Ah September. A glorious month that almost feels like the start of a whole new year.
It’s because of that first day of school feeling that never quite leaves even long after you’ve left school. The whole getting back into a routine after six weeks off school, buying a new pencil case and a shiny pair of shoes is synonymous with September.
And as our youngsters think about heading into their new classrooms next week, it’s a great time for us adults to start afresh too.
While most of us won’t have had the luxury of six weeks off, the onset of a new school year is a great time for reflection.
It marks the start of the final quarter of the year and a perfect time for setting goals and planning what you want to achieve.
And it’s a good month to feel that motivating urge towards something new and improved.
We have a few tips to help you make the most of this time.
Take a moment
Spending some time in thought is essential first to work out what it is you want to change, improve or achieve.
Going for a walk or relaxing for a few minutes in a calm space will help you to take stock.
Think about your life and career and try to identify what is working well and what isn’t. What would you like to be different?
Perhaps you’re keen to take your business to the next level or work towards promotion, make time for a new hobby, enjoy more quality family time, exercise, make home improvements or develop a new skill. September is the perfect time to start.
Write, write, write
A great way to set your intentions is to write them down. Once you have something down on paper or computer, depending on your preferred method, it gives you something more concrete to work from.
It’s also a good way to prevent overwhelm. Writing a to-do list and ticking things off is a great way to get through tasks, as it helps clear any jumbled thoughts, so why should this be any different?
If you have lots of goals then getting them out of your head is key as you’re more likely to be able to go through each one objectively.
You may have long-term goals that will take time to work towards and won’t necessarily be achieved in a couple of months.
For that reason it’s important to be realistic and set short-term goals to help work towards the bigger prize.
What small steps can you take towards that progression. For example, if you plan to start a new exercise regime but are worried about how much time you can dedicate, why not first set an intention to fit in 20 minutes of exercise two to three times a week. Look for time in your day when you think you might be able to accommodate it.
Similarly, if you’re aiming for promotion, what can you do to improve your chances? Is there a new skill you can learn or an area in your work that you can improve?
If you want to take a course, make sure to find something that you can realistically fit in around a job or family, ask about the amount of homework required and plan out when you will be able to do it.
Breaking down the big dreams into manageable steps make your goal feel much closer and you’re being proactive to achieve it.
Be kind to yourself
The important thing about setting goals is of course to follow through on them.
So, if you plan to exercise more try it out at different times of the day, perhaps by getting up 20 minutes earlier in the morning or using time during a lunch break.
If you want to create more family time, then be sure to follow through on what you have planned.
But don’t beat yourself up if it’s hard at first. Making changes, no matter how big or small, isn’t always easy and there’s usually a bit of adjusting required.
Planning ahead and being prepared is the best way forward. Good luck!