September is January Lite
No matter how long go you left school, September always seems to signal the start of a new beginning. Whether this is because you have been conditioned into a ‘back to school’ mentality or because after a summer break you realise how little of the year there is left to get things done, everyone seems to have a renewed sense of focus in the autumn months.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, weight loss is seasonal. The number of people 'getting back in the game’ in September is almost predictable'. A new study Pinterest revealed that 59% of people want to make positive changes to their lifestyle this September, 69% believe small improvements in September are much easier to achieve than making New Year's resolutions in January and 38% believe that the end of summer feels like a fresh start.
September is almost ‘January Lite’. The same goal setting behaviour can be observed but without the big declarations and with a little less pressure.
Fresh Start or Mad Panic
For dieters September is often a fresh start after piling on weight over the summer months. For many the familiar ‘back to school’ feeling is a ‘back to the diet’ feeling. There is a predictable spike in weight loss enquiries from people desperate to undo the damage from the summer and from those keen to look good in their evening wear during the Christmas party season.
Many of these people making a fresh start will have been in this position before. “Getting back on it’ is a yearly ritual. They will recognise the familiar feeling of panic as they think about how much weight they put on over the summer holidays and how little time they have before the Christmas parties begin. Each time they resolve that next time they will not let this happen again and that this time will be the last time. Just like with new years resolutions, the majority of these promises don’t last. They will be forgotten when the Christmas party invites do the rounds.
If this sounds familiar to you, don’t panic. There is a lot working in your favour if you are looking to use September as a great opportunity to turn things around.
That back to school feeling:
Whether you have children or not the beginning of the school year has a knock on effect for everyone. After the summer break a return to our usual routines comes with a new sense of focus.
You are in good company:
After the summer holiday people around you seem to have fresh energy and focus. Others are also making a new start whether in business or personal life. As those around you also start to focus on their goals it’s easier to gain momentum and you get swept up in the energy of the hive of activity around you.
The pressure if off:
People set goals in September but unlike January there isn’t the same pressure to publicly pronounce them. It’s much easier to just quietly get on with your efforts without feeling that you’re under the spotlight.
People have more time:
Most people feel relatively well rested after their holidays and this usually means that we usually have more time for our goals and that enlisting support from others is easier too.
What can I do?
Use this September to achieve what you want and resolve to break the annual cycle once and for all.
Make your peace with the Past
Everyone has setbacks. It’s disappointing when it happens. We might feel so angry or frustrated with ourselves that the setback itself becomes the focus. Redirecting your energy toward future success is much healthier. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Take from the past only what you have learned and move forward. It can be hard to let go of those feelings, but holding onto something that is holding you back is only going to make things more difficult for you. Take comfort from knowing that you can choose your future and make a decision to move on.
Break the 12 months cycle
Who said you should measure your goals in relation an annual January to December cycle? Who said that you need to observe an annual cycle at all? Know what you want to achieve and think about how long it’s going to take you to do it. Using a specific number of days (47 days or 123 say etc) will help your end date stick in your mind and you will be more focused than if you were working to a generic period of time such as a month for example.
Think to the Future
Think about where you want to be in 6 months time (or following the last point 182 days).
Write your future history. What do you want? How will you know when you have it? How will you measure your success? How will you know when you have what you want? What will you see? What will you hear?
Now break down that vision into 3 goals. One for 6 months time. One for 3-4 months and one for 4-6 weeks. Start by focusing on the shorter term goal.
Develop a mindset that is focused on what you want for your future. You need to know where you are going in order to get there. Create a road map that gets you from where you are today to where you want to be. Brainstorm ideas that could help you reach your goals (see my blog about taking one step at a time).
Celebrate as you go
Take action toward accomplishing your goals. Make a small amount of progress towards your goal every day and celebrate every little victory. Research shows that we need lots of little wins along our journey if we are to keep going. Reward yourself (appropriately) for achieving milestones along your path to success.
Be proactive not reactive
Realise that there are ups and downs, on every path to success. Keep your eye on the target and do not allow bumps in the road to become distractions or road blocks. Do what you can to create the environment you need to achieve your goal and plan ahead for situations which you know will be challenging.
Are you making a fresh start this September? Let us know on the Facebook Page.