Stepping outside these past few mornings, early in the day, the noticeable difference in the later sunrise is evidence of the coming of the end of summer. Mind you, the days are still brilliantly warm, the pace of the days is leisurely, but fall is coming, and that too is something to get excited about.
Prepping for the next season, especially the fall season, is something I look forward to as I have shared before. In many ways, it is new year as the school year commences in the fall as well.
Today I’d like to share with you 10 additional ways to prep for a great fall. I have previously written about this time of the year in four posts shared at the bottom of today’s entry, so be sure to check them out for further inspiration.
1.Sharpen up your skincare routine
As shared in episode #258 of the podcast, after recently reading the book Ageless Beauty: The French Way, I updated my own beauty, specifically skincare, regiment. After three weeks, I am already seeing a noticeable difference in the hydration of my skin, but it is because I have extra time in the summer months to tend to this update that I was able to make sure it was done well.
While not all of us have a lighter schedule in the summer, whenever you find your schedule easing up a bit, giving you a few more moments of free time, use it to add or make the improvements you would like make. Not only do you have the time and attention to make the best decisions for yourself, but you have time and energy to make them habits that become healthy defaults when the busy time of year takes place.
2. Update automatic withdrawals, health-care policies, etc. to best tailor to what you need
While this point doesn’t need to take place exclusively in fall, it just happens to be when I reassess due to my schedule as a teacher. Whenever your budget or policies reset or change, it is a good time to determine if you are withdrawing enough for your retirement automatically, are adequately covered under your health insurance policies, as well as not over-paying.
Any automatic financial withdrawal for your current and future well-being will provide even more peace of mind if assessed regularly. Perhaps policies have changed. Perhaps better policies have become available. Perhaps the financial markets have changed or you are in a different stage of your life and need to invest differently. All of these considerations and others are worth examining on a regular basis.
3. Utility Bill assessment
Speaking of money and using it well, take a look at all of your mandatory bills – utilities, television, phone, etc.. As well look at your credit card interest rate. Even if you have no debt, now is a great time to try to negotiate a better rate. Simply call up your card company, talk about your good-standing – length of membership, bills paid on time, etc., and because of the recent drop in short-term interest rates here in the United States, you may be able to receive a lower rate. These type of conversations should be done with a handful of your utilities. I annually call up my cable and internet provider to receive a yearly waiver of $20 off my bill for being a long-time customer. The waiver ends each year, so I have to call (don’t ask me why), but it is only one short call, and it saves me $240 each year.
4. Take steps now to improve the quality of your work day
No matter what your career or responsibilities, if we have taken vacation time or had a long holiday off, we can sometimes forget the stress that was felt or built up in our everyday lives prior to the getaway. The getting away for vacation is a relief, but also a time to reassess. When we forget how exhausted we were or what was not working, we return to work or the regular schedule and step back into the same hamster wheel of frustrations. Why not instead, use this time off to consider what could be done differently. Granted, not everything we would like to change is in our control, but the most important question to ask is, what is in my control? Below is a short list of things to consider:
- The attitude I bring to my work day (assumptions or limiting viewpoints about people and possibilities and/or potential). Is it conducive to helping creating the environment I would like to work in? (a podcast episode to listen to: How to Let Go of Self-Imposed Limitations, episode #186)
- Energy levels – am I taking care of my health properly so that I am able to have full and proper energy for the tasks I am given? Consider not only your eating habits, but your sleep routine and the outside stress that may be a drain that can be eliminated or reduced. (a podcast episode to listen to: An Everyday Necessity: Deliberate Rest, episode #139)
- At what time of day am I feeling my best? Why? What can I do to make sure I have the important interactions during this time of day? What can I do to make sure I feel this way more often and regularly?
~A post you might be interested in: Why Not . . . Cultivate a Productive, Engaging, Enjoyable Working Environment?
5. Have an honest conversation with yourself about your priorities for the best time and energy management
Not every year is the same. In other words, as our lives progress along their journeys, different goals are reached, and we move forward toward something else, relationships grow or wane or become more or less of our focus, and our social and personal schedules change with this progression, career advancements or changes affect how we spend our time and our money.
Knowing what is a priority in your life for the foreseeable future and long-term is a helpful way to know what to say yes to and what you will say no to without hesitation. We may find that we are saying no to things that we once said yes to, and that is absolutely okay. Saying no doesn’t always mean we don’t appreciate the request or invitation, it simply means our lives are changing because our priorities are changing. Find peace and reassurance in your decision-making moving forward by accepting that you only have so much time and so much energy in any day. Because if you wish to be fully present, and give your best, clarity is key, and those you spend your time with and the projects you give your full attention to will truly begin to blossom.
