Fall is my favorite season… The cool weather and “back-to-school” energy in the air make it feel like the perfect time for a fresh start.
Most people wait until the New Year to reflect and set intentions for what’s next, but personally, I love a good fall ritual to anchor in the feeling of renewal, and get clarity on how to make the most out of the remaining months of the year.
Many of the most successful people I know say reflecting and setting intentions is one of the most high-value practices they have. Some do quarterly or monthly reflection. Others have weekly or even daily practices!
When we wait an entire year between reflections, our memories fade, and projects, goals, and resolutions may be long forgotten by the time we sit down to review them and take stock of what we learned and experienced along the way.
Reflecting on a regular basis gives you the chance to assess what’s working well, and what areas you want to change or adjust. This allows you to stop approaching your life from a place of reaction (simply responding to the circumstances you find yourself in) and instead, come from a place of perspective, clarity and conscious intention to create the life you desire.
Try out this simple fall ritual this week to create more clarity and intention that will carry you through to a fabulous New Year!
Step One: Make it a Ritual
Reviewing your goals and taking stock of your progress is helpful no matter how you do it, but it has the potential to be truly transformational if you do it with intention.
In order to get the most value and impact out of this exercise, take the time and intention to treat it like a ritual.
You might set up a beautiful space before you begin, write your intentions down in a beloved journal, light some candles, diffuse your favorite essential oils, or burn a bit of sage. I like to take a hot bath or a long walk before I begin to get grounded in my body.
You can give this your own flair, but find a way to make the experience special and give it your full presence.
Step Two: Start with Gratitude (7 mins)
The best way to attract more of what you desire is to feel gratitude for the incredible blessings you already have. That’s why my favorite way to begin any reflection process is with gratitude.
Set a timer for three minutes, then close your eyes, put a hand on your heart, and get present. Let your thoughts slip away and come into the moment. Then begin to reflect on all the things you’re most grateful for in your life right now – the relationships, people, accomplishments, experiences, and belongings that make your life full. With each thing you think of, really FEEL the love and thankfulness in your heart. Let yourself fill up on it.
Once you open your eyes, pull out your journal and spend a few minutes journaling on the things you’re most thankful for. Anchor in that feeling of gratitude, because it’s the best place to create from!
Step Three: Peek into the Future (7 mins)
Now that your heart is full of gratitude, set another three minute timer. Then close your eyes and imagine it’s the end of the year. See yourself ringing in the New Year in a place and a way that feels amazing to you. You’re lit up and celebrating everything that’s happened this year.
- What do you see?
- What do you want to feel excited about and thankful for at the end of this year?
- Can you tap into the feeling of gratitude for those creations in advance?
Open your eyes and spend another few minutes journaling about what you see.
Step Four: Reflect on What’s Working (5 mins)
As you begin reflecting on the year so far and what’s come to pass, take a few minutes to write down everything that’s working in your life.
- What has made you feel happy and lit up this year?
- What has brought you joy and fulfillment?
- In what areas did you see the most results – and what actions did you take that helped create those results?
If you want, you can split this up by the areas of your life. List a few things for your business or career, a few for your family life and relationships, some for your health, and so on…
This practice will allow you to acknowledge your successes, as well as reflecting on what you can continue to do in order to create more of what you want.
Go ahead and set your timer and write for 5 minutes on this topic.
Step Five: Reflect on What’s NOT Working (5 mins)
Now that you know what’s been working over the last several months, it’s time to look at the areas that could use a little bit of extra love and attention. Set your timer for another 5 minutes and write out all of the areas where things haven’t worked as well as you would like.
- What areas are causing you the most stress and difficulty in your life right now?
- Where have you not been getting the results you hoped for?
- Where is there room for improvement?
This will give you clarity on where to change your actions or approach to get more of what you want.
Step Six: Choose Your Focus for the Fall (6 mins)
Now it’s time to look over everything you’ve written throughout this exercise and take away the pearls of wisdom…
Ask yourself: What do I most want to invest in and create over the next few months?
As you look over your reflections, pick ONE area in your career or business you want to focus on over the next few months, and ONE area in your personal life.
Why just one?
When we split our focus in too many directions, we don’t do anything effectively.
We always tell our clients, “You can have it all and do it all – just not all at once!”
Once you choose your two areas, go ahead and write down the result you want in that area before the New Year, and what actions you see you need to take in order to bring it into reality.
The purpose of this exercise isn’t to be hard on yourself or to choose lofty goals that will just end up overwhelming you. Instead, choose intentions that feel like an achievable stretch. Something that excites you and lights you up, and will give you just enough of a push to finish out this year in a way that feels amazing.
Spend 6 minutes reviewing your reflections and writing out your goals and intentions.
Bonus Step: Schedule It In
After you finish identifying your intentions and the actions you want to take to support them, spend a few minutes with your calendar, and block in a couple of times each week when you can take action in these areas. If you schedule it – and stick to your schedule – you’ll be amazed at the results you create.
Note: Although fall is my favorite time for reflection and intention setting, this ritual can be used any time of the year.
Try it out this week, and let us know how it goes!