September always comes with the promise of a new beginning. Summer offers its final hoorah. The air has a subtle crispness to it. Days become shorter. A few rogue leaves start to turn yellow. All around us, there are signs of change. Once Labour Day is past, we find ourselves looking at a blank page, a new chapter—a fresh start.
September is a fitting time to renew one’s commitments, spark new projects, and cultivate new habits. Below are three tips to help you enter this new chapter on the right foot:
Instead of hoping you’ll find a scrap of time to tend to what matters, try scheduling your own self-care. Let’s face it: if you don’t plan it, it won’t happen. Use your calendar or day timer to schedule in your self-care practices just like you would schedule a dentist appointment or business meeting. As the kids go back to school, take this opportunity to hone your own schedule and make more space in your routine for the activities you love.
The power of one
It can be very tempting to try to change everything at once. However, we are way more effective at actualizing change when we focus on one, concrete, measurable, and realistic goal. It’s important that we chose a single, concrete, and achievable goal so that we actually get to experience our own power and effectiveness in the process of change. Contrary to “the bigger, the better” mentality, the smaller and more realistic your goal is, the simpler the path to achieving it, and the more empowered you will feel. Set some time aside to journal or talk to a friend or therapist about what that one goal might be for you.
Connect to recalibrate
Often when people set new goals or change their habits, they go at it alone. We are far more likely to show up for ourselves if we align our efforts with others. This could be as simple as meeting a friend for an exercise class every Wednesday, instead of planning to go solo. Or, it could look like spending some time with a friend or family member, where each of you share your intentions for the new season and brainstorm ways to hold each other accountable in the season to come. When there’s an opportunity for connection tied to our goals, we are less likely to cop out or make excuses.
If you are looking for more support and guidance on achieving your goals or letting go of old habits, the therapists at Kerry Moller & Associates would be honoured to help you.
photo: Kristin Horsman