The cool air that kisses my face during my morning walks lets me know that fall is just around the corner. While some folks are stocking up on all things pumpkin spice, I’m preparing for autumn in a different way, the writer’s way.

Here’s how I’m preparing for fall and some journaling prompts to help you do the same.

Prepare for a 4th Quarter Win

I’m a college football fan and I love a 4th quarter win. You know those games when your team is trailing but in the 4th quarter they come back strong and bring home the victory. If 2023 has been a challenging year for you like it has been for me, I want a 4th quarter for both of us.

To win at football – and at life – you need focus. So set a few goals for the last three months of the year. I recommend a writing goal, a wellness goal, and a goal for another area of life that needs attention.

  • What are your top 3 goals for the final quarter of the year?

Reset Your Routines

A goal without a plan is just a wish and it’s our routines that hold the key to success.

When the seasons change, I find that my routines often need to shift as well. I love that the Day Designer planner includes worksheets to help you plan out your ideal day, week, and month.

Each season, I usually revamp my workout routines and try to adopt more healthful eating habits too.

Here are some journaling prompts to help you review and revamp your routines:

  • As you review your current routine, what’s working and what’s not?
  • What positive habits do you want to adopt this fall? What daily routines must you put in place to adopt these habits?
  • Describe the morning and evening routines of your favorite version of yourself.

Making my list and checking it twice

In addition to major goals, you probably have a number of tasks you need to complete before the end of the year. Make a list of those things and plan when you’re going to do each one.

But don’t forget to have fun!

I love making seasonal bucket lists – lists of fun things you want to do during the season. The purpose of making a seasonal bucket list is to help you be intentional about having fun, spending time with loved ones, and making time for self-care.  

As a writer, I also like to make a list of books I want to read during the season.

I make a list of all of the people I want to reconnect with, too.

  • What tasks do you need to complete before the end of the year?
  • What fun things will you do with family and friends this fall?
  • How can you prioritize self-care this fall?
  • What books do you want to read before the end of the year?
  • Make a list of people you’d like to spend quality time with this fall.

Show up for your writing and yourself

If you’ve spent this year being a writer who doesn’t write, now is a great time to change that. When you’re revamping your routines, be sure to schedule time for writing. Set a writing goal so that you’ll have a focus for your writing time.

Even though I write for a living, I need to work on this too. Yes, I write every day but other than journaling, I rarely write for myself. This season, that has to change.

November is a big month for writers. It’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. That’s when writers across the country and around the world attempt to write a 50,000 novel in 30 days. Folks like me who aren’t fiction writers can participate too. We’re called NaNo Rebels and we work on some other challenging project throughout the month.

For the past 10 years, I’ve used November to host #BlogLikeCrazy – a challenge to publish a new blog post every day for 30 days.

Earlier this I swore that I wasn’t doing #BlogLikeCrazy this year but I think I lied. I think I need to blog like crazy this year not for the sake of my business or my blog but for my mental wellness. As I’ve said, I write every single day because, as a freelance writer, it’s how I pay my bills. But I need to write more for myself. As I’m writing this blog post, it feels like an act of self-care. Why wouldn’t I want a whole month of this feeling?

Whether you decide to try NaNoWriMo, #BlogLikeCrazy, or neither one, I do encourage you to start working on your social media presence. This doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Choose ONE platform you want to work on, brainstorm content that feels good to you, create and schedule that content, interact with people who like your content. That’s it. Once you get the hang of this social media thing you can start examining what content is performing well and what isn’t and make adjustments based on that data. But for now, just show up and have fun.

  • How will you show up for your writing this fall?
  • How will you make National Novel Writing Month work for you?
  • How do you want to show up online this season?

Your Favorite Version of Yourself

When discussing routines, I asked you to describe the morning and evening routines of your favorite version of yourself. Notice I didn’t say the best version of yourself. That’s a phrase we hear often. It’s even a phrase I use in the intro of my podcast. But recently someone I follow on Instagram used the phrase “the favorite version of myself” and I fell head over heels for that idea.

The best version of myself sounds like something others get to determine. But it’s completely up to me to decide on my favorite version of myself. And being that woman will make this my best fall yet.