Greetings and Happy September!

The seasons are changing here in the Midwest from summer to fall. Like many of us, I slowed down over the summer and took a bit of a break. It has been over 3 months since I last connected with you, my community!

As the seasons shift, I am shifting as well. I feel it’s time to reconnect.

I missed using my top strengths creativity, perspective, and humor to provide strength-based tools you can apply in your personal and professional lives each month. I also missed hearing your thoughts about what was thought-provoking or valuable to you.

This past summer was a reminder that so much can happen in just 3 months! As it often happens over the summer, my workload declined as clients spent more time creating their own slower paces. As it turned out, I needed this time to recover from a necessary medical procedure.

Looking into the future, I’m thrilled to become a first-time grandparent! Plus, our family will expand even more as we welcome a new daughter-in-law. More people to share character strengths with.

I noticed during my downtime how easy it was to drift away from the daily routines and practices that sustained my health and helped me feel grounded, productive, and confident. Writing is one of those practices. A daily power walk with a good friend is another.

Any type of change, whether positive or difficult, small or large, can disrupt one’s daily routines. Similarly, any type of change can serve as a catalyst to reengage or begin daily routines.

What changes are happening in your life?

I know I’m not alone in experiencing changes and transitions in this season. If you’re a parent of school-aged kids, you might be adjusting to the kids’ school schedules and flurry of activities after a leisurely summer pace. If you’re a working professional, you might be gearing up for a strong finish to the year. If you’re a retiree, you might be moving to a “winter home” to take advantage of better weather.

The transition from summer to fall is full of potential changes.

During times of change, there are bound to be challenges, conflicts, and stress. Grounding yourself with basic positive practices can help you start the day well and continue being your best throughout the day.

For instance, some clients practice 5 minutes of zest daily, 20 minutes of walking in nature, or take a Mindful Pause before starting the workday. Others practice going to bed at a particular certain time each night, eating mindfully, or using a signature strength in a new way each day.

There are limitless short and effective practices that can support you through transitions, and help you connect with others, feel engaged, and be at your best.

What positive practices do you follow, and which have drifted by the wayside?

There are many reasons we drift away from positive practices. People often tell themselves:

  1. My routine changed.
  2. I don’t have time right now/can’t add another thing to my already full plate.
  3. I forgot.
  4. I don’t feel like it, I’m not motivated.
  5. My practice wasn’t perfect, or I’m not perfect.

Many people think that if they deviate at all from the practices they once committed to, it’s not worth continuing. I’ve been stuck in these stories myself at one time or another. The truth is, these are just stories.

In the end, it’s not a surprise that at some point life will happen. Your routine will change, you will forget, you will feel resistance, you will tell yourself it’s not “working,” and so on.

The question is: how can you begin or return to practices that energize and support you right now?
  • If you would like to establish a positive practice, you can check out the Resources section below and establish a practice that resonates with you in some way.
  • If you already have positive practices but find them to be languishing, I’ve found that it’s often best to simply begin again.

How do you do this? Every person is unique, and what works for one person might not work for others. Below are a few suggestions to try.

Strength-based Steps to Begin Again:

  • Forgive yourself. You are a human being, and humans aren’t perfect. Fortunately, you don’t need to be perfect to live an authentic, full and thriving life.
  • Turn kindness inward, toward yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend if he or she were in a similar situation. What would you tell him or her? Tell that to yourself.
  • Be honest about what is NOT working. Perhaps your routine changed. Perhaps your practice no longer serves you well. Perhaps the practice isn’t enough to challenge or inspire you anymore.
  • Use creativity to make adjustments. If your routine has changed, find a new time or location that works. Sometimes simply moving outdoors or using the buddy system is enough to amp it up.

If you try these, and you’re still struggling, try the 5 minute takeoff.

The 5 Minute Takeoff:

People love the 5 minute takeoff because it only takes 5 minutes! Everyone can squeeze out 5 minutes of their day and it feels doable to most people. Here’s how you do it.

  • Set aside 5 minutes each day by putting it into your calendar. Plan to spend 5 good minutes on your practice. Make them count. Don’t go through the motions.
  • Set an alert for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow yourself to finish. Some people will continue simply because getting started is often the hardest part. If you don’t, that is okay. After 5 minutes, your practice is done for the day.

Over time you will begin your new habit of practicing. It might take a few days or a few weeks, but it will happen.

If you want additional support:

Feel free to email me. I love helping people find practical tools that work for them to build resilience and performance, boost relationships, reduce stress and experience other positive outcomes they seek. There are so many ways to build strengths and positive experiences, even in times of transition. Let’s connect!

May your positive habits elevate what’s best within you,



  • Establish a practice that brings you peace, energy, confidence, or something else you want more of with Mindful Activity
  • Establish a practice to cultivate your character strengths, beginning with one person’s review of using my book 30 Days of Character Strengths: A Guided Practice to Ignite Your Best.
  • Get another perspective about returning to practice with The Return.