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How to get prepared for the dreaded end of summer

Do you hate that it’s almost Labor Day? It’s not an uncommon feeling. After all those days with your feet in the sand at the beach, it can feel depressing when the days grow shorter, the kids are back in school and everyone’s back at work. The good news is there are some great ways to turn the end-of-summer blues into a fabulous fall. All it takes is four weeks and four practices to help you thrive.

I invite you to take my Fabulous Fall Challenge. Practice one action for five days for one week (and I suggest you make those your workdays), then move on to the next. After you’ve completed this four-week challenge, you don’t have to be done. Decide which tips worked best for you, then by all means, carry on with those!

Week one: Do something nice for yourself each day.

We have to fill our own well first, or we don’t have anything left to give others. Doing something nice for yourself each day is a good way to accomplish that. It can be as simple as taking a walk with a friend at work at lunch rather than eating alone at your desk.

Maybe it’s stopping to buy yourself flowers on the way home from work, or calling a supportive friend you haven’t had time to catch up with, or maybe even having a date night in the middle of the week with your spouse. Perhaps it’s setting a boundary with someone or saying “no” to a request. Keep it simple, but focus on doing one thing each day that brings you joy.

Week two: Give something to someone each day, and notice the impact it has on you and others.

Giving a gift to someone can be as simple as offering a word of encouragement to a colleague, surprising your spouse by cooking or cleaning up after dinner, bringing a gift card for coffee to your assistant, or writing a check to a charity. It can be volunteering for a cause you believe in or helping someone in your neighborhood that needs a hand. Maybe it’s simply turning off the electronics and really being present to listen to your child. The point is to extend yourself to others by focusing on what you can give, rather than on what you can get.

Week three: Start each day with a positive intention, and notice what happens.

Every day we get to choose whether we’ll see the glass as half empty or as half full. During this challenge week, begin each day by setting a positive intention. This could be something as simple as saying, “Today, I’m going to focus my attention on what’s going well, rather than on what’s broken,” or “Today I’m going to focus on being more patient with others,” or “Today, I’m going to make sure I take these three actions to help me meet my goal.” At the end of the day, reflect on how the day unfolded and notice the impact of setting an intention in creating the outcome you experienced.

Week four: Remember why you do what you do, and take one action that helps you re-connect with your purpose and mission.

We all do what we do for a reason, whether it’s being at stay-at-home mom or working as an executive. But when we get busy, it’s easy to forget the reasons we’ve chosen the path we’re on. During this last week of your challenge, think about why you chose the roles you currently play, both at work and at home.

In what ways does what you do help you contribute your best to the world? In what ways does it help you express your values and passion for what you care about most deeply? Maybe it’s remembering you do what you do because you love helping children grow and develop. Maybe you love building new things, helping to heal diseases, teaching kids or bringing a vision to fruition. Whatever your reasons are for doing what you do, take one action each day that helps you feel renewed and recommitted to your passion and purpose.

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