‘Tis the Season

 

The trees they are a changin'

 

      Those first few days of fall have to be some of the most glorious days of the year. Some naysayers may conclude that they pale in comparison to the water-filled days of summer sunshine, but sun schmun, there are approximately 90 days in a row where that same yellow ball floats in the sky (as long as you don’t live in Seattle and the summer of 2010 is not a contender in this census) and it loses it’s glamour in my book. Au contraire, mes chéris, that first chapter of this grand season, when the air is crisper than a honeycrisp apple and the leaves are just starting to catch on fire with red, yellow, and orange, those moments before the rain falls relentlessly and the sidewalk becomes a pathway reminiscent of walking on soggy Life cereal, those precious days, *sigh* are the loveliest of the year. Take a deep breath – can’t you just taste the change in season? Smell the spicy aroma of cinnamon-y apple cider brewing and sweet cornbread baking in the oven? It’s time to hang up that beach towel and break out the hats, scarves, and pumpkins to welcome back that quintessential period of “fresh starts” with open (and mittened) arms.

      Fall is a superb time to try new things. Studies have shown that trudging back to school year after year for our whole lives has programmed us to view this season as “the beginning of the year.” January who? We all set New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st, and promptly throw those out the window by late February – give it up girlfriend, it’s past VDay by then, what’s the point? Either you got him or you didn’t – you can stop scrimping on the chocolate and wine. But why not give that New Year’s Resolution list a little makeover, and have the start date be today. Start right now – grab a pen and paper and make a list of 3 (or more) things you would like to accomplish. I’ve bravely listed a few of my own to help you get your creative juices flowing (no judgment – I’m practically naked here):

  1. Re-organize my living room by October 10th – rearrange furniture, assess whether or not a fab, new piece is in the cards… and budget, and add some new, decorative finishing touches.
  2. Take a photography class/workshop before Christmas – photography is one of my favorite hobbies, but at this point, I’m a complete amateur. Hopefully you’ll see an improvement as I get some (kind, gentle) critiquing and practice with some of the pros.
  3. Cook more – I vow to myself (and my future husband and children) that I will be a great cook! I want to try one new recipe a week for the next month, practice using different cooking methods, and cook with some comrades to get some great tips and clever tricks of the trade.
  4. Work on more craft projects. Crafting (stop judging. Right now.) is my favorite free-time filler. There are endless possibilities! And many times, craft projects can be shared with family, friends, and roommates. Think of all the great gifts and home décor items you can make! I have about 4 projects going on currently (more deets to come), but my goal is to work on one project a month this year (or until death do us part – and by us I mean my pink, leopard-print glue gun and me)

     Now your turn – feel free to post your goals below and I will give you endless words of encouragement (my other follower might even chip in – thanks Mom!).              

     Note a couple of handy tricks I’ve used here – I picked these up from a very clever friend who knows how to make things happen, so have faith. The first scheme is to write down your ambitions somewhere you’ll see them often. I hope to spend much of the rest of my spare time (after accomplishing all my goals J) sharing via blog all my favorite thoughts with you! So I am bound to see my four main fall goals every time I update life unabASHed. Try writing yours out on a piece of posterboard and taping it to the wall by your bed, or write them with a whiteboard marker on your bathroom mirror. Can’t miss ‘em if you try!             

     The next handy tool is to make a sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. I know this sounds like some kind of Michael Scott seminar, but memorizing this fab little mnemonic device can definitely help when making your Fresh Fall Faves to-do list. The ‘S’ is for Specific – throw in lots of extra words to help you get down to the nitty-gritty, in particular those fab ‘W’ words (okay, maybe I’m going overboard with my letters here…), who, what… you know the rest. ‘M’ means Measurable – hence all my due dates and numerical instances. ‘A’ = Attainable; i.e., let’s shoot for the moon, but be happy with the landing among the stars bit too. The ‘R’ is for Realistic. See Attainable… I know, redundant, but who wants to have S.M.A.T goals? Not I! And finally, the ‘T’ is for Timely, because when you have goals like, ‘read more,’ you can push that one off until you’re 90 years old and boring. Committing to a particular end date holds you accountable to your biggest critic – you.            

