I got up this morning and noticed something awful. Leaves are falling off the tree outside my living room window. I’ve managed to ignore the edge of fall in recent cool breezes but leaves on the ground simply can’t be overlooked.
I know, I know, we’re still wearing shorts and flip flops and the sun isn’t setting until 8 pm but it’s time we start coming to terms with the coming fall.
Ali sent me an article this morning that says our emotions follow a calendar just like the seasons and I believe it. Every fall, I feel a bit of sadness that I’m not gearing up for my own new school year. I cast longing glances at the piles of new notebooks at Target. I desperately want to crack open new textbooks and inhale the smell of fresh paper and ink. I itch to get my hands on a syllabus and a fresh yellow highlighter.
The best way I’ve found to work through my end-of-summer blues is to create some personal and professional resolutions for the new (academic) year. This year, I’m trying the Stop/Keep Doing/Start system that’s often used by organizations to provide performance feedback to categorize my resolutions.
Stop
I am going to stop getting pulled into the work week early by setting aside half an hour on Sunday evening to create my to do list for the week and then walking away until Monday morning instead of doing just this one thing…and this one thing…and that one thing.
Keep Doing
I started running (slowly, slowly) last fall and I’m amazed what an important part of my week my runs have become for my physical and mental health. So I’m going to stick with my three-times-a-week habit of grinding out two to three miles.
Start
I’m going to focus more on my professional development this year. Like so many of us, I am guilty of letting that item slide down my priority list as soon as work gets busy. So this fall, I’m going to look for opportunities in three areas: refreshing my pitching skills, taking my understanding of social media analytics to the next level, and improving my presentation skills. (And I’d love recommendations for webinars or other resources in these areas, so please share!)
There’s my plan for the fall—if you can see through your end-of-summer tears, tell me about yours below.