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Rethinking Autumn to Finish Strong

Here in the Midwest, you sure wouldn’t guess it is Autumn. With temperatures hovering around ninety degrees, winter still seems a long way away. But in reality, it is Autumn, and rather than focusing on what some may consider a depressing time of year (think colder weather and nights getting darker earlier), why not think about it as more of a season of possibility? Let me explain.

Autumn is a great time to take stock.  Its special qualities make it the perfect time both to reflect and to make a final push for the rest of the year.  Has 2017 turned out like you hoped it would?  Where do you still need to move the needle a bit to finish your year on a positive note?  Oftentimes the best way to get started is by first knowing the right questions to ask…

Work

Are you happy with your work?  If not, you’re not alone; a majority of Americans are either disinterested or disengaged.  So what can you do about it?  Is there another option inside or outside the company you can explore?  Are you able to start your own business?  If not, what kind of training would create new opportunities for you?  On the other hand, if you’re happy and love what you do, are you standing out and taking advantage of everything that’s available to you?  What project could you tackle?  What improvement could you make?  Finally, think about the people you regularly come in contact with at work.  Is there someone you have been meaning to reach out to but have come up with every reason why you can’t?  Maybe there’s something special coming your way if you just make the effort.  No more excuses!

Home

Did your summer home bucket list get away from you?  If it did, it is okay– mine did, too! The good news is there is still time.  The key, though, is determining what items you can still get done before the end of the year, as well as which ones are most important to you.  Once you’ve done that, start checking them off.  If you have procrastinated on a few things, such as outdoor home improvement projects, the cooling weather might be enough of a motivation to get it done.  Start moving!

Family

Then there’s the family.  Did life get in the way of some adventures you were hoping to have this summer?  Do something now.  It might not be at the same level as you would have done over the summer, but that’s okay.  Sometimes the simpler adventures are better anyway.  Take a Sunday road trip.  Do an overnight.  Have a cookie bake-off and leave no cookie uneaten.  Some people feel a little trapped by summer’s end.  They start thinking, “Oh, darn, too late.”  If this is you, get rid of this kind of thinking.  It’s not helpful to anyone, especially you!  There is no wrong time to make a memory, and you don’t need a lot of time or money to do it.

You

How are you doing personally?  Are you feeling a little rushed, a little stressed? Slow down and take time for you.  For me, exercise, meditation, and prayer never steer me wrong.  I enjoy going for long walks in places that help me think, and have a certain beauty and awe to them.  I have also found that when we think less about ourselves, and more about helping the less fortunate, we not only feel better about ourselves, we get a healthier perspective on what really matters in life anyway.

Too often, we end the year asking ourselves why we never got around to certain things.  Consider autumn the fourth quarter of the year (couldn’t resist the football analogy).  Use it as a time to reflect on what’s gone well and what still needs to get done this year.  It really is a perfect time to reboot your goals, and it can set the tone for a rewarding final three months of the year.  I know you can do it! I’m praying for you!

Your Virtual Life Mentor,

Doug

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