Run to your pen – fall is here! Time to regroup, refocus, and realign

Yessss – as in YESterday was the first day of fall! Woo-hoo, hurray, it’s finally here!

So many of us seriously love fall because…

– The kids go back to school

– Football season is here

– The weather cools off

– The leaves change color

– We can finally stop going to the beach, put down our summer reading, and hop back into the awesome-ness that we have left for the year.

Wait a minute. That last one might not be the number one reason to leave fall behind.

At least, most year’s its not mine! I love a good beach read as much as the next girl.

But….there is work to do. People to serve. Dreams to make real. And a list of goals and intentions for the year that we want to celebrate completing.

Are you a resolution setter? An intention intender? A gutsy goal setter?

I know I am. It’s one of my most favorite things that I do every single year.

But, there’s one thing about setting resolutions, intending intentions, and creating gutsy goals that can be a real bummer.

The ones that don’t get accomplished.

The ones that start to feel like a burden.

The ones that may be rolled over to the next year with a little bit of defeat and a whole lot of shame.

When this happens to me I tell myself that things are going to be different this time around. I’m going to stay on top of my intentions, have a plan for my goals, and resolve my resolutions.

That THIS YEAR will be different.

Know what I mean?

This isn’t about any item on our list of goals that we think we should do because of outside influences. No, this is about the intentions that are super important to us. The ones that we want year after year.

We don’t stop wanting them, but we struggle to make progress on them.

The writing you want to do, but never get started on.

A trip overseas you want to take, but can’t ever seem to fit into your calendar.

A desire to learn to cook for a healthier lifestyle that goes unfulfilled because habits are hard to change.

Looking for a more satisfying career.

Spending more time per day with your kids.

Starting the business you know can serve the world in a bigger way.

These are important, and yet sometimes our most important intentions never get our front seat attention.

And that’s where fall comes in. As life settles back into a routine, this is a perfect time to sit down with your journal, look over the list of really cool stuff you wanted to do this year, and conduct a check-in or review.

It’s time to see what progress you’ve made so far on your goals, resolutions, or intentions.

This honest review is worth doing in the fall because you still have time! You have time left to make at least one item on your list a priority between now and the end of year.

Wouldn’t it feel great to finish this year with a sense of accomplishment instead of disappointment or rolled over goals?

Hop in and get started, sister. Your awesomeness is waiting. And a glass of well-deserved champagne on December 31, 2015.

Get out the goals, intentions, or resolutions you wrote down for 2015. Read over them and mark any that you may have already accomplished. Stars are fun, or happy faces, or just an enormous checkmark. Put something on that paper (or white board, computer screen, etc.) that feels awesome to see there. And if you don’t have any yet, don’t sweat it – you still have a little more than three months, remember?

Review any goals, intentions, or resolutions that you have not yet accomplished. You may have only one or two items or you may have twenty. For now, circle the one or two that you really want to make a priority for 2015.

Look at your time. Consider how much time you have to work on your goals while juggling work, kiddos, managing your house, and all that jazz. Can you give yourself fifteen minutes a day? Two hours a week? Remember that small chunks of time are far better than waiting for a big chunk. Big chunks are rare and waiting is a word that just sounds nicer than procrastination; better to chip away than to never get started.

What do you need to change? When we set out to accomplish something new, often we have to change a habit or routine to a new one. Maybe its shopping at a different grocery store to get more of the products you need for healthier living. It might be going to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can get up a little earlier for a few extra moments to yourself.

What do you need to say sayonara to? Sometimes we have to let one thing go in order to make room for another. How many times have you seen that movie on Lifetime? Could someone else direct the Christmas pageant this year? What can  you say no to so that you can say yes to yourself?

Make your plan. When I work with clients who have a goal they are trying to reach, we start the process of incorporating the actions required to achieve that goal into their daily life. And the simple tool we use for that is a daily schedule. Hour by hour, or task by task, what will you do throughout the day?

This is my schedule for Wednesday September 23rd. As you can see, I am super specific about what I will do during the day  – and I highlight the tasks that will help me reach the big intentions I have for the year.

5am – 6:30 workout (Hook Day 17, Tabata legs and shoulders, 51 burpees, 10 minute meditation), shower
6:30 – 7:30 daily writing (draft article on digital journaling for the holidays)
7:30 – 9:00 get kids ready for school and drop off
9:30 – 11:30 work on journal project
11:30 – 12:00 prep blog post and ezine; call about retirement account
12:00 – 12:30 lunch
12:30 – 1:45 write for marketing, social media time, clean up and respond to emails
1:45 pick up Jude
2:00 – 2:50 get ready for gymnastics – pack laptop and charger!
2:50 – 3:10 pick up Ayla
3:10 – 6:00 snack, change, head to gymnastics where I can continue with writing projects from earlier in the day
6:00 – 8:00 dinner, bath, homework, stories, bed
8:00 – 8:30 fiction project
8:30 – 9:30 chill and get ready for bed

It’s not perfect and it is almost never executed completely, but its there and it gives me a sense of direction for the day.

My favorite thing about having a schedule that includes time to work on goals is having a checklist. And it gets my thoughts about what I need to do out of my head and onto paper. Now, instead of trying to remember everything I need to do, I can focus on the task itself.

Is this a flawless system? Goodness, no! But, its a starting point and it works for me right now.

Right now – that’s another key to think about.

What works for you right now? How can you fit the work of reaching your goals into your life?

All right! Go forth and review where you are right now in comparison with where you want to be at the end of the year and close that gap. You can do this!

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit or

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