September is here – A time to do something for yourself

38620575 - young red border collie dog playing with leaves in autumn

38620575 – young red border collie dog playing with leaves in autumn

We are so lucky to have 4 seasons and 2 new years – January, the beginning of the calendar year.   A time to make our New Year resolutions, think about the coming year and what we want to achieve.   And then we have September, the end of summer and the beginning of the academic year, a change of season and turning trees, school begins, teenagers leave the nest and work ramps up after the lull over summer.    So how can we personally make the most of this change of season and new academic year?

  1. Treat this time as a personal mid-year review to assess how things have gone since January
    • Have you achieved what you set out to achieve?
    • What’s gone well?
    • What’s got in the way?
    • What has surprised you?
    • What has disappointed you?
    • What will you change and how?
  1. Embrace change, whether it’s children starting a new school (or first time at school) teenagers off to university leaving a tidy but empty house or simply just a new routine now that summer is over.
    • Know where you are on the change curve and acknowledge how you feel.  This will help you move foreward
    • Share your thoughts and feelings with a close friend, it’s a good way to self coach
    • Be optimistic about the change and take this opportunity to review or create your personal vision.  This will give you a sense of purpose and direction.
    • Set realistic goals for yourself, small achievable steps, so you’ll feel a sense of achievement and success.
    • Celebrate success, acknowledge what you’ve done and then repeat it.
  1. Be kind to yourself and do things that give you comfort
    • Read a book you’ve not got around too, this will stop it nagging at you everytime you see it hanging around.
    • Watch a film or go to the theatre, lose yourself in someone else’s life.  It’s refreshing and gives you a break from reality.
    • Give yourself time to be present and practise mindfulness.  This will build resilience and a sense of calm.
    • Go for walks and appreciate how the season change our trees and plants.  Walking releases endorphines, a feel good hormone and taking time to notice our environment is a good way to practise mindfulness.
  1. Try new things and learn new skills
    • Make jam or chutney from home grown apples, rhubarb or damsons (find a friend with an allotment) – there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing your hand made jam on the shelf and they make lovely gifts.
    • Nourish your brain and enrol in a night school,class that’s not related to work, ie photography, pottery, creative writing.  You’ll meet a new set of people and learn a new skill.  
    • Share your skills by starting a skill circle, where you can share your skills with your friends and learn from them.  This a great way to reinforce your own skill and pick new one’s up too
    • Nourish your mind and body by regularly running, cycling or join your local park run
  1. Make the most of your time so you can fit all these things in
    • Follow Stephen Covey’s managing time principles – focus on the important not urgent or things that are priority to others
    • Stop spending time with people who are negative or drain you
    • Start spending more time on things you enjoy
    • Learn to say no and get rid of the monkeys on your back, freeing you up to do things YOU want to do

 And finally here’s some resources to help you make the most of autumn and embrace change:

www.parkrun.org.uk

7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

www.freemindfulness.org

top 20 autumn recipes

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/top-20-autumn

setting personal goals

www.huffingtonpost.com/jinny-ditzler/achieving-goals_b_2867071.html 

life changes

www.realsimple.com 

reviewing personal goals

www.mindtools.com