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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Shifting Into Fall

Robert Manni - Monday, September 04, 2017


Who doesn’t love summer? If you live in the Northeast, you get three or four months of killer weather before the nights grow longer and the rain starts pouring down.

That can be downright depressing if you’re not on top of your game and ready to slide into your autumn mode. The good news is that it’s easy. Just invest a bit of psychic energy into your current purview of life while we turn the seasonal corner and make a beeline towards Thanksgiving. It comes quickly.

Here are a few ways to get your ducks in a row for the cold weather months even while you’re still tan, fat, and parading around in flip-flops.

I call this one THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO SHIFTING INTO FALL. Drum roll, please…

1. Make the most of the beach during September – I visit my beach house on the Jersey Shore almost every week throughout the summer. The beach and the boardwalk are teeming with sunbathers, surfers and tourists, who we refer to as “bennies” at the shore. Over the years my little town has become a destination, and as a result it’s gotten more and more crowded. By late Friday afternoon, if you haven’t scored a parking space yet, you may be in for a lengthy treasure hunt. After securing a spot, my family and I travel on foot, bicycle, or scooter for the bulk of the weekend. After awhile that kind of sucks. Once we pass Labor Day though, the beaches and streets become relatively empty. Kids are back in school and college and those weeklong family vacations are over. And this is exactly what makes it the perfect time to visit the shore. September weather features clear blue skies, a less intense sun, and warmer ocean temperatures. And, there are no annoying tourists getting in the way and forcing you to stand in a long line for ice cream or drinks. It’s flat-out great.

2. Freshen up your wardrobe – When it comes to clothing, you know the old 80/20 rule. With all those clothes, hats, and sneakers clogging up your closet, if you are like me you end up wearing the same stuff over and over again. Why? It doesn’t matter why. It’s what you do. So what do you do when you have a closet overflowing with clothes you don’t wear? I make it habit to scour through my stuff before and after summer. It opens up much needed space and also releases dense energy. I fill a couple of big bags with my duds and lug them to a church where I donate my gear to needy folks. I toss the undies, socks and real beat up stuff, but I make sure I include a few goodies that I don’t wear into the pile. Play it forward, amigo.

3. Join a fantasy football league – No longer is fantasy football a protected bastion of manliness. Today’s leagues are stocked with lots of cool ladies who love to play this game.  Fantasy leagues are omnipresent and are great for office bonding. I’ve played in the same league for 26 years and it’s been a great way to make a few bucks (because I play to win) and stay in touch with former colleagues, a handful that are now long-time friends. Fantasy leagues are also good for networking. And let’s face it. The NFL rules the airwaves and social media during the fall and early winter months. You can’t escape it, so might as well join in for the fun. Don’t draft any New York Jets though.

4. Set realistic goals for the remainder of the year – In my mind I’ve identified half a dozen accomplishments I’m going to pursue over the final four months of 2017.  That may be a tad ambitious, but I let to set the bar high. The deeper we move into the fall though, the tougher it is to stay the course, with all the holidays and more intense work schedules that become necessary as we charge to the end of the year. That’s why I identify and prioritize my goals by the end of August. This way I can hit the ground running come September 1st. The idea behind this is not to set yourself up for failure, so do you best to write down achievable goals. Did I say write them down? I did.

5. Go on a diet – If you are like me, you get tan, fat, and happy over the course of the summer. No matter how much I work out or how many miles I run, I always seem to put on about ten unwanted pounds during May, June, July, and August. Why? Because I don’t give a shit during the summer. The sun is shining, the days are long, and skirts are short. What’s not to like? So every time I find myself tipping the scales well past my fighting weight I tell myself that I can easily peel those pounds off with a few long runs. So I run a lot. But then I get hungry. And then I make excuses and eat pizza and tacos. And pretty soon I’m gaining too much weight. This vicious cycle continues until late August when I finally get serious again. Like right now. Today I took the bottle of vodka out of my freezer and placed it high up in a cabinet that’s almost out of my reach. Out of sight, out of mind. The battle of the bulge has begun.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re still in summer so make the most out of this final month of summer. After all, it’s summer until September 23rd and the weather will support this. Keep playing golf, swimming, surfing, and taking long walks on the beach and runs along the boards. But while you are at it, think and them lock down your game plan for the remainder of 2017.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Laird Hamilton, considered by many to be the greatest big wave surfer of all time. He surfs all over the world and truly lives in an endless summer.

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