fall goal setting

How to Make September Your New January

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For most people who prescribe to new year’s resolutions, January is the time to set goals and aspirations for the next year. But for a growing number of people, September is the new January. Harking back to your school days, when September meant the end of the summer and the start of another academic year, many adults still feel a sense of new beginnings at the start of this month. 

It makes a lot of sense! The summer is coming to a close, the days are getting shorter and the beauty of Fall is just around the corner. For many people, it is much more realistic to set goals in September than it is in January. Coming off the holiday season, a lot of people feel exhausted and not quite ready to fully commit to their resolutions. Maybe that’s why most new year’s resolutions don’t last for more than the month of January! 

September already is a time of transition and change. Kids might be going back to school, or at least getting into their new online schooling routines. 

Why wait until January to set resolutions when you can get your clean slate right now? 

Like many people around the world, the last 6 months have been a challenging time. Routines have been upended, social interactions have been limited and lives have been riddled with uncertainty. If you are interested in a reset, it might be time to make new goals and resolutions for yourself. Here are some tips for making September your new January! 

Start small and be flexible. 

Two of the biggest obstacles to achieving goals is setting too many and making them too big. You are better off choosing one goal that would be completely life changing – like starting a business or losing 20 pounds – or a small handful of goals to focus on. Then, take small steps to make it happen. 

One other reason why people fail to accomplish their resolutions? They are too rigid. Often people choose a goal and enforce strict guidelines for how to achieve it. If they get off track in any way, they completely lose focus and forget the goal altogether. Be flexible and kind to yourself and recognize that you may have to adjust how you meet your goal to get the outcome you want. 

Get an accountability partner. 

Sometimes we all need a little help holding ourselves accountable for the goals that we’ve set. That’s where an accountability partner comes in. Find a friend, family member or life coach and share your goals with them. Set up a time each week where you will follow up on your goal, track your progress or discuss any challenges you faced. 

Don’t focus on the “shoulds.” 

All too often we choose resolutions based on what we think we should have or should be doing. “I should go to the gym.” “I should be making more money.” And while these can lead to some very positive goals, consider the why behind the should. Explore the intentions behind the goals you set. Are they intended to help you be happier? Or, are they because family or society thinks you should? 

Take advantage of the season. 

In most parts of the world, the fall gives you ample opportunities to be outdoors. The air is getting crisp and the leaves are changing. Take this time to enjoy everything that the season has to offer. From nature walks and apple picking to pie baking and pumpkin carving, explore ways you can incorporate seasonal activities to keep you motivated to achieve your goals.  

Be kind to yourself. 

Finally and most importantly, be kind to yourself. You will experience setbacks from time to time. Recognize that it’s ok and actually very normal. Instead of getting frustrated or disappointed in yourself or even forsaking your goals altogether, embrace the challenge and then get right back on track. When you have wins (and you will!), be sure to celebrate them. 

While you may not agree that September is the new January, we hope that some of these tips can help you make better, more achievable goals whenever your time comes. And if you want to set goals for yourself this month, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below! 

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