If you’re anything like us, you may not have shaken the ‘back to school’ feeling that September seems to bring with it. As the weather starts to cool down and we’re reminded constantly that Christmas is right around the corner, it feels like a good time to take stock of the year so far and set some new goals.
Whether you smashed your New Year’s resolutions long ago or lost motivation somewhere along the way, here are some of the reasons why we think September is a great time for a fresh start.
Sometimes the summer holidays can lead to a bit of over-indulgence – and it’s no wonder! Whether you’ve been enjoying ice creams in the sunshine, had a few drinks in your local pub garden or been fobbing off your usual workouts because it’s too hot, September is a great time to get your fitness back on track.
First of all, let go of your old goals; if you’re way behind you may find yourself disheartened before you’ve even begun. Set yourself some new goals to strive towards, whether it’s wanting to get fitter so that you can enjoy long walks in the autumn or wanting to lose a clothing size in time for your office Christmas party. Then it’s time to set them into motion:
- Prevent yourself from slipping back into bad habits by scheduling your workouts in as if they’re just as important as any other task you have to do each day. That way there’s no room for budging them back or making excuses, meaning you’ll be feeling fitter in no time!
- Plan your meals in advance. Not only is this time saving, but it will also help with budgeting, as you can plot in meals each week which use similar ingredients, preventing food waste.
- Meal prepping is even better for time management. Set aside a spare hour or two and cook up meals for a few days in advance. These are great for when you’ve got limited time in the evenings and quick and easy takeaways start to look more appealing – just grab your ready-prepped meals from the fridge and away you go!
- Finally, doing your shopping online can really help if you’re an impulse buyer. It will allow you to make the healthiest choices without being tempted by junk food. If online shopping isn’t available where you live, try shopping on a full stomach to stop yourself from going crazy in the chocolate aisle!
Out of Office
Even with the best intentions, summer can sometimes be a difficult time to focus on your business goals. Whether you’ve been jet-setting around the world or exploring your local area, the summer usually includes some ‘out of office’ time. It can be especially tiring if you’ve been looking after your children all summer, too. With kids going back to school and holiday season pretty much over, September is a great time to readjust your goals.
Take a look at how you’ve done so far this year and ask yourself what’s been working well and what could stand to be improved. Once you’ve got a list of positives and negatives in front of you, you can begin to work up an action plan of things you’re going to spend your time on.
Create pockets of time throughout your day – whether it’s fifteen minutes while the pasta’s boiling or half an hour while the kids are watching their favourite TV show – and pinpoint when you’re going to action your goals. You might find micro-scheduling helpful for this, as it allows you to maximise every waking second of your day.
After deciding how much time you can spend each day working on your business goals, you can start to get specific about your intentions. Make a list of everything you think is feasible to achieve within the last four months of the year and then be sure to put that list where you can see it. So many people write a list and then forget all about it, so sticking it to the fridge or above your desk ensures that your goals are never ‘out of sight, out of mind’!
Finally, with Christmas coming up it’s time to start planning from both a personal and business point of view.
On a personal level, it’s worth considering what kind of budget you’re going to work towards and start saving if you haven’t already! With three or four paydays left between now and the big day, make a plan for how much you want to spend on gifts for each family member, how much on decorations and how much on food and drink so that you can figure out what you should put away each month to help spread the cost. You could even go one step further and start planning what gifts you’re going to give so that there’s no need for last-minute panic-buying which usually leads to the classic ‘I didn’t know what to get you so here’s some chocolate and socks’ gift.