How To Set Yourself Up For A Brilliant September
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that I LOVE September. I think my obsession with this month harks back to old school days, when September meant a fresh start, a brand new term, and a homework planner that hadn’t yet been ruined by my boredom induced doodles. While most kids were mourning the end of the summer holidays, I’d be strutting back to school with my shiny new pencil case (complete with every colour of gel pen you could buy, naturally), my very best handwriting and a feeling that this year was going to be the best one yet.
And so, even though these days September means nothing more than a slightly colder temperature and the dark nights drawing in, I still feel like it’s the perfect time to give myself a little fresh start. I like to harness all of that positive energy that fills the air as the nation gets back to work and school, and as a result, September often ends up being my most productive and successful month of the year.
So today I thought I’d share with you some of the tasks and activities I complete every August to make sure that I’m in a great headspace and ready for the new month ahead. Perhaps you could use the long weekend to get stuck into a couple of them - if you do, let me know how you get on!
1) Have a good old declutter
Now this is a task that I might struggle with this year as we’re currently midway through a kitchen renovation that won’t be finished until the middle of September, but I usually like to try and thoroughly declutter our house before the new month rolls around.
I reassess my wardrobe to make room for the A/W pieces that will inevitably start creeping in, I donate books and unused beauty bits to charity, and I generally make sure that everything residing in a cupboard or on a shelf is there for a reason.
I then give everything a good old deep clean - the type where you pull the sofas out and flip the mattresses and dust the door frames. It means the house is fresh and cosy ready for the autumn season, but I also find that having a tidy and organised house gives me a little burst of life motivation.
2) Reflect on the year so far
With summer almost over, I feel like this is a really nice time to reflect on the year so far. I like to journal against three key questions - what has gone well so far this year, what hasn’t quite gone to plan yet, and what do I want to achieve before the year is out?
It’s also a good idea to look back at the goals or ambitions you had for yourself at the beginning of the year. Spend some time assessing how you’re tracking against them and reflect on whether they still hold true for you now, or if you’re striving towards something different.
Finally, make a list of all the great things (big and small) that you’ve achieved so far this year. Add career related items, changes you’ve made to your lifestyle, trips you’ve taken or even just bad habits that you’ve been able to break. I can guarantee that you’ll be overwhelmed by how much you’ve already made happen this year, and excited about what the rest of 2018 could hold!
3) Set some goals for the rest of the year
Which leads me nicely on to my next point! It’s easy to kid yourself that the year is almost done by the time we get to September, but there are still four whole months to go before we ring in 2019.
So why don’t you take some time to figure out what you’d really love to achieve over the next 18 weeks? The key here is really breaking the goals down and figuring out how they fit into the next few months. So, rather than saying “ get fit”, you might sign yourself up for a 10k run at the end of the year, and then work backwards to figure out what you need to do each week to get there.
Plus, if you set yourself a couple of goals at the beginning of the year that you haven’t tackled yet, now might be the time to give them another go - I find September a much easier time to stick to resolutions than cold, miserable January!
4) Make sure your diary is up to date
After a slower period during the summer holidays, I always find that September is the time when event invites and party season plans start trickling back into my inbox. Before we know it we’ll all be discussing our Christmas plans with our family and deciding where to spend New Year’s Eve, so before that happens, carve out a bit of time to make sure that your diary is up to date.
Something I’m doing for the first time this year is physically marking out down time in my calendar and diary as well as events or commitments. Every single year I find myself burnt out by the time December rolls around, so I’m keeping at least two weekends a month free of plans. I find that doing this in advance means you don’t say yes to everything and then realise you’ve massively overbooked yourself.
5) Treat it like a fresh start
My final little tip is to treat the 1st of September like a fresh start, just like you would the 1st of January. Treat yourself to a new notebook, turn the page on your calendar and crack on with those new goals with reckless abandon.
It’s a great opportunity to draw a line under anything that hasn’t quite gone right this year, and with a good old reset you can be feeling ace in no time. Ease yourself into better habits, get working on those things you’ve always dreamed about and end 2018 on a high!
Are you a fan of September? Do you have any little rituals that help you prepare for the start of a new season?