How Do You Want to Feel This Fall?


When I woke up the other morning and checked my weather app, it read 61 degrees.

I wore a long sleeve shirt to walk Lucy! I drank hot coffee! I considered wearing a scarf on my commute! (I didn’t, because my scarf collection is stored away somewhere deep in my closet, and okay it’s not that cold. But the thought alone!). Safe to say that fall is on the way, right?

So psyched, guys. Love me some fall.

It’s always been my favorite season, but it’s tough not to feel juuust a tiny little bit panicked at the thought of summer ending, isn’t it? Maybe it’s the weather change (the anticipation of winter), or a return to regular office hours (sayonara, summer Fridays).

Something that helps me work through any sort of transition is to write about what I’m looking forward to. Creating this list is a fun little activity that makes me feel good. You should try it.

It’s a little bit different than your typical to-do list, though. Just an FYI.

To-do lists are kind of the worst. I mean, I love a good list for organizational purposes. But never-ending life to-do lists are just annoying. There is always something to be done, which means we put off things we want to do and things that make us happy. More on that here from D-Money.

Instead of adding more tasks to our endless to-do lists, we can decide how we want to feel, and come up with some ways to cultivate those feelings throughout the season. Mine goes a little something like this…

1. Joy

  • Cooking fall favorites: and lots of ‘em! There are few things that make me happier than cooking, and let’s be honest fall baking is the BEST. I’ve got plans to create some new recipes of my own, and return to some winners from last year (see here). I foresee many sweet potato, pumpkin and apple appearances. Sure would love if you left me some of your fall faves to try in the comments below, pleaseandthankyou.
  • Keeping a gratitude journal. I’ve been really trying to develop a gratitude practice, but to be honest it’s been tough. I have a journal in which I like to write down what I’m grateful for at the end of the day and it always brings me joy, but there are about seven books piled on top of it at the moment. A bit if a priorities issue, you see. I’m working on it.
  • Travel: Another thing that brings me great joy. I’m hitting a few awesome cities this fall (starting this weekend!) including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Shanghai and Tokyo, with a couple quick New England excursions in between. Two of the trips involve watching some of my oldest, dearest friends tie the knot, and if that’s not joy in its purest form, then I don’t know what is.

2. Vulnerability

  • Practicing it: I’m currently reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly, and it has inspired me to practice vulnerability This book is amazing guys, it’s kind of blowing my mind. That’s all I’m going to say. You can read D-Money’s summary here, then go get the book. I wish everyone would read this book.

3. Lightness

Quick note: this is a feeling I strive for year-round, regardless of the season. It’s my #1 desired feeling. (More here on why & ways to cultivate.) Just because temps are dropping and we crave warmer, grounding foods, doesn’t mean we don’t want to feel lighter within our mind, body and spirit.

  • Closet clean-up: Gonna take this opportunity real quick to give myself a pat on the back, because I’ve gotten pretty damn good at de-cluttering. Mostly because I hate clutter, which was not always the case. With winter coming, it’s time for a seasonal wardrobe sweep, and I’m psyched.
  • Exercising regularly: fall runs are my favorite.
  • Taking it easy on the booze: wedding season has taken a toll on this bod of mine, so I’m looking forward to a few weekends sans open bar.

Aight. Ready to create your own feel good fall list? Write down a few words that represent how you want to feel this season. A few possibilities:

  • Adventurous
  • Helpful
  • Confident
  • Thoughtful
  • Love
  • Acceptance
  • Present
  • Cultured
  • Excited
  • Free
  • Positive
  • Inspired
  • Strong
  • Courageous
  • Happiness

It’s usually most effective to focus on one or a couple core feelings, in order to really grasp ‘em. For each one, write down a few things you can do that will help you achieve that feeling. For example: say you pick “thoughtful”. A few things on your list could be:

  • Sending a hand-written note to your grandma (or making a phone call, if snail mail isn’t your speed).
  • Texting a friend who is going through a tough time to just say hi, ask how they are and make plans to get coffee.
  • Creating a “birthday calendar”. Buy a calendar, and using Facebook scan birthdays by month, marking any birthdates of friends and family members so you never miss one. Hang the calendar in your kitchen or at your desk, somewhere you’ll see it everyday.

I’d love to hear what’s on your list. Let me know in the comments!

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