I don’t necessarily love the fall season but I do have parts of it I enjoy tremendously like football, cool nights for cozying up and a chance to stop being on the go so much, stay in doors, sip lots of hot tea and get more writing done. For me, fall is also like a second new year with resolutions and goals to revisit and an opportunity to look ahead.
Every “Back to School” season I call it, I can think of important ways to prepare for an exit into the new year, beyond changing seasons and wardrobes and reflect on what a great year I had while prepping to do it all over again. If you want to think of the fall as your second wind, then here’s a few things you can do to mark the occasion and get you going again.
- Get Some New Swag or Duds – Kids are back in school and everything is on sale, from office products to PJ’s. If you work from home or you’re a new author, why not get some new comfy lounge clothes or an “author outfit” that makes you feel official? And I can’t seem to stop myself from purchasing “back-to-school-esque” stuff. I don’t know any writer that doesn’t love office supplies, so every “Back to School” year I get a few supplies that just make me feel great, recommit myself and help me (I tell myself) write a little bit more. Secret revealed: if you need to finally purchase that Macbook, uh, okay, but honestly, even a cheap pack of pens (Papermate Pens are my favorite) or some fancy paperie, make me happy. Don’t go overboard and then say Tracee said it was okay. I said Papermate not Macbook!
- Enroll Yourself – The kids are going back to school, why not you? And I don’t mean for something heavy or burdensome. If you’re already in a college program toward a Certificate, Bachelors, Masters or other academic program, well God bless you. (I’ll keep you in prayer) but if you’re not in a traditional program at a two or four year university, then take something fun. One year I took a flower arranging course at the local technical, school and they actually offer it every season with flowers of that season to match. For just one night a week for four weeks, that class WAS SO MUCH FUN. It was reasonably priced and I just loved it. I actually take a lot of online courses too, about marketing my book and writing overall but I do love real “school” and every fall, I absolutely love to look through the adult education catalogs that come and find something fun (and short-term) to take up next.
- Start a Short-Term, New (Fun & Creative) Project – I am going to attempt to make my own planner for 2016. I know its weird but it’s more of a writing planner/journal that will have the space that I like to write projects and infant story ideas, in. You would not believe the number of people and videos found here, and here and here, that make their own versions. I get so inspired seeing what they come up with. (Note that I picked the videos I’ve listed at random, not endorsing any one Youtuber and some of them…no comment. I’m just forewarning you!)
- Buy a Real Planner – if you’re frugal and if you can wait a bit, planners will go on sale after the mad dash but if you like them as much as I do, I spend a little time browsing through my local office supply store to find one that I really like and that fits my writing style. By that I mean, I’m the month at a glance person rather than the weekly with lines type. BTW, pretend I didn’t say above that I’m going to make my own. And I have already been getting dates for book promotion and book related engagements lined up for 2016. Face it, whatever year you’ve had both good and certainly bad, thinking about the things to come can be the impetus toward a brighter future and is just one small, low cost thing that can get you motivated to finish the year strong.
- Lastly, Revisit and Clarify Your Goals for a mad dash into the new year. There’s about three months left in the entire year that makes it seem like the clock is ticking just a little faster. Before I move through the last of it, I like to visit any goals I didn’t accomplish, and decide:
A. Can I still get it in this year? If so, I’ll take just a little time to make (or update) an action plan outlining any needed steps to do so.
B. Answer, why didn’t I complete a particular goal this year? Whatever the reason, it’s not major and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it if you indeed fooled around and missed the mark. It could be something as simple as, the goal changed and I decided on a similar but modified objective, OR the goal was no longer something I desired or needed.
C. Is this something that is going on next year’s (goal sheet) list? Why or why not?
There you go, the year end is drawing near, and now that you’ve got your mad dash-make it great, instructions, go for it!
Comment below and share what you’re doing…