I always find life’s pace to slow a bit during the summertime. Maybe this is an after-effect of years spent in school. Without reading assignments and due dates, the days would stretch into a calm, never-ending march towards autumn. In the year’s since the same chill vibe has continued to ring true. This blissful respite from the GO, GO, GO of other seasons is awesome. But it can be a hard one to shake once the vacation days are spent and you gotta force yourself back into the saddle.
I think the end of summer is a great time for a fresh start. Whether you’re still a student or the change in season marks a new chapter in your life or you never stopped hustling all summer long (“Vacation? WHAT vacation?”), you can give yourself a little reboot.
To help us out, I’ve gathered 30 days worth of reboot assignments. If you want to ease into the next season feeling productive, de-cluttered, calm, inspired, and ready to kick a lot of butt then this challenge is for you. One day at a time. One assignment at a time. We got this!
Day One. Keep a spending diary.
Record your purchases for the duration of the day. Spend some time going over the results to identify necessities vs. superfluous spending.
Day Two. Silence the cell phone noise.
Navigate into your phone’s settings and turn off all your notifications. Choose a few times throughout the day to check on things (read: texts, emails, social media) but leave it at that.
Day Three. Give your To-Do list a Top 3.
Identify three to-do’s that MUST get done today and place those at the top of your list. Check these items off before you move down to any of your other tasks.
Day Four. Organize your junk.
Do you have a space in your house that acts as your catch-all? Maybe it’s a random drawer in your kitchen or a table in your entryway. Maybe it’s even the top of your desk. Spend some time today clearing out this space, wherever it is, and organizing whatever items remain after the purge.
Day Five. Plan your counter-attack.
Stress creeps up at the most inopportune times. Why not get out in front of it. Today, identify five things that ease your stress. A nice cup of tea? A thirty minute jog through your neighborhood? Keep this list near and then USE IT. When stress rears it’s ugly head..fight back!
Day Six. Enjoy a day of nothing.
Remember the part where I said you were gonna ease into a productive autumn? If you have the day off then see where the day takes you. No planning ahead, no worrying about what you should be doing. Just do what you want when you want to do it. (If you have to work today, apply this mind set to your off-time.) Perhaps you’ll end up starting the novel you’ve been dying to read. Perhaps, bored out of your gourd, you’ll turn your attention to your side hustle. Who knows!? The point is to just go with the flow.
Day Seven. Focus on casual gratitude.
All too often, we say “I’m sorry,” when what we mean is “Thank you.” Work on catching yourself and flip the script. Read more here.
Day Eight. Streamline your morning routine.
Take a long hard look at the steps you take to ready yourself for the day and find ways to trim the fat. Love a good, long morning faff? I do too! But maybe you don’t need to do ALL the journaling, yoga, newspaper reading, and full-face of makeup every, single day. One or two areas of focus per day may work great for you!
Day Nine. Establish your bedtime routine.
Spend this evening creating a lovely, relaxing nighttime ritual that sets you up for a great night of sleep and a productive tomorrow.
Day Ten. Write!
Set aside twenty minutes today for a little stream-of-consciousness journaling.
Day Eleven. Read!
I love watching TV as much as the next guy, but for today’s assignment, switch out any time you would normally watch for some time spent reading instead. Books, articles, whatever. It’s a day for reading!
Day Twelve. Go on a long walk.
Hit the trails unplugged and free from distractions. Just spend some time with yourself, your thoughts, and nature. Take note of your surroundings and how they make you feel.
Day Thirteen. Social media clear out.
As you scroll through your social media accounts today take note of those people, brands, or accounts that no longer serve you. Is there a friend whose Facebook posts do nothing but rile you up? Time to unfriend. A store whose Instagram pics make you pull out your wallet a little too quick? Click that unsubscribe button.
Day Fourteen. Try the “45 minute on – 15 minute off” approach.
As you create your To-Do List, consider breaking down your tasks into items you can complete in 45 minute chunks. Then, set a timer as you work your way through. After you complete each task give yourself a 15 minute break to stretch, grab a snack, wander outside, play with your dog, or whatever!
Day Fifteen. Give yourself an allowance.
Look back at your spending diary and see if you can place a number on the amount you would like to put towards “extras.” Spend some time defining extras, sketching out your monthly expenses, and identifying the best way to divvy up your fun fund. Then, give yourself a pay-out!
Day Sixteen. Eliminate decision fatigue.
Take today to identify one area of your life where you could eliminate decision fatigue and come up with an action plan. Some ideas – weekly meal plans, subscription services (like Graze for snacks or Vitafive for vitamins), or a capsule wardrobe.
Day Seventeen. Sign up for a learning opportunity.
Take a class, enroll in a web seminar, work your way through a workbook, or download an app. Education has a way of re-invigorating and inspiring!
Day Eighteen. Cull your closet.
Try on all your clothes and sort them into three piles–keep, donate, and toss. Think of all the clothes karma you’ll receive when you pass along your duds to someone they may be better suited to.
Day Nineteen. Set goals.
What are your main goals or priorities in this season of your life? Make an inspiring piece of wall art that lists them and hang it somewhere prominent.
Day Twenty. Forward plan.
If you’re like me, then you focus a lot of your attention on planning day-to-day tasks and not as much on the big picture. Today, spend some time sketching out the weeks and months (maybe even years!) ahead. Grab your calendar and pencil stuff in. No worries if things change down the road.
Day Twenty-One. Check your inbox three times.
Instead of spending the day with an ever-open tab dedicated to your email, check your emails only three times today. Once at the beginning of your work day, once right before or after your meal break, and one more time at the end of your day.
Day Twenty-Two. Prepare some meals.
Stock your fridge with lunches for the coming week. Pinterest has about a billion pins-worth of inspiration if you’re stuck on what to make.
Day Twenty-Three. Work off-line.
Allocate 2-3 hours to working off-line. Get everything you may need to complete your tasks in order, turn your phone to airplane mode, and venture outside of that Wi-fi bubble.
Day Twenty-Four. Make a reading list.
Make a list of all the books you want to read over the next year or so. Head to the library and get started!
Day Twenty-Five. Schedule time for your passions.
Identify three or four things that bring you joy and schedule them into your routine for the week to come. Maybe you can play soccer with friends on Monday, work on a knitting project on Thursday, and every other day work a crossword puzzle with a glass of wine. Make the time for YOU!
Day Twenty-Six. Talk to someone just starting out on this journey.
This one is open to interpretation but is a great way to pay it forward. Whether you choose to chat with a new hire or your own kid, an honest discussion about your personal life path can be a wildly helpful twenty minutes. And why not?
Day Twenty-Seven. Keep your small talk positive.
As you go about your day, make sure your conversations are steering clear of the following topics: how tired you are, how busy you are, or anything else complain-y. No need putting out negativity at every opportunity. Instead, focus on positive conversations.
Day Twenty-Eight. Organize your computer.
Clear out any files you no longer need and get your folders on fleek.
Day Twenty-Nine. Meditate!
Take fifteen minutes today to tap into some mindfulness. If you’re new to meditation, there are tons of apps and YouTube videos out there that can help guide you.
Day Thirty. Take a break from technology.
Repeat the day of nothing from Day Six but this time *dun, dun, DUN* do it without technology. No cell phones, internet, or TV’s. Spend part of the day reflecting on the strategies you’ve learned and tried throughout your reboot but most of the day just doing whatever you want. See what happens!
*As you complete each assignment consider whether it is something you could implement long-term. If you find something to be especially helpful or meaningful then keep it up! *
So, are you ready to reboot? Buh-bye, Summer! HELLO AUTUMN!!!
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