There are two days of the year that mark major times of transition – Labor Day and New Year’s Day.
Both days mark the end of a season and the beginning of a period when things begin to shift. Both days are full of the possibilities of great things to come.
Labor Day just happened which means one question – what kind of things to do now that summer is over.
It’s important not to let this time of transition slip by you without standing still and taking note. Times of transition are when important things happen. Who wants to miss out on that?
So pay attention. Life is short. Don’t let it pass you by. Here is my latest…
#1 – Take a deep breath.
Summer is always a crazy time. School is out and routines are broken. The weather is great and you just want to be outside. There are BBQs with friends and family reunions. The kids are out of school and you are all running around from activity to activity.
And now it’s over. It is important that you pause, if only for a moment but hopefully more, and take a deep breath.
Think about your summer. What was joyous and what was not so much. Think about time spent with family and friends. Think about the conversations and the insights and the experiences that you had.
Remember, consider and relish the summer of 2016.
Why? Because what happened this summer could very well influence what comes next for you. In many ways, you are not the same person you were on July 4th.
#2 – Choose a room and clean it out.
Nothing helps clear the head during times of transition like cleaning out a room. Something about the energy of throwing away all that stuff works wonders for gaining some clarity and vision.
So choose a room, the laundry room, your closet, your garage. Allot a few hours on a Saturday and go at it.
Choose a corner of the room, garbage bag in hand and start throwing things away. Things that you aren’t using, that are broken, that are expired. Put them in that garbage bag. Things that you are still using and keeping get placed nicely back where they belong.
If you aren’t sure whether or not something needs to be thrown out, consider when the last time was that you touched that thing, or even thought about it. If it was over 3 months ago, it’s gone. Acknowledge and be thankful for the role that it played in your life and then say goodbye.
Work your way around the room, repeating this process. Don’t skip ahead. Do all four sides of the room.
When you are done notice where you are. You will feel lighter, more clearheaded about what you want. And later on, if you start to feel overwhelmed, visit that cleaned out room. You will be glad you did.
#3 – Take a good hard look at what you want for your life.
Every year at New Years we make resolutions. Resolutions about how things are going to be different this year. We will be happier. We will be nicer to our spouses. We will excel at work.
More often than not those resolutions fall by the wayside.
One big reason that resolutions fail is that we make those resolutions without looking at how they really fit into the life we have. Can we just decide to be happier? To be nicer to our spouse? To be more patient at work? Not so much.
To stick to a resolution you have to define how you can make change within the parameters of your life. To be happier you need to know what makes you unhappy. To be nicer to your spouse you need to examine why you aren’t nice to them now. And why ARE you so impatient with your co-workers?
Take some time and really identify where you are in your life. Are you living a life that makes you happy? That makes you proud? That is consistent with the life goals that you set for yourself back when you were younger?
Make resolutions for the fall. And examine how you can make them stick. Remember, now is your time.
#4 – Make a list of what next steps to take.
A big part of keeping your resolutions is making a list of what will help you stick to them. To live the life of your dreams.
Would being happier mean that you spend an hour a day painting? Or perhaps mentoring a child in need? Or dancing around the kitchen before dinner?
What would have to happen for you to be nicer to your spouse? Would identifying what makes you unkind be a good first step? Would taking a deep breath before speaking help? Perhaps recognizing that you need to take a bigger approach and seek counseling?
And what about your patience at work? Is it a pesky co-worker or boss? Is it boredom or frustration? Would working on your resume so you can transition to a new job make it better?
Make a list. Think about those resolutions and picture how you can make them happen in your life. And then write it down. And then read it. And then take action.
You can do it!
#5 – Do something really fun for yourself.
Yes, I have challenged you to do reach for some lofty goals. And I really hope you will take me up on the challenge.
But first, do something for yourself. Something that really makes your heart sing. It can be anything.
Re-read the whole Harry Potter series. Buy every kind of Ben and Jerry’s and try a new flavor every night. Go to Victoria’s Secret and buy yourself something that makes you feel great. Take your car out on a back road and drive fast, sun-roof open, music blaring.
The sky is the limit. And it’s yours for the taking.
Summer was wonderful and is now over. Fall, and winter, approach.
Take the time to look at your life and make sure you are consciously doing things now that summer is over but also make sure you take care of yourself along the way.
Remember. You only have one life to live. Make sure that it’s the life you have always wanted. Full of joy, purpose and love.
Looking for more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and lets get started.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.