule for myself and the kids for the days when they are at home
  • Strategically setting goals for all the areas that I have let lax over the long summer months
  • Resuming gratitude journaling because there’s something about mindful gratitude that enlarges the soul
  • Exploring the range of recipes I can cook up using the apples, pears, and figs which will soon be in season
  • Begin holdiday shopping in September rather than late October (aspirational)

Those are just a few of the plans and goals I have set as our family transitions from the lazy days of summer to the busy days of fall. Never mind that it’s 96 degrees out.

What are some of your transitions as fall begins?





9 thoughts on “Friday Faves: Fall Planning

  1. hearthie says:

    I’m a gal who always likes a good beginning…. but this year, September didn’t feel like much.


    1) We spent the summer being sick. Summer? We had summer? No. We didn’t. So it just feels like “back to not being sick”.
    2) I’m back to work now. When the kids went to school (even charter school, even a day/wk) and I was home, that was a big “okay, back to life” and the start of holiday prep when I was on top of my game. But – this does not apply. LAST year I was preparing to go back to work this month, so that was a huge transition. But – yeah, not so much.
    3) My mom and I are both December babies! So we have TG, Birthday-Birthday-Christmas-NYE. I’m pretty ready to restart the diet after THAT mess.
    4) I have stuck to my NY resolutions, so … other than getting back on the horse (see #1) that I was off of for a month because of illness, what’s the change?
    5) See #4, I’m very much hoping that NY resolutions this year will NOT include weight loss, just “Oh, I need to eat clean for a few weeks and get back on track with normal”. I’m almost there… 15lb to go…
    6) Yeah, I live in SoCal and it’s hot. But … it’s kind of “endless summer” here anyway. Maybe I “feel” different in late October when the light really changes or mid-November when the first rain hits (if we’re lucky)? That’s usually what prompts me to start holiday prep when I’m not organized.

    What I am changing isn’t a September thing, it’s a “I took stock of where I was mentally while I was sick” thing. I joined a style accountability group so I’m upgrading there. I’m writing more. I’m praying for doors to open so my side hustles can be my real hustle and I can get back to sanity. … I’m doing things. But – I would be doing things if it were July.

    But I’m happy you get to reset, I remember the September Restart, and I enjoyed it. So – hurrah!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Elspeth says:

    @ hearth:

    Yeah. You guys had a tough summer. So thankful with you that health has returned to your house!

    I don’t make NY resolutions for reasons that I’ve documented repeatedly over the years, but I’ve been fruitful since last September.

    There were some goals I set for this year that I met. I’m finishing my courses to be a certified copy editor. Now how to translate that into $$$ given my crazy life schedule? We’ll see. But I met the goal.

    We had some home projects (some big some small) that got done. I had several interpersonal goals which I’ve met also. I purposely avoided concrete fitness goals because I tend to obsess on those and everything gets pushed to the back burner as I hyperfocus, but I’ve made some changes and am ready to laser in on those a little more now without the risk of overdoing it.

    One BIG, HUGE goal I had for myself got zero progress, and that’s my writing. I’m actually taking a step back to examine what, if anything, I’m meant to write and how to do it. I’m having my doubts about some stuff that I won’t belabor here.

    But yeah. We partied this summer. Hard. Birthdays, family reunions (two of those), all manner of celebrations, beach trips, you name it. The only thing we didn’t do is take a vacation this year, mainly because we have a family celebration trip coming up next month, and are considering doing Christmas as a destination thing this year instead of staying here. Not too far from home, but someplace fun. The holidays have lost some of their luster since we lost our dads.

    September is the perfect reset month for us because we’re still in the phase of life where summer is like a long mini-vacation, with all that comes along with that. The retrun to structure is good for us all.

    Your kids are older (you have an 18-year-old!) and your homeschooling days are done, so I can see why (especially now that you have a job) the transition from summer to fall isn’t as abrupt.

    And like us, you don’t have any sign weather-wise of fall which makes the transition even more subtle.


  3. smkoseki says:

    literally 96 deg as I type this Jealous. 45 here. Frost soon.

    Best excel Do List? “Done” above “Active” then “Do List” (hidden below). So one must see accomplishments before adding any new project.

    Re energy/workout/sickness? Try zero processed foods, lots eggs/fish/meat/vegs, few fruits/grains, weightlifting squats/deadlift/bench. Lots of energy, near zero sickness.

    Enjoyed the post. Big world out there…


  4. Elspeth says:

    @ smk:

    Enjoyed the post. Big world out there…

    Thank you, sir. I always enjoy your insights as well!

    I’d gladly trade your 45 for my 96. It’s what you have coming around the bend (<40) that I would rather live without. Winter down here is the season we spend hours at a time out of doors day after day. 75 and sunny!

    I'm sure Hearth can speak for herself, but I don't think her family eats much in the way of processed food. She was a crunch SoCal girl before crunchy was even a thing, LOL. Sometimes, people get sick, and this wasn't a run of the mill common cold.

    I like that Excel spreadsheet idea. I'm kind of addicted to writing things out freehand, but the idea of not beginning a new project until certain other are done (with electronic help) appeals to me.

    Stay warm!


  5. hearthie says:

    SMK, I’m 5lb away (up) and 15 (down) from being able to deadlift *twice* my bodyweight, and am on a strict diet that is basically paleo + beans & dairy. (Well, except when I was sick, and then I ate nearly nothing and lost 10lb because “nearly nothing”). My max bench is 133 and my backsquat max is 265.

    I’m 46. I’m hoping the “double your bodyweight” will be my 47th bday present, if not sooner…

    I was the LAST person in my house to get sick, and I got ‘least sick” but… “least sick” was still two weeks of fever, a month of elevated heart rate, and a diagnosis of bronchitis with coughing that lasted until the fourth day of my Z-pack. Smart self care helps… but it’s not a cure all. I wish it were, that was a seriously gnarly way to spend the summer.

    Good excel sheet idea!


  6. bikebubba says:

    Cross country and a long commute 3 days/week. I am much more enthusiastic about the former than the latter! :^) We try to do school year round to avoid the fall hangover (forgetting all the things one learned in the previous year), so cross country and choir are the big things that come up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bayboxwood says:

    “Begin holiday shopping in September….”

    Oh wow – that’s a good one. I’m not shopping just yet but I am planning a “made by me” project for several people on my list. I’m going to try to finish by mid-October – then I probably won’t know what to do with myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elspeth says:

    @ bayboxwood:

    It’s 9/12 and I haven’t actually bought anything yet. But I’m clicking around looking for ideas!

    I should make some things…thats a good idea.


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