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Five Essentials to Get Through the Fall

Five Essentials to Get Through the Fall

The Fall.

Every year it hits me like a freight train, like a Mike Tyson hook straight to the jaw. Every year. All at once. School starts. Work picks up. Activities ramp up. And the summer pace stops, and the Fall pace goes from zero to sixty in the span of a week.

About mid-September I’m tired! Like I can’t go on like this TIRED. I begin to look at the things on the schedule as enemies. I cancel all the things I wish I could do just because I need to eliminate something. I start wondering how early is it that I can go to sleep without it being called a nap.

So if you are like me, here are a couple tips that I’ve learned over the years to get through the Fall.

Here is the BIG IDEA: think of the Fall like you are exercising a new muscle.

If you have ever worked a muscle you haven’t worked out for awhile, you know what I mean. It’s hard. It hurts. It gets tired out easily. That’s what has happened to you.

During the summer, you have been working out different muscles. That’s not a bad thing. But you have to recognize the Fall muscles have gotten a little slack. They need to get back in shape. The good news is that once they are back in shape the same stuff that overwhelmed you won’t be too overwhelming (think all the same Fall stuff plus Christmas – you only pull this off every year because you have gotten back in shape)

So here are a few tips to get you back into shape.

Make a Schedule. Just like I do if I am training for a marathon (which is something I do), before I run a mile, I make a plan. I schedule out the long runs. I decide on how many miles I’m going to put in a week. It’s amazing how, once I get the plan down on paper, how much better I feel.

Warm up/Fuel Up. It is important that before you go zero to sixty that you properly warm up. For me that is waking up a little earlier than usual, making coffee and a solid breakfast, and sitting down to read the Bible, to journal, and to pray. Before I hit the weight of the day, I need to get prepared.

Put in the work. This part is unavoidable. You will only build muscle if you exercise. The good news is that eventually the pain goes away and the same amount of work actually begins to feel easy. Guess what? Time to add weight. That’s how it works. You got to put in the work.

Stay Consistent. It is better to exercise a little every day then work out a lot once a week. So keep clocking in. Keep showing up. Some days will be better than others. But over time, you will see improvement.

Rest. If you don’t find rest, rest will find you. That’s why come October everyone gets sick. So build in time every day, every week to rest. There was just a study that found that napping was good for your health! Woo Hoo! Take that message and run with it! Actually, the point is to stop – not run – so don’t run with it – take that message and curl up on the couch with it.

I work with a bunch of twenty-somethings who are transitioning from college life to real life. Every year they hit the wall just like me. They tell me they are TIRED and beg for me to cut things out of their schedule. And I nod my head and say, “Sure thing.” Then, I don’t.

Instead, I follow the above five things. I make a schedule, I give them fuel and help them practice good warm up techniques, I challenge them to lean into the work, I stay consistent with the message, and then I enforce rest.

By late Fall, they’ve got all this free time, and they tell me thanks for lightening their load. And I nod my head and say, “No problem.”

The thing is I didn’t lighten their load. Instead, I helped them build their muscle.

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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