There is something about September that symbolises new beginnings, something to do with the start academic year that seems to affect us, whether we are living by the academic year or not. What does this feeling of new beginnings mean? And what do we do with it?
We all look for starting points for our goals, any time but the present usually. I will start eating healthy tomorrow. I will start exercising from Monday. I will work on my relationship after summer. The beginning of September seems to be an exciting starting point for all our goals; things seem possible and reachable.
Also, after the lack of routine in summer, punctuated by bank holidays, time off, and generally a more active social life, September marks a return to an often-needed routine. A predictable and constant routine gives us a safe framework from which to plan (and achieve) our goals.
Research has also shown that the change of colours in fall has a powerful effect on us. The change from greens to yellows, oranges, and browns represents a visual and temporal contrast that gives our body a signal for beauty, change, and hope.
The trouble in trusting new beginnings is that we ignore the past. People tend to forget all the Septembers when they did not work towards their goals. All the times when this hope came and went with all our dreams shelved for next year. It is more useful to think of September as a new chapter in our story, rather than a new book entirely. We take the past with us and the magic sense of September, and move forward with it towards some of our goals.
Use September, and other new beginnings like new years and birthdays as points of reflection rather than only resolution. Look at the past season, what do you want to take from summer? What was good? What was difficult? Set realistic goals for September and autumn. Note what used to block you, and what you can do about it.
Finally, do not forget to enjoy the month, it can be magical. Take a walk when the leaves start turning, look around and breathe in.