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The Time is Ripe

With Labor Day around the corner, aside from bidding goodbye to white pants, lobster bibs, and espadrilles (Guys, I’m talking to you too), early fall is the perfect time to tackle goals and prepare for the colder months. As sad as it can be to watch summer slip away like a sunset, for me it’s an exciting time, or as I like to call it: Goal Time.

Most of us are not going to be handed over syllabuses next week giving us

a structured outline of our goals; we’ve got to do it ourselves. And that can be daunting. But autumn, with its chilly weather and aromas of fireplaces and apple pie, brings an often much-needed kick in the pants to get us motivated. Whether it’s projects we’ve been putting off, phone calls we need to make, letters to write, closets to organize, or garages to clean out, just like crisp apples, fall is ripe for the picking.

While some of you may be experiencing an Empty Nest for the first time, your youngest has just started kindergarten or even if you live alone, fall is a perfect time to begin scaling down those piles of paper, siphoning through closets bursting at the seams or selling those boxes of antiques piled in your garage. While downsizing on any scale can be overwhelming, it’s important to remember it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

My number one goal in any endeavor is to make it enjoyable. By making a task fun, kids (and adults!) tend to lose sight of the “work” aspect and simply enjoy the challenge. Whether it’s paper, toys, clothes, tools or socks, we are always due for a little downsizing. And often this goes hand-in-hand with donation, which is a double bonus as you’re helping others.

Tips To Score Your Goal:

  1. Put on your favorite music. Always.

  2. Break down the task: pick one room, one closet, or even one drawer!

  3. Set your goal number: either by rolling dice, pulling a number from a hat or using a birth date

  1. Fill a bag/box with stuff until you reach your goal number

  2. Get rid of the bag/box (This is key. My uncle Ronnie went back into a box of stuff he “got rid of” and took stuff back!)

  3. Reward yourself. Jump for joy, go for a bike ride or get an ice cream

Remember, this really can be fun. You don’t have to race through it. Spend a few seconds reminiscing about an artifact or take a picture. Many of us tend to hold on to things for sentimental reasons, i.e. it was my grandmother’s, I wore it the day I met Elvis, it was my good luck charm when I won the 8th grade spelling bee, etc. But dust collectors, no matter how special, are just that. The memory – the important part – will always stay with you.

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