Four Steps To Achieving Your Autumn Goals

Wednesday 25 September 2019

girl holding candle lantern

The seasons are on the shift. The nights are drawing in, the leaves are going out in a blaze of glory and the mercury is well and truly dropping. I may not have studied for years, but I still get that back to school feeling every autumn.

Thinking back, its always this time of year that I’ve made huge shifts in my life as if by instinct – moving house, starting new jobs, getting married or pregnant. This season feels like the most transformative and full of change for me.

You’re coming down from the summer high, the winter festivities are still ages away, and things can feel a little low energy and lacklustre. So it’s the perfect time to reinvigorate by setting some new goals and planning ahead.

I’m not the only one who gets a kick out of autumn goals. Data from Pinterest shows that goal-related and personal development searches rise at this time of year.

It makes way more sense to set resolutions now than it does in January, when you have an uphill struggle against the cold, wet, miserable conditions and are all out of routine from the Christmas break.

Why not start to work on things now, when conditions are much more set up to help you succeed?

Find Your Meaning

Summer means breaking our normal routines by jetting off on holiday, so its a natural time to take stock of our lives and reflect on what really has meaning to us. Having the mental space of a holiday gets many people thinking about where they’d like to be in a year’s time. Its a great opportunity to think about what felt fulfilling to you in the past year.

For me, time spent ‘in the moment’ with my kids on holiday reminded me that I need to be more present with them in day to day life. So often my head is somewhere else -  organising, thinking about work, even getting sucked into my phone – and it’s not good for any of us. When I can be really present with them we’re all happier.

I also need to do fulfilling work. Stuff that engages my brain and challenges me to problem solve. And I’ve been really enjoying the effects of getting consistent with my exercise routine. So a natural take-away from the summer for me was working on building my career and reinforcing my boundaries so that I can be there for my children too, as well as continuing to make exercise a part of my life.

Start Small

Often our goals are huge and feel so far away, but if you start small and focus on making just one change, then you get a quick win. That tends to snowball into more positive choices.

So my autumn goals are going to be small steps towards larger life changes I want to make. These can then adapt and develop as they become part of my life.

Being more present with my kids will translate into making sure I don’t use my phone in the time I’m with them in the evenings after work.

Looking after my health will be introducing a fast day two days a week, to pick back up on the great progress I was making on the Fast 800 before I slipped and fell face first into a pile of pasta on holiday.

Ask yourself what would be your biggest win – and then what’s the best step you can take today to get there? This process is simple and efficient and allows you to do more – especially if your life is busy.

person wearing gray sock standing on stairs

Change Your Inner Dialogue

How often have you sabotaged your progress, purely because of how you talk to yourself?

The power of reprogramming the chatter in your head can be immense. Take my journey with running. It’s something I’ve always hated and struggled with. I was that child who would walk around the field when I should have been running during PE at school. It’s just never come naturally to me. But when I first had kids, it was the only form of exercise I could fit in around their naps. I wanted to be good at it – but I just wasn’t.

I tried the Couch25k podcast, and the major turning point for me came a few sessions in, when they made a point about internal dialogue. If you’re running and your brain is like ‘wow this hurts, I can’t breathe, oh I hate this, when can I stop?’ (which is what was on a loop in my head whenever I went for a run), then you’re literally sending signals to your brain reinforcing those feelings.

When I made a conscious effort to talk to myself differently – saying things like ‘Running is good for me. I feel great. With every step I’m getting stronger’ – okay, it felt a bit cheesy at first – but very soon, it made things so much easier. I wasn’t holding myself back anymore. I ran distances I could only have dreamed of before, because my mental block was gone.

So, instead of talking yourself out of things before you even begin, make a decision to change the messages you’re giving yourself to positive ones. Because perception IS reality.

Embrace Setbacks

Failure is a natural part of progress. So if you fall off the wagon spectacularly one night? It doesn’t matter.

What DOES matter is getting up the next day and starting again. Not allowing a slip up to spiral. The most important thing is consistency overall – one day where it all goes wrong doesn’t mean that you’ve failed.

In fact, it can teach you some pretty valuable tricks that straightforward success never could. I’m going to try and be patient with myself and realise that real change takes time.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

My Autumn Goals

  • Take my exercise from 3 times a week to four
  • Get back onto the Fast 800 diet
  • Plan my lunches in advance to be healthy and delicious
  • Do ten minutes of abdominal repair work each night
  • Meet with a career coach and map out a plan
  • Be present with my kids in the evening and put down my phone
So, little steps, achievable things, but they will stack up to a happier life this autumn and beyond.

What are your autumn goals? What steps are you planning to take to get there?

Post a Comment