september shifts for a successful season

Ahhhh mid September, we have arrived!  A new season is quickly approaching, and for many of us, we are a few weeks in to a new schedule and are falling into our rhythm and hopefully finding a good flow.  Which brings me to the topic of today’s post – shifting in September.  September is a transitional month – which means this is a great time to buckle down with new habits + new routines, supporting your version of optimal wellness.

new season, now let’s shift

Many people look to September as a time to restart- basically a less-pressure (raise your hand if you love the idea of 3.5 month goals versus TWELVE! both hands up over here…), sneaky way to set new intentions/resolutions to carry us through to the Holidays, finishing out our year with a bang!  This is a time I naturally feel inclined to sit down, reflect on the however-many-months-have-passed since I last did this, shift trajectories and carve out some GOALS, both personally, professionally, and of course, health + wellness-based.  Inspiration hits usually this time of year as the temps cool down and days get a bit shorter, so take advantage of this shift and let’s crush some stuff as this year begins it’s completion!  Here are some good things to focus on during this in-between phase –

first things first – clear some space

Before we even start this process of reflection + intention-setting, let’s create some space for all the new + good things to come.  This can be physically, emotionally, mentally, or my favorite – calendar/schedule-based.  Do a clean sweep of your house, car, office, gym bag (or all of the above if you are like me!) – getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, storing your summer clothes/gear/decor and donating things that do not bring you joy and that you hardly use.  If goals are going to revolve around health/nutrition, now is a great time to clean out your refrigerator, pantry, kitchen cabinets, etc.  This will also help you to see what you have that needs to be used!

Then take a look at your schedule – are you overbooked?  Umm YES.  Let me tell you something, Fall is sneaky in that it gets real busy real quick – so find the things that do not feel good to you and get rid of them! { there is the permission you have been looking for 🙂 }  The art of saying “no.”  Things to ask yourself – what in your schedule makes you feel stuck?  What do you ruminate/stir over and over in your mind before the scheduled event has even arrived?  What makes you feel depleted?  What do you complain about doing to your closest friends/family?  Do a good assessment, and figure out what you can get rid of.  Hardest space to clear, but once you do, geez it feels so good!  Once space is physically, mentally, or emotionally created, good things are guaranteed to fill those spaces right on up.


What good is setting new goals, dreaming new dreams, and creating the life you want to live without seeing first how far you have come?  Reflection, in my mind, does two things: It helps you to see what works/does not work for where you are now and where you want to go, and positions you for the GROWTH that is to come.  New ideas are able to be set in motion when you sit down and think about the whirlwind of life that has passed, and what you have accomplished.  Within your own unique goals, sit down and write out what has “worked and feels good” and what “definitely does not work and feels semi-terrible…” Now we know what to continue doing to crush this season (“This works!  That feels great!  I want to keep this going!”) and the foundation of what our our new goals/intentions will spring to life from (“ummm, this is 100% not moving me forward, in fact I am drifting backwards, that feels terrible and takes up way more energy than I can even muster, I’d rather crawl in a hole and never come out than try this again.”) ( <— okay so pretty dramatic, but you catch my drift)

Basically, reflection gives us a sense of humble gratitude (look how far we’ve come!), helps us assess our level of productivity in certain areas of our lives, and let’s use see where we want to devote more time + energy as life moves forward, again with the goal to create the life we so badly want to live.


Keeping with the wellness theme, now is a great time to re-focus and possibly shake up your physical exercise routine a bit.  My challenge to you is to think along the terms of what builds you UP?  What makes you feel strong, centered, and inspired to tackle a days full of work/chores/duties/chasing kids? What fills your cup, so that you can pour out into others every single day?  What do you look forward to doing?  What you have been doing may have been working amazingly, but as the temps start to cool, how about moving your exercise outside?  If your schedule has freed up with some kiddos in school, how about connecting with a friend and moving together?  Connection + movement = double the endorphin release.  Maybe you have been doing early morning or late night home workouts, but now is a time to join a group fitness class to get out there and try new things.  Whether your goals are to just feel better, lose a few pounds, or to crush a major fitness goal, see where you can become re-inspired, so that you can become re-invigorated, resulting in a huge thrust towards your new goals.

I would also recommend considering your overall daily movement versus times of being sedentary.  A lot of health professionals are now proclaiming that sitting is the new smoking in terms of health outcomes, so let’s assess your activities of daily living and see where we can move a bit more.  I task I often give my clients who have sedentary desk jobs is to get up and move for 10 minutes each hour.  YES.  EVERY.  HOUR.  But what about my productivity?  I am going to get nothing done!  This is where you are wrong.  Studies have shown that blood-pumping body breaks (as well as mind and eye-focusing breaks) actually improve employee productivity.  Give your body and brain the break it deserves.  Some good ideas – walk around the office, walk around the block a few times (bonus if outside!), walk up and down three flights of stairs for ten minutes, or if you have your own office, check out with a ten minute yoga session or 5-8 minute circuit training session from an app or youtube video, or do 30 air squats, 10 push-ups, and 10 jumping jacks until five minutes have passed.  These 5-8 bouts of random movement throughout your work day add up – in terms of physical exertion/calories burned as well as how good you feel and level of productivity at work.


