Summer is wild and free. Our schedules are thrown into chaos. Work slows down. The kids are out of school and in force everywhere you turn. We travel to far flung places and indulge in whatever comes our way. Well, hopefully that’s the kind of summer you had…
As things wind down (and lucky you if you still have your toe dipped somewhere in the Mediterranean), we return to the practical aspects of our lives. People start coming back to work and will take your phone calls, your children have somewhere to be for at least a few hours a day, and you’ve finished all your guilty summer pleasures (be it books, independent cinema on a Wednesday afternoon or margaritas). Time to get back to the grind. Did you also know that this is the perfect time for self-improvement?
Yes, experts from The Atlantic to Shape recommend that we make our resolutions in September, not January for optimum success. September is the month for getting what you want! No complaints, no negativity, just simply manifesting what you desire for the rest of the year (and more importantly what you want to build in 2020). All you have to do is plan, say, and ask for what you want, and you will see incredible things happen in your life. And it all starts with walking your talk, and making the changes that you want to see.
Let’s look at some areas of our lives where we can improve:
Personal and Work Goals
The kids are back in school, leaving you more time for yourself and what you want to accomplish. Did you put something on hold over the summer to make time for family or a vacation? The next three months are the perfect time to focus on moving ahead with your own plans and ambitions.
They’ve returned to class, but what about you? It’s never too late to expand your horizons. Many online classes still have enrollment open. If you’re looking to get back on campus, now is a great time to research your options and find a place for yourself for the start of 2020, or next fall. Have you looked into programs for continuing education offered by your employer?
Do you have a book idea you’d like to get started on? Begin small. Author and coach Drew Rozell can show you how to write a book in as little as 90 days, for example.
Have you been thinking about starting a business? With so much involved in the pre-launch phase, taking a quarter to establish yourself and install the framework and processes that you need is a great way to set yourself up for success (and maybe even hiring someone before the holidays!) Then you’ll be all set to hit the ground running in January.
Putting off health and weight loss goals until the new year will actually set you up for failure. Fact: 80% of January gym newcomers drop-off by mid- February, and even more continue to give up in the weeks following. January is actually one of the most difficult months to keep that commitment to yourself, even though that’s when fitness centers and programs increase their advertising. Thinking about it logically, right now is actually the best time to get in shape. You may have put on some extra weight over the summer indulging and relaxing on vacation or just being outside of your normal routine. Hitting the gym ahead of the holidays will help you get in shape and re-establish good habits now, before the pressure of the festive season begins. Gyms are also much less busy this time of year. And if the thought of the gym sounds too daunting, just simply get outside and get active. The cooler weather will help you stay out on a run or bike ride longer, and it’s wonderful to be outdoors enjoying the cool crisp air and changing colors of the leaves. And forget about strict diets. We all know they don’t work. Try a mind-shift program like Noom, which is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you’ve been contemplating a change of location, right now may be the best time to buy or rent a new home! Most people are settled in already ahead of school, so buyers can enjoy price reductions and somewhat better buying conditions. After all, people don’t want to be left with a home that didn’t sell when winter hits. It’s still warm in many parts of the country so you can check out the air conditioning in a home. Real estate agents have more time to devote to you. And finally, there are plenty of seasonal sales to help you to furnish and equip your new house once you move in.
Give up one bad habit
These autumn resolutions don’t have to be a great big lose your mind stressful I’m never going to make this happen kind of ordeal…just pick one thing. One thing you want to improve on. One thing you want out of your life. One thing you want to already have mastered before the big 20.20 hits. It’s so much easier to conquer this thing after summer and before the holidays arrive. Do you need to start going to bed earlier? Stop biting your nails? Cut back on alcohol? (Sober September is actually a movement gaining steam) If nothing else, start a budget to pay off that summer vacation debt or prepare for holiday shopping. Remember the S.M.A.R.T. formula for setting goals: make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (the cheat sheet for getting this right is here).
As Katie Clemons outlines on The Art of Simple, autumn resolutions can help you “discover more everyday joy.” She reminds us that this is a time when we feel most grateful, preparing to engage in the rituals of the season, and an increase in time with family. As a finale and commitment to what you’ve learned in this piece, finish up with her blog and address the four questions that will help you prepare yourself for the coming winter months, and for a truly transformational 2020. No New Years Resolutions required.