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Great Activities To Do With Your Kids This Fall

Great Activities To Do With Your Kids This Fall

Autumn is a favorite time of year for many. It’s not too hot, not too cold. All the fall colors look beautiful against a blue-sky backdrop. And there’s nothing like the sound of dried-up leaves crunching beneath your feet. So seize the day and get out with your kids before the snow flies!

Here are 8 great activities to do with your kids this fall:

  1. Go to an apple orchard. The best apple orchards have so much to do. You can take hay and pony rides, taste and pick apples, drink fresh-squeezed apple cider, see farm animals, get all sticky as you devour caramel apples, run freely through fields or just sit back and watch it all.
  2. Bake apple crisp. Using kid-safe peelers, have a contest to see who can peel the longest continuous piece of apple skin. Let your kids measure and mix the apple crisp ingredients. Then play a card game like Uno, Go Fish, or Old Maid while you enjoy the delicious scent of your apple crisp baking. Serve the fresh-baked dessert a la mode and with caramel topping.
  3. Get lost in a corn maze. You’d have to fly yourself and your kids all the way to Europe to see some of the world’s most renowned hedge mazes. Get a similar experience for a fraction of the cost by checking out a local corn maze. When you get there, let the kids lead you through the narrow channels and dead ends. Pretend you’re counting on them to help you find your way out before nightfall. Cheer together when you reach the exit and celebrate with some fresh-popped kettle corn.
  4. Jump in a pile of leaves. Don’t ask your kids to help you rake. It sounds too much like a chore. Instead, have all the rakes, work gloves and leaf bags ready outside. Then — just before your kids tell you they’re bored — challenge them to see who can make the biggest pile of leaves to jump in. Bring your camera for this great photo op, and beware of doggie do.
  5. Build a scarecrow family. Now you have a great use for your torn-up old jeans and shirts that are way past their prime. Stuff ’em with some of the leaves you’ve just collected to build scarecrows. Display them in front of your house and passersby will surely do a double take.
  6. Take a nature walk. Get away from the concrete jungle. Find a place where you can walk with your kids that has no cars, buildings, or power lines in sight. Pretend you’re Hansel and Gretel trying to find your way home, or Little Red Riding Hood bringing a basket full of food to Grandma. Let your kids set the pace during the walk, reminding yourself your walk is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy every minute of this special time with your sweeties, and lose yourselves in the wonder of the view, fresh air, foliage and wildlife.
  7. See a play. Once you’ve spent time playing with your kids, take them to see a play. It doesn’t have to be at a big, fancy — expensive — theater either. Check out the plays showing at schools near you. They’re quite entertaining. Or find out when your local theaters offer pay-what-you-can performances or cheap seats. Be sure to reserve them in advance.
  8. Feed the birds. Pick out a bird feeder with your kids, along with birdseed and all you need to hang it outside your window. Keep the bird feeder stocked throughout the long winter months and delight in watching the birds eat their meals outside while you enjoy yours indoors.

On the surface, it might seem like we need to come up with elaborate plans to show our kids a good time. Wait for these, and the fun times you have together will be few and far between. So instead, think of simpler ways you can make memories with your kids everyday. They grow up so fast. Enjoy every second of their precious childhood while it lasts.

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Featured photo credit: Colorful Autumn Leaves/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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