Four things to focus on this fall

Happy fall, my friends!

Last week, when I was thinking of ideas for posts, I knew I wanted to incorporate the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. And I also knew I wanted to share some things I’m working on in my own life. I combined both ideas into one with today’s topic.

I know that seasons change four times a year and most of us move on without marking the occasion, but I actually think it’s more fun to spend a moment and notice the change. In fact, the transition from summer to fall can mean a lot of things. It’s a chance to slow down, to reflect and to prepare for the end of the year. You see, in the summer, the days are at their longest, and that’s when we want to do more, get out more, travel more and see more. But when fall hits, the days start to shorten, and it’s our chance to be a little more introspective and to take a moment to look at where we are and where we want to be — with little adjustments to support your health, wellness and life. And it’s a time to soak up the beauty of fall, if you get a taste of it where you live.

If all this sounds a little woo-woo for you, totally okay. But I do hope you’ll get something out of my suggestions for a few things to focus on this fall …

Four things to focus on this fall

Four things to focus on this fall by A Lady Goes West

Do less scrolling mindlessly, and do more engaging with intention at the right times (or even taking regular breaks from social media)

Social media can be a wonderful place. There are some people posting some super-valuable content for you for free, to help inspire you, motivate you or just entertain you. And I hope you are following those people, sharing their content and supporting them. (And I hope you think I am one of them!)

Yet, social media comes with a big caveat.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve picked up a bad habit of checking my phone a lot more lately than I used to. I open Instagram or Facebook, I scroll through when I’m doing other things, and I’m only halfway there and paying attention. And what do I get from this? Not much in the way I’m doing it.

Yes, you can great information and make connections through Instagram and Facebook, but it has to be intentional — you have to really be there. When I sit down with a plan to post and engage, I don’t mind being on there, and I get a lot from it. But it’s when I open up Instagram in the carpool line and only lightly scroll, that I feel that icky feeling of everyone else doing better or looking better than me. You know?

As a blogger who does use Instagram and Facebook as a tool for sharing my content, I’m not telling you not to use these platforms, because I want you to use them and to engage with what I post (and thank you for that!). But with everything else in life, I think you should only use them when you know you are in the mood and the headspace for scrolling, reading, interacting, engaging and absorbing. If you’re busy, stressed and sad and have no time, don’t look on Facebook while in line at the grocery store check-out, because it won’t be serving you there. You can’t get a lot out of it in that way.

I plan to be more mindful with my social media usage this fall. I will be using social media, of course. But I want to make sure that I am only using platforms that bring value to my life or to my business. And I will only be using them when I can really focus on them, interact, engage and appreciate what I’m consuming.

And if you feel you need more of a break, you can also try deleting the apps off your phone during the weekends, then coming back on Mondays for a fresh start. But once again, you don’t have to entirely walk away from social media, but use it more mindfully.

Things for fall by A Lady Goes West

Get outside more for organic movement in fresh air (or move your workouts outdoors)

Fresh air. It’s so good for us. From fresh air, we can get valuable vitamin D, we can reduce our stress, and we can even feel the benefits of increased levels of oxygen. And you know what? I have not been getting very much fresh air this summer, thanks to the hot and humid days in Charlotte, and I’m ready to change that. I miss it.

In fact, all of my workouts have been in a gym setting (or on the Peloton bike at home) for the last four months, and there have been very few walks. I think it’s totally great to work out at the gym or inside at home, but I also like variety. And if you live somewhere with a moderate fall season, you should totally get out there more often now that you can. You could even move your workouts outdoors sometimes. Back in California, on nice days, I would take my computer outside under a shade tree and do Les Mills GRIT from Les Mills On Demand in the afternoons. Les Mills GRIT is crazy hard, and having a cool breeze made it so much more doable. I felt SO good when it was over too, with the sun shining on my sweaty skin. I actually vividly remember that feeling.

But even bike rides, hikes, swimming, running, recreational sports and more are all great ways to be outside and move your body, and I’m ready to get back to them.

We finally bought some new bike helmets, so I think we’ll be out on our bikes a lot more in the coming weeks. And of course, I’m dying to return to afternoon walks, because it’s a great way to fill that pre-dinner chunk of time and get fresh air.

My goal is to get in at least two outdoor walks with some more local exploring of outdoor areas as well. Who is with me?

Fall behind the house by A Lady Goes West

Eat more seasonal fresh and local produce (and add more produce to your day)

I eat a lot of fruit and veggies, but I’m not good about choosing seasonal or local stuff, and I would like to change that. I want to go to the farmer’s market to grab fresh produce and choose things that are ripe and ready for me to incorporate into meals. It’s better for the environment to eat produce that was grown closer to your home and sometimes fresher produce has more nutrients (although shout-out to frozen produce, because that’s a great option too), and it’s also nice to support local farmers, if you can. Also, I recently learned that expanding your breadth of veggie and fruit intake to different types can also increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, which can in turn help your metabolism indirectly when everything else is working well (a much more complicated topic, but still worth mentioning). 

Even if you don’t have a farmer’s market near you, you can certainly add in-season produce to your cart at the grocery store or even online. In fall, some of the best produce that’s ready to be eaten right now includes apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, squash, cauliflower and many more. And even if you’re not a crazy chef (because we all know I’m not), everyone can wash and chop up fruit and roast veggies with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. 

It feels good to eat the food of the season, and it’s something we can all try. And everyone could benefit from some more produce in their life. Also, this is a good list of which produce is in season throughout the year.

Fall behind the house with Brady by A Lady Goes West

Start a project or activity that you’ve always wanted to do but never felt it was the right time (no matter how small it is)

How many times have you said that you really want to start “xyz” but it’s just not a good time? Yes, me too. Famous for it!

But the thing is, for many things in life, there’s never going to be a perfect time. You’ll never be able to pinpoint exactly when you should do something. And next thing you know, time has passed you by and you’re still wishing you had started that thing.

This has been on my mind so much lately with big things and small things I’m considering. And rather than constantly spending my mental energy wondering when it will be the right time for something, I want to take action right now.

Do you want to start a blog? Run a race? Do you want to paint your house? Do you want to take up singing? 

Whatever it is, I bet you’re waiting for some sign that it’s the moment when you should jump into action. But you may or may not get that moment, so why not pursue this little dream (no matter how little) now? There’s no need to wait to the start of a year or to wait until you have all your ducks in a row. This fall, just do it.

I’m going to try to take my own advice, and I’ll report back once I’ve started what I want to start! (It’s tennis. Don’t laugh! And now I’ve officially put it out there.)

Four things for fall by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s a similar dress to the one I’m wearing in these pictures.)

That’ll do it for my list of things to focus on this fall! As a reminder, we are all works in progress, and my simple thoughts are not a prescription for your life at all. You can always take or leave my advice and “do you” the best way you know how. Also, you should totally visit a pumpkin patch and drink a PSL this fall, but that pretty much goes without saying.

Thank you for reading this post, my friends. Get out there and have a fabulous fall! 🙂 

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

What’s one thing you’re going to work on this fall?

What’s one thing you’re most excited about this fall?

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