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Sep 22, 2016

How to Have The Best Vegan Fall Ever

Before telling you How to Have The Best Vegan Fall Ever we gotta go to that good ol' disclaimer: Housevegan.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
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Fall is finally here, you guys!!!! While I've been looking ahead to fall for months, its official arrival provides comfort and legitimacy to my fall-focussed lifestyle. As I write this, I've got homemade pumpkin spice coffee in my mug, the "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" soundtrack on my TV, and the taste of Pumpkin Joe Joe's still lingering on my tongue from that cookie I just ate. While none of this is new, experiencing them on the first day of fall feels really special.


Last year I wrote a book called House Vegan: Fall FoMo No More to help people achieve their fall goals through organization, planning, and realistic expectations. It's simple, it's easy, it's fun, and anyone can do it no matter how busy they are or how much money they make. (It also includes a bunch of vegan recipes for fall foods, but anyhoo!)

The first two steps in achieving a great fall is to make an FAL (Fall Aspirations List) and a Fall Calendar. I believe that this is where great falls are born, and today I'm going to show you how to make them!

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"Establishing a Fall Aspirations List
If you’re like me, you have grand plans at the beginning of every fall for making it the best one yet. Every year I say that I’m going to drink pumpkin coffee every morning, keep spice cookies in the house at all times, have a spectacular Halloween costume, and bake my weight in homemade bread. Some years, I succeed in doing what I say I will. Other years, my plans fall short. My success always depends on how well I plan. That’s where the Fall Aspirations List, or (FAL), comes into play. Your FAL is where you will keep all of your fall dreams, and it’s the lifeline to eliminating Fall FoMo. 
On my FAL, I organize my traditions, and my aspirations under categories like movies I want to watch, meals I want to make, sweets I want to eat, events, self-care, clothes, holidays, decor, and cleaning. Your FAL doesn’t have to be as rigidly structured as mine, it just needs to include your all of your fall aspirations. Here’s an example of my FAL:

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To start your FAL, turn to a clean sheet in your notebook, and start writing down a list of all of your aspirations for fall this year. You’ll consult it when scheduling, organizing, and planning, etc., so make sure to keep it somewhere accessible where it won’t get lost or destroyed.
To be clear, the items that go on your FAL need to be tangible. Aspirations like “achieve wellness and peace” won’t work here. If your fall dream really is to achieve wellness and peace, then that’s fine. Write down what that entails in specifics. Things like yoga every morning, warm tea before bed, cozy blankets, and more sleep. Whatever you picture yourself doing or having at the height of your wellness journey should go onto your FAL.
Setting Up Your Fall Calendar

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Now that you have established which traditions to continue this year, and what your aspirations include, it’s time to start scheduling your calendar. Setting up a calendar may seem like an obvious thing to do, but I can’t tell you have how many years I said, “I’m going to do all these things!” only to have them pass me by because they weren’t on my calendar. The Fall Calendar will become the backbone of this entire operation. 
When setting up my Fall Calendar, I include the months of September, October, and November. But maybe to you, fall begins in August and ends right before Christmas. Have your calendar start and end when it makes the most sense to you.
Here are the kinds of things that you should be adding to calendar:
  • Activities on your FAL
  • School activities
  • Halloween movie screenings
  • Game times for sporting events that you want to watch
  • Neighborhood events
  • Art shows
  • Family visits
  • Travel dates
  • Halloween parties
  • Thanksgiving
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
Your calendar will evolve as the season progresses, so make sure that you use a pencil, and leave room for added events."

So simple, right? All you're doing is writing out a list of aspirations and goals, and then scheduling time to get them done. Yet so many of us don't make it that far before feeling overwhelmed. Thoughts like:
"I wanna go to a pumpkin patch this year!" 
"I wanna watch all my favorite scary movies!" 
"I wanna bake lots of pumpkin bread!"
are only going to pile up as the season continues. Having an FAL gives you a designated space for these ideas, and the Fall Calendar will help ensure that you have time to do them. If your fall dreams are important to you then treat them how you would treat anything else worth scheduling. 

However, it seems impossible to schedule everything on one's FAL when it's competing with family/jobs/school/etc., right? This is why a humongous part of keeping an FAL is crossing things off of it. This process is called:
"Working With What You Got (And Forgiving What You Don’t)
The steps to battling your Fall FoMo are very practical, but I want to take a break for some real talk: there are aspects about fall that you may love, but won’t be able to achieve. An important step in ridding yourself of Fall FoMo is to recognize your situation for what it is, and feel satisfied anyway. I truly believe that your perfect fall is one hundred percent attainable, but that may mean changing your definition of “perfect.” As a meme I once saw on Facebook said, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything..... 
.....Take out your FAL, and give it a once-over. Considering your lifestyle, environment, schedule, and income (LESI), is there anything on your FAL that you won’t be able to achieve this year? Not things that would be difficult to achieve. Difficult we can work with. I mean impossible. If so, cross them off of your list. I know it’s a bummer, but letting them go will enable you to focus on the other great list items that are actually attainable. It doesn’t mean that these aspirations will never get fulfilled; it just means that this isn’t the year for them."

You see? Your perfect fall is within your grasp, you just need to write down what you want to do, cross off what you can't do, and then schedule time for what's left. It's that simple!

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So think about what movies you want to watch, what foods you want to eat, what books you want to read. Picture yourself on a chilly night in mid-October. What are you ideally doing? Start writing these things down. 

Congrats! You've started your FAL.

Need some inspiration to get started? Here's my Vegan Fall To-Do List to help get you going:

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Fall is an amazing season, and not because everything is pumpkin-spiced. Fall is a time for reflection and renewal. Mother nature slows down, cools off, and lets go of those things worth letting go. Leaves change and fall from trees while the cooler wind sweeps away the heat and tension of summer. If we mirror what we see in nature, fall can be a relaxing and much needed time of introspection. As the weather cools down, enjoy your time doing what fuels you. Read, take baths, visit with friends and family, write, cook, take a walk to enjoy the changing season.

People like to make fun of fall-loving women, but I think we love it because we need it. We need the break and chance to renew.

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I'm very much looking forward to this fall, and I have tons of cool stuff to share with you this season - from recipes, to fall must-haves, and maybe even a craft or two. 

If you're interested in more in-depth ways of combatting Fall FoMo, I'm offering 30% off of my book when you buy it through Gumroad from now until October 1st! You can buy it on Amazon, but it is still full price there. I say go for the discount on Gumroad while you can. Use the promo code veganfall to get your 30% off!


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