What's up next?

With school starting in just a few days, I'm starting to think about what I want to do this fall. I feel a stirring of excitement at the thought. I love a fresh new fall, full of the possibilities of a new year, don't you?

Last year around this time, I was heading into a sabbatical year, and I had a detailed plan to guide my days. But now, I move into uncharted territory. I am not planning a return to corporate life (at least not now), so what does that mean for me? How should I spend my time? What is my purpose?


Those questions are way too big and serious! So instead of answering them, I am taking it one season at a time. Without further ado, here are my goals for fall:

BE HEALTHY: Take excellent care of my health and energy. Do something active every single day, balancing running with yoga and strength building workouts; Drink green smoothies; Attend my weekly meditation group.

WRITE A NOVEL: Complete the first draft. Write every day for at least 3 hours; Take a writing class to improve my skills; Participate in my critique group; Read tons of books; Participate in the online writer's community.

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION: Find and celebrate new forms of contribution. Do a great job in my role on the PTO board; Help my husband grow his law practice; Put positive, inspiring content onto my blog; Be a positive role model to my children, friends, husband and the broader community.

ROCK MY HOME LIFE: Focus on organization and routines: Plan and run awesome weekly family meetings; Establish chore charts, Build a better bedtime routine; Purge the house (and my closet) of all unneeded items; Create physical spaces in the house that support our daily routines; Promote peacefulness and calm with my decisions and decor choices; Make weekly meal plans; Make good use of my label maker!

HAVE FUN: Promote fun for myself, my family, and in my community: Plan fun family outings on weekends; Host a neighborhood party; Get together with friends (over mutually enjoyable pastimes); Learn new skills (make my next quilt, make some big art, take a class); Sing a duet with my husband.

A note about my process: I am often asked about my process for setting goals. It changes every time. This time, here's what I did. First I made a list of all the things I'd like to do next fall. I listed everything I could think of (beyond the usual things like doing laundry and picking the kids up from school.) I ended up with a list of 57 meaty items. Too much! So I pared back and prioritized until I had a list of just 11. I liked the list, but it didn't feel right. I realized that it contained a hodgepodge of different types of things, at different levels of altitude. It was an apples and oranges situation. I was mixing up projects, to dos and goals. So I took a step back and defined my terms. A goal is a "what." It's what I want to accomplish. There are lots of "hows" to each "what." I needed to separate the what's from the hows, and decide which "what's" were most important. Then I could choose the best "hows" to achieve my goals, and prioritize my monthly and weekly projects accordingly. The list above starts with the "what" (in bold), and continues with some of the "hows" I'll use to accomplish the "what." Whew!  Did that make any sense?

What's on your list for the Fall?


  1. This pretty much knocks my socks off. Enjoy this new life phase!

  2. Fantastic goals. The school year began for me, so I'm still setting up my classroom and lessons. I also want to focus on my WIPs.