The leaves are changing, pumpkin spice lattes are in full swing, and the air is getting cooler. You know what that means? The seasons are changing, and Fall is finally here! With each new season comes an opportunity to change in mindset. Fall is beginning, and we think now is the perfect time to fall into some healthier habits for this new season. Setting goals now can help us prepare for the winter months, and even prepare us to embrace the new year in a few short months.
Set your Goals
Do you want to improve your mental health? Do you want to hit the gym more often during the week, or make sure you have a healthy meal plan? The key to setting goals is to be realistic and specific. Instead of saying to yourself “I’m going to drink more water,” make an attainable and specific goal of drinking 11-15 cups per day. If you are looking to improve your mental health, then specific milestones can help you reach your goal. Commit to spending two hours a week in nature, do three acts of self-care every weekend, or make an appointment to talk to a therapist every two weeks.
You are more likely to stay on track with your goals if you write them down and get vocal about them. Write in your daily journal, make notes on your calendar, and tell your support system about your plans.
Where do you want this season to lead you? What plans do you want to strive for beyond now, and into the coming seasons? Maybe if you struggle with the winter blues, then you can use the next couple of months to prepare and plan. Start a Vitamin D supplement routine to combat any deficiencies that can come with the shorter days. Consider how you will grow through this season and how that growth will help you handle the coming seasons.
Embrace any Difficulties
There may be some roadblocks that pop up but preparing for them can help lower stress levels and make them feel easier to handle. There may be days where binging Netflix sounds better than going walking, or maybe work will pick up and life will be busier than normal. It is important to be prepared and know how you will handle the situation ahead of time. If work is busy, then make plans to have a de-stress night (or two) each week. Treat yourself to your favorite healthy meal, watch your favorite movie, or be available to visit with loved ones.
Be Strict with Yourself
Keeping your goals may require setting a few strict boundaries for yourself. If your goals revolve around a set schedule, then set daily reminders on your phone, keep your routine consistent, and commit to your plans. Set your workout clothes in sight, keep an alarm to take your birth control, PrEP, or vitamins at the same time every day, or use a water bottle that has timed goals written on the side.
What is your Motivation?
One way to help you stick with your new healthy habits is to remind yourself why you chose to start them. Dropping unhealthy or damaging habits and embracing new, positive habits can actually challenge your comfort zone. Finding your stride in new habits can make anyone feel a little lost at first, and that is why it is important to remember why you want to make these positive changes. Give yourself some extra encouragement with a new mantra to help you power through any doubt or lack of motivation.
There is no need to wait until the end of this year to start some new, healthy habits- the beginning of this new season is a perfect time to make some changes! Set goals, seek out a support network, be consistent, and remember to be patient with yourself. Healthy habits are formed gradually and will most likely come with setbacks, but these are manageable with the right motivation and preparation.