~Why Not . . . Tailor Your Life to Fit You? episode #246
6. Discover new listening, reading or viewing material to lift your day/life, etc.
As TSLL readers know, I do my best to share with you any new material I find that I have been inspired by, has made me smile, laugh, is truly though-provoking, or is just plain enjoyable (if you are new to TSLL, be sure to check out the This & That archive). With that said, TSLL readers are an awesome resource as well. I would love if you would share a podcast you have found (besides The Simple Sophisticate ;)) that you enjoy and would recommend.
I regularly edit and cull my list of magazines and periodicals that I subscribe to and want to add. Currently, I subscribe to the following below, but you can see all of the magazines I have subscribed to over the years here.
- The Atlantic
- The New Yorker
- The English Home
- The New York Times
- The Wall Street Journal
The shows I watch are varied and ever-changing, but with the fall season comes the premiere of favorites as well as new shows. Of course The Great British Bake-Off (which is premiering in the UK next week and will then soon be available on Netflix after the season wraps up), Grey’s Anatomy, and Madame Secretary. And with the return of The Crown in most likely December, as well as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the next four months are going to be full of wonderful, well-written, delicious shows to watch. Oh, and Apple+‘s new series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show, will be fun to check out as well.
As far as books are concerned, the list could go on for days. I highly recommend visiting each Friday here on the blog – This & That – as well as Thursday’s Outfit of the Week to discover new books and old favorites that I am eager to check out or have read and loved.
7. Assess your tech time
I recently had a conversation about tech time with an upcoming guest on the podcast – the topic of conversation was actually style and fall fashions, but she is an avid reader and I always ask her for book recommendations (tune in September 2nd), and she recommended a book which I am looking forward to reading this fall – Digital Minimalism.
While for business purposes, there are different instances where being connected and interactive on social media is required, important and necessary. As an individual, I actually do not have any personal accounts as my business dips a big toe into this world as well. But . . . finding the balance is healthy. It isn’t necessarily easy, but when we know why we are putting boundaries up, they are easier to stand behind. Look to number #5 for help in determining when tech time is okay and when it needs to be adjusted.
8. Prepare to prep your home for the colder seasons ahead
While the end of summer probably is too early to attend to most fall home prep work that will be needed, look ahead and make a list of the tasks that need to done, put them on your fall calendar and forget about them until that date pops up. Things to consider: servicing your furnace or HVAC, cleaning the gutters, fertilizing your yard, prep and clean chimneys or any item that is not used during the summer months, but is used in during the winter, drain the sprinklers, having the necessary winter tools for an unexpectedly harsh weather – snow shovels, blowers, etc.. Life Hack shares a detailed list for home prep for the winter season.
9. Yard Dreams – Plan Now
If you have dreamt about a particular spring perennial bloom but do not have it planted in your yard, make a note now to figure out where to find that particular flower as you will want to be planting it soon (I pick up my daffodils from Floret’s Flowers out of Washington). Last fall I finally planted my first daffodils here in Bend, and it made spring, after the ginormous snow fall we endured in late February, oh, so sweet when the yellow beauties shared their blossoms.
10. Plan to touch up one nook in your home
Whether you have lived in your home for years or are just moving into a new space, focus on one small area that upon paying it some attention will make your home even more of a sanctuary. Often after I have been traveling in the summer, I return with ideas I want to welcome into my home, or ways I can incorporate what I have learned, seen or experienced into my sanctuary.
Perhaps it is a reading nook that needs a bit of sprucing up, or your office that needs to be more inspired, or maybe the back of the house’s entry where only the inhabitants of the home spend time needs some love as it is the first thing you see when you return home. Whatever you decide to do, giving yourself something simple, yet personal to do will not only be enjoyable during the process but a joy to see and experience when completed as it is more in alignment with who you are now and still becoming.
~View Decor posts in the Archives for ideas and inspiration.
As I shared at the top of the post, there are many more tasks I typically tend to during this time of year, and they are all shared in the posts below. Hopefully, you are savoring the last few weeks of summer that we have in front of us as well as excited for fall and the coziness it brings as well.
Thank you for stopping by today, and wishing you a wonderful rest of your week.