Turn Over a New Leaf with Fall Resolutions

AutumnFall has always symbolized a new start for me and many parents sending kids back to school. It’s been the time of year to shop for new clothes and school supplies; to start going to bed a little earlier as the sun sets sooner, and to plan for the months ahead.

The crispness in the air invigorates and inspires me. It’s a perfect time to make changes as we hit the ground running after a lazy summer. And it seems like a better time to tackle the world — or at least our own imperfections — than waiting till January 1 and the dead of winter when all you feel like doing is hibernating and drinking hot tea!

But I’m not talking about making resolutions that you can’t keep — lose 10 pounds, organize the house, etc. When goals are too big, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

Fall resolutions, on the other hand, can be realistic goals you hope and plan to accomplish, even if it’s just one modest step at a time. And if you haven’t reached any by New Year’s Day, there’s a second chance to make that list!

So here are some of my resolutions/goals for the rest of the year to keep me happy, healthy and sane. Will you join me?

1. Help the environment more by reducing, reusing, recycling. I’m already pretty good at this, but I think it’s a great idea to try to discard as little as possible. I bring my used batteries and ink cartridges to Staples for recycling. I drop off my husband’s old socks and t-shirts at the church around the corner for the homeless. I bring books to the library for their book sales.

2. Try something new. I often walk around a farmer’s market eyeing the vegetables I don’t know, but somehow I still seem to head for the tried and true. For my fall resolution, I vow to try a strange new vegetable. Who knows? I may have a new fave to add to my repertoire and liven up my cooking and my health.

3.  Start meditating a little each day. I’ve heard it does wonders to step off the merry-go-round of life for just 10 minutes when you are at your wits’ end…or even better, before you get there. According to Stephan Bodian, a licensed psychotherapist and author of Meditation For Dummies, meditation lowers stress, increases energy and creativity, reduces pain and helps create more loving relationships. Sounds good to me!

4. Move more. I try to exercise frequently, but I still wait for the elevator. No more. Unless I’m carrying heavy items, I’m taking the stairs. Did you know how much electricity you can save this way, never mind the calories you burn?

5. Take smaller bites. And I don’t mean of food. We all get overwhelmed by too big a plan, so I’m going to start small. I’m going to clear out one drawer at a time, not tackle a whole room. It’s all part of having a well organized life; take it one step at a time and it will add up.

6. Do something for myself every day.  After 23 years of parenting, both of my kids are on their own. Now that my daily duties are cut drastically, I should have more time for myself. So this fall I will allow myself the time to play Words With Friends without feeling guilty; to watch a reality TV show or to window shop. I deserve it. We all deserve it.

7. Do it now!  And I mean everything. Don’t put off anything from a doctor’s appointment to calling an old friend. Waiting can never help, but it can hurt you with missed opportunities or worse. I’ve learned this the hard way, yet I am still putting things off. I’m going to try to be better….I promise.

What goals have you set for yourself for the rest of the year? Let us know if you are able to keep them.