The leaves may not yet have fallen, but the transition from summer to fall is imminent. As vacation season comes to a close, it’s a natural time to evaluate the year—after all, there’s only one third of it left.
How are you feeling about 2016 so far? Many people answer this question in a dissatisfied way. They wanted to be earning more or weighing less by now. They wanted to be in a new relationship or out of an old job.
The good news: September is a great time to kick-start change and begin again. For many, it marks the start of “back-to-school” mode, when our focus sharpens and our motivation peaks. You don’t need a new calendar year or a list of resolutions to refocus. Make September “the new January” to re-boot your routine in fitness and life. Recommit to YOU and reexamine what makes you happy.
The best way to kick off any positive movement? First, stop being so hard on yourself. Acknowledge the good things you’ve already accomplished this year. And they exist, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
If 2016 hasn’t shaken out exactly as you’ve hoped, start getting back on track by asking yourself these two questions.
Did you discover a new favorite author or workout class? Did you learn to stop trusting a friend who doesn’t deserve your confidence? Did you stand up for yourself at work? Did you say yes to a spontaneous date, trip, or seminar? You don’t need to start a new job, run a marathon, or have a thriving side gig to have made progress. Even turning something down this year (with relief) that you would have said yes to one year ago (just to please others) is a major sign of growth!
Think about that for a second. Do you still want the same things you did in January? Maybe your true desires have changed, but you still hold yourself to an old blueprint that leaves you feeling heavy and uncertain. Perhaps you wanted a promotion but really want a career change. Maybe you wanted to move to a new city, but you’ve met someone romantically who lives in your current town.
Life is dynamic and ever-changing so it’s natural (and good!) for your desires to shift too. You’re also allowed to change your mind. In fact, the fast-moving evolution of life can be really encouraging!
No matter what anyone says, four months is a very long time! You can do so much between now and December 31 including setting out and accomplishing your reevaluated goals. It’s a matter of starting with a clear plan. Here’s some examples…
Travel: Research flights and hotels online, evaluate funds, book time off work, and then buy the ticket.
Get a raise: Submit a brilliant project at work or go the extra mile in a way your manager will appreciate. When timing feels right, ask your boss for a 10-minute meeting where you share your salary increase request.
Earn money by teaching yoga: Create a list of 100 friends you can email about your new side gig. Tell the first three clients you’ll teach them for free in exchange for testimonials. Promote these kick-ass testimonials everywhere you can.
Lose 5 lbs: Maybe the treadmill you bought in January turned out to be a dust collector. This is typical of most home fitness equipment. Sell it on a local buy/trade site. Whatever money you get for it can be applied to a gym membership. Studies show that when you are paying for something every month, it is an expense that you will use especially if you go the Personal Training route. Not only will your training appointments keep you accountable, you’ll also stay motivated to both use your membership and show up to your appointments. Do your due diligence. Visit all the fitness centres in your area and see which one feels like the best fit and ask for a complimentary consultation with a personal trainer there. Commit to a package or membership and get started sharing your goals with your trainer and having weekly weigh in’s including nutrition coaching to help with your weight loss goals.
Adopt a dog: Research breeds. Visit shelters. Understand the costs and commitments of owning a pet and make sure it makes sense for your lifestyle right now. Go get one.
In fact, if you’re truly inspired, you could probably do all of this in one month. It takes commitment yes, but it really is as simple as writing down and breaking down the steps of action then following through.
It’s amazing what happens when we reconnect and become aligned with our desires. When we get clear on what we really want and remind ourselves how capable we are, we can’t help but become motivated to take action. We can become unstoppable. So if you are starting this fall filled with discontent, remember the purpose of any pain you experience is not to make you suffer. It’s to drive you to action.