Second shift we will focus on is all about how you are fueling your body.  Summer bbq’s, frequent ice cream shop visits (um, me), vacations and all of the other summer activities revolving around food are slowly winding down – this coupled with our tastebuds natural desire to shift to “fall foods” positions us perfectly for a nutrition re-haul!  Take a look at how you are feeling with your current routine of nourishment – do you feel like you’ve been a bit lax on what you’ve been fueling your body with or eating out more often?

Let’s start with breakfast.  This meal is the star player in setting your day up for success.  I recommend eating within one hour of waking to take advantage of our body’s natural ability to digest more efficiently, and to rev up your metabolism after 12 or so hours of fasting.  An optimal breakfast has good combination of PROTEIN, FIBER + HEALTHY FATS.  And contrary to the typical American breakfast, should be low in sugar.  Ditch the cold, sugar-filled cereals and pastries (except on necessary occasion, of course) and opt for pasture-raised eggs with veggies/avocado + a cup of fruit, a warm bowl of fiber-filled homemade oatmeal + peanut/almond butter + berries, or a yummy acai or smoothie bowl made with a plant-based protein powder + avocado or nut butter for sustainability (toss in some greens for an added bonus!).  Figure out how you can shift what you are currently doing for your AM eats for something more brain and energy-boosting.

For lunch + dinner, try to focus on optimal food combining – making a part of your plate green-leafy veggies (or another color of veggie for variety), a good source of high-quality protein – either plant or humanely-raised animal-based, a smaller healthy starch/carbohydrate paired with a touch of healthy fats.  A quinoa bowl with mixed veggies + avocado, a bowl of hearty chili served with a side salad, or a spaghetti squash pasta mixed with homemade meat sauce + veggies are all great fall options.

This is a great time to assess how you can set your life up in way that making these healthier decisions will become easier for you.  What do I mean?  Meal planning, grocery shopping, and prep.  UGH the hardest part!  This is where creating that time + space will come in handy.  Try this just one time – I promise you will feel so good when you actually execute it – which will create momentum + result in a snowball of healthy habit creation.  Also consider purchasing a new and beautiful cookbook to help inspire you to get in the kitchen + create some of your own masterpieces. Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun, and Totally Delicious” (<— I have my eyes on this newer cookbook all about cooking simple recipes from scratch!). The key is consistency (isn’t it always?) – keep trying new things until something sticks that works for YOU.

stress management / daily flow

The third health pillar we will discuss today that may be great to dig deep into and create some major shifts is, in my opinion, the most important piece of the wellness puzzle – managing stress and setting your life up in a way that feels so darn good to your spouse your child your boss YOU YOU YOU.  Summer can be crazy in the sense that you are always surrounded by other people, which is great, but there needs to be an equal distribution between social connection + alone time.  This month has most likely brought schedule changes for multiple members of the family, or just yourself, and now is a good time to figure out what feeds your soul and helps keep you as happily balanced as these changes set in and take hold.  Kids back in school?  Work schedule change?  Activities for you or your family shifting from one focus to the next?  Adapt what supports you along with these changes.

Stress management is so often placed on the back burner when life gets busy, or when you feel like you’ve got everything “under control” and stress is at a minimum (YAY!).  I challenge you to make a goal this season to keep your version of stress management as a constant in your life, something you do regardless of whether you feel like you need it or not.  (Read: don’t save your weekly restorative yoga, bubble bath with a glass of wine, nature hikes, girls night, massage, or whatever you consider self-care for when the crap hits the fan!  Keep it consistent).  The purpose of stress management is to not completely eradicate the stress, only to ditch what you love the moment you feel balanced again – rather it should be something carved into your schedule weekly (or daily!) that helps keep the stress at bay, cultivating a stronger ability to be stress-resilient.  Stress WILL happen.  Set your life up in a way that makes you feel empowered to tackle it gracefully.

Now is a good time to find or re-create your flow that jives with the rest of what’s going on around you.  Start by taking a look at your morning and nightly routine.  If you wake up immediately feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try creating a safe space by waking up 20 minutes early (this means earlier bedtime!), going for a quick restorative walk outside or doing a gentle morning yoga flow or stretch, starting the day with deep breaths and 5 extra minutes to slowly enjoy your coffee before the inevitable outside pressure sets in.  The key is to find something that is realistic + practical for YOUR lifestyle (not everyone else’s), that leaves you feeling strong and empowered and a bit more calm/ready for your day.  That can be an entire hour of what makes you happy, or a simple five extra minutes.  Bedtime rituals are also good to shift during this time of year.  Nights are coming quicker, naturally signaling our body’s that it is time to wind down.  Set an alarm on your phone for 30-60 minutes before you’d like to be asleep (new iphones have a bedtime feature that can track this for you!).  Turn down the lights, brush your teeth, take your bath, light some candles and plop down with a good, non-work related book to set you up for the perfect night’s sleep!  Read this post about the importance of sleep and functional tips to make your sleep the best it’s ever been.  

make the shi{f}t happen

Wrapping things up – use this weekend to start this process of shifting towards success.  Create at least 3 new health + wellness goals – one or more in each pillar (movement, nourishment + daily flow).  Make these expansive, a tiny bit scary and slightly out of your comfort zone.  Let them light you up.  These intentions will carry you through to your holidays, helping you feel a bit more balanced + energized as the new year approaches.  Remind yourself that each new habit you create will set you up for growth – resulting in a more fulfilling + productive life.  You deserve it!

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