While my school days are long since behind me, I still feel September brings with it a sense of new beginnings and possibilities. Forget the rather joy-sapping exercise that is making new year’s resolutions in January (dark! cold! bleak!), it’s September, often still a glorious month squeezing out the very last drops of summer, when you can turn over a new page and start over.
So with that in mind, here are some ideas on how to embrace a fresh start this month, armed with your new fluffy pencil case, some freshly polished shoes and a renewed energy to change things up.
Okay maybe not a fluffy pencil case. But who doesn’t love a gorgeous new notebook, with fresh pages waiting to be filled? For many of us, especially working parents, summer is a break from the normal routine as having the kids off, holidays and childcare juggles are thrown into the mix. Now is the time to get a grip on some tasks or to do lists that may have been put on the back burner over the last couple of months. If you work from home put aside some an hour or so to clear your workspace (mine inevitably became a dumping ground of unopened bills and ‘to be actioned’ piles over the summer). File away or shred any stray bits of paperwork, give the inbox a thorough clear out and generally declutter. Then pop the kettle on, take a deep breath and turn your attentions to new challenges ahead.
Set yourself goals-but make them realistic. The reason so many of us don’t stick with New Year’s resolutions past mid-January is they’re not achievable, and end up making us feel guilty and miserable. What do you want to achieve? What would you love to do? Write them down and then break them down into small steps. This way you can measure your progress, and look back at Christmas and see just how far you’ve already come.
The high street is suddenly filled with cosy knitwear, winter boots and autumnal hues. Although these days the lines between a ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ wardrobe are pretty blurred, with many pieces working well whatever the weather with a bit of clever styling, now is a great time to tackle your clothes. Wash and store away anything you won’t be needing again until the temperatures warm up again, and then go through the rest of your wardrobe. Try everything on and decide what you feel great in, what still works and what doesn’t. Be ruthless- if it doesn’t fit or you don’t feel good wearing it, bin, resell or donate. Doing this before you invest in anything new this season also helps you focus on what you actually need, and prevents those repeat comfort-purchases (I’ll confess to owning far more Breton tops than many would deem strictly necessary).
Make the most of the light evenings while we still have them and schedule some time each day to be active. It doesn’t have to be for long, even 15 minutes of exercise will help clear your head as well as improve your overall health and fitness. Find a friend to go running with or to a gym or yoga class, instead of your usual dinner or drink dates. That way exercise becomes something sociable too, and it’s much harder to convince yourself you don’t have time to do it when it means cancelling on a friend too.
Photo: Betsy Blue | Heather Schwartz | Jess Watters | Modern Essentials
I’m a writer and content creator, working with brands to create inspiring bespoke content, as well as on my own projects. Having spent 12 years working at Glamour before going freelance, I now spend my time working with a diverse range of mainly lifestyle, health, well-being and beauty brands, on anything from blog writing, website copy, features and press releases, to e-marketing, social media content and campaign management. And while my average working day may not be as glamorous as during my time in the magazine industry, I love the flexibility of working for myself and the daily variety of working with new people and on different projects.
Having given up city life for seaside dwelling, if I’m not busy tapping away you’ll probably find me down at the beach with my young children, with a large coffee in hand, or with my nose in a book. Ideally, all three.