     So jump on board – or into a huge pile of leaves – join the movement (it’s huge – again, thanks Mom), and take advantage of this brilliant time of year.  Happy fall!

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “‘Tis the Season

  1. Schabahn Day

    Nice job ashley! Love the blog name. As a fellow crafter and cook, I had to send you a “way to go.” As for the SMART goals…. I’m beyond proud!!

  2. Peter

    Realy cool/fun/crazy energy you have on this blog posting. You are sooo cool.

    I love you.

  3. Callie

    First of all…I just read this aloud with my sister next to me and she said how inspiring it was! She now wants to have S.M.A.R.T craft goals! You have a real talent here Ash.

    Fall Goals:
    1. Be employed by…..lets see….NOW. Ok, “R.ealistically” two weeks
    2. Get the Yummie Hummie Inc. up and running (by 2014) I will start by packaging gifts for my friends (Ashley, you will be swimming in Hummie)
    3. 5 days a week at the gym. Goal: To wear a really cute short dress on New Years 🙂

    • Your goals look great, Cal! Nice work young lady 🙂 You can be even more S.pecific by determining how you are going to look for your new, fab job, and what sorts of different exercise activities you’ll do at the gym to get those glutes firm to the max. (You already look pretty good though – short dress, here you come!)

  4. Hilary

    This is great! And I agree, Fall is by far my favorite season and feels most like a fresh start…

    Hilary Hilpert’s fall goals:

    1.) Print off all my favorite pictures from college, travels, summers, etc. that i’ve been putting off for, oh, I dunno, 3 years. Due date: Oct. 15

    2.) Start buying Christmas gifts NOW. So many of us start our shopping spree smack dab in the middle of December…our bank accounts run dry and so does our spirit of giving. Goal: Buy 1 gift every 2 weeks until X-mas, or, until I’m done.

    3.) Do more things outside. We live in such a gorgeous part of the country, and I really don’t see it enough.

    4.) Last one I promise. Journal every week. No exceptions.

    Thanks Ashley, for giving me an outlet to finally start some goals!

    • Hilary, I am so impressed with your goals – thanks for sharing! I might copycat your Xmas idea – who likes to grudgingly spend their bottom dollar on the “Season of Giving?” Your gifts will be so much more heartfelt without that pressure! What sort of outdoor activities are you going to do? I just read about a BRILLIANT treehouse idea up in your neck of the woods – it’s got your name all over it! http://www.treehousepoint.com/

  5. julia

    Way to go, Ash, unabASHed! Love your goals. I’ll throw out a few myself…
    1. Set goals 3 for myself at work and place them on my bulletin board where I will see them every day. (by next Friday, Oct. 8th).
    2. Cook one new recipe a week until Christmas!
    luv u!

  6. Toni

    Can you add “do Toni’s posting” to your list please? I think it should be # uno. 🙂
    I LOVE that you have started this blog!

  7. Daddy Bennett

    How wonderfully thoughtful and inspirational. For such a young soul your perspective if full of wisdom.

    Oh and by the way can you get your boyfriend to set goals for getting work.

    Love, Daddy Bennett

  8. Alissa

    I. LOVE. YOU. Oh Ash, always inspiring me to do more 🙂

    1. Start running NOW…that half marathon in November is only getting closer…yiiikes.
    2. I’m also stealing Hilary’s x-mas shopping goal!
    3. Floss every night…Jack will be so proud.

    P.S. I’ll be your cooking comrade

  9. Pingback: FOODIE UPDATE: MASHED POTATO MADNESS! « life unabASHed

  10. Jessica

    Fun blog Ash!! I tried to start one once, maybe I’ll give it another go 🙂

    I cook a fair amount, I’ll pass along the better recipies… made a mean soup last night actually. Mmmm.

    Keep it up!

    Jess

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