It is time to forget new years resolution that you don’t even stick to anyway and use September as the month to kick start positive changes and new routines.
I know I am not alone in feeling like September is a fresh start. Maybe it is because of that ‘back to school’ mentality, but it feels like you are opening the first page of a pristine new notebook. A clean slate laden with possibility if you will.
As the start of a new fashion season, summer sales are all picked through in shops so now it is your chance to swap summer dresses and sandals for cosy knitwear and on-trend winter boots. A shift in your wardrobe can be like shedding one skin and starting fresh with another.
We should be harnessing this positive state of mind in September. The excitement of the ‘back to school’ September feeling can result in an increased willingness to make changes, and greater productivity.
Why is September the best time to set goals?
January is the traditional time for making goals or resolutions, but we could be setting ourselves a far greater challenge in trying to kick-start positive change at this time of year.
A Positive state of mind
Commonly, after a Christmas of indulgence and with the worst month ahead of us, our energy levels are depleted, and our mood might be quite low. In September there can be still sunshine and lighter days resulting in our brains producing more serotonin, known as the ‘happiness hormone’. A positive frame of mind is more conducive to enhancing focus, concentration, and our ability to challenge ourselves, so we are more likely to attain our goals and resolutions by starting them at this time of year.
Don’t be too hard on yourself though if you struggle at the start of September. Some people still experience a low mood and are sad that the summer has come to an end. Be mindful of your feelings and maybe wait a few weeks to allow you the time to come to terms with summer ending before you set yourself goals.
Making Realistic Resolutions
I bet if we took a vote the 2 most common new years resolutions would be
- To exercise more
- To eat better
In September there is no denying that the lighter mornings and evenings make it much more appealing to get up and get out first thing, on your lunchtime break or even after dinner. Those 10K steps don’t seem as hard to achieve, especially if you have wonderful scenery on country roads or in local parks. This can also help with the 3rd new years resolution of saving more money!
It is not as cold so lighter meals are easier to digest rather than heavy, stogy winter foods such as stews. The healthier option is much more appealing before a long walk.
Setting Achievable Goals
By setting your goal out in September then you only have a set time of four months in which to achieve something. Then, at Christmas, you can reward yourself with some champagne or an extra Quality Street. In January, having a whole year ahead of you can seem daunting. Setting short-term goals can seem much more achievable than long-term ones. Four months vs twelve months – I know what I would prefer!
5 Ways to Spring into Action this September
- Write the resolutions down on paper or tell someone you know – this makes you accountable and therefore you will feel compelled to achieve those goals more so than keeping them to yourself.
- Organise your wardrobe so you are ready and prepared for the new season. By streamlining your wardrobe, you will save time in the morning and have a less stressful start to the day.
- Find an exercise partner. Be it someone that will meet you for a quick walk in the morning, or somebody who will attend a class with you in the evening or after school, drop off. It will not only make exercising more fun, but it will mean you are less likely to cancel for fear of letting your partner down.
- Adopt a realistic approach to healthy eating. You do not need to go to the extreme of cutting out everything you like. Even try the 80/20 rule where you eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself 20% of what you love.
- Review your outgoings. If you use Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, or have a Sky subscription – ask yourself – do you need them all? Write down and keep track of your finances and make some small adjustments that will add up to big savings over time, for example, do you need that expensive takeaway coffee every day? How about every other day or invest in a travel mug and make a coffee at home for on-the-run errands.
Taking Advantage of the ‘Fresh Start Effect’
So instead of waiting for the New Year to set goals, why not make progress now?