Ok guys, despite the many protests I’ve seen on social media for the past few weeks that #summersnotover, tomorrow, it actually is (cue collective sobs from everyone). It’s been an amazing summer for us. Amazing and CRAZY busy. While our schedules don’t really “settle down” when fall hits, there’s something special about turning a new leaf with the arrival of a new season. (See what I did there? Fall. A new leaf. Get it?)
I remember loving “back to school” season when I was a student. Not just because I’m a gigantic dork who loved getting new binders and colour coordinating everything with colourful pens (#nerdalert) but also because the school year brought some regularity that just doesn’t exist in the summer. As much as I absolutely adore the awesome parts of summer: more time spent outside (particularily if that inclues a body of water), patios, music festivals, etc. there’s also the downsides to that fun season: entertainment budget blown, an inexplicable amount of burgers and hot dogs consumed at BBQs, less sleep…
Never one to be a debbie downer, I like to think of summer as an oportunity to live it up and autumn a time to re-focus. Rather than delay it until New Year’s Day, why not think of some “resolutions” to start working on now? Here are some of my plans to “fall” back into my routine…
1. Meal Planning
This is a big one! As I mentioned, there was no shortage of BBQs this summer. And with constantly changing plans and a loosey-goosey “go-with-the-flow” schedule, meal planning fell by the wayside. I find the only way to waste less food, eat well and save money on eating out is to sit down once a week and plan out my meals. While some people like to meal plan a month in advance, I find one week at a time the most realistic for me and my hectic and ever-changing schedule.
I set aside an hour on the weekend to scour Pinterest for both new and tried & true recipes and plan out my meals for the week. I can then pull my grocery list from that plan, which eliminates a trip to the store every day (time saver) and less waste (money/environment saver). I account for social events where I’ll be eating out, whether it’s a work function at lunch or a girl’s night out and also plan for days where I’m working more than one job and will have to have lunch and dinner prepped ahead of time.
I can honestly say that there is no better feeling on a Monday morning when you’re starting your week with this already taken care of.
2. Back to You 30 Day Challenge
While the summer certainly inspired more outdoor activities (hiking and walking with the pooch, specifically) my normal exercise routine was not where it should have been throughout July and August. Luckily, because they are geniuses and know exactly what their students need, The Dailey Method is currently running a “Back to You” 30 day challenge to inspire their students to re-focus their minds, bodies and souls. They encourage us to focus on goals for each aspect, taking 15 TDM classes in 30 days to compliment the “body” aspect.
We completed a 30 day challenge in June and wrote about how much attending on a regular basis improves our overall health and wellness, so I’m happy to be taking this on and getting back into the routine of regular physical activity that my body craves.
3. Out with the Old & In with the New
In the past, I’ve highlighted some ways to re-organize and reinvigorate your space. While it’s certainly not “spring cleaning” time, it’s still a good opportunity to get your space in order. Although you may not realize it, clutter or disorganization in your physical surroundings can cause serious stress.
With the changing of the seasons comes the perfect opportunity to re-organize your space. I always look to my closets first: what seasonal items need to come out of hiding and what needs to be stored until next summer? We’ve actually talked about this on the blog before, after meeting a professional organizer. Check out our tips & tricks here.
The last part of this task is refreshing the space with decor. It doesn’t have to be budget breaking! Think: a new, cozy throw for those nights you spend reading, a new fall-sented candle to make it smell like you’re constantly baking seasonal, apple pies, or updated photos for the frames you already have displayed. As the weather gets cooler, more time will be spent inside; make sure that your space inspires you!