I’m sure you’ve all watched The September Issue more times than you’d like to admit. So you’ll no doubt remember that infamous line, “September is the January of fashion.” And, even looking outside of fashion, September does feel like a new beginning. It’s probably because it marks the start of a new school year, and no matter how old you are it’s hard to shake off that back-to-school feeling.
If you’re keen to capitalise on this “fresh start” momentum, here are 5 things to focus on throughout September. They’ll each help you power through the final months of 2017 with boundless energy and a positive attitude!
SCHEDULE A WARDROBE DETOX
Let’s start small, tackling the external stuff first, and then working our way onto the emotional… The easiest way you can capitalise on September’s “fresh start” momentum is by scheduling a wardrobe detox. You’re going to need to switch over from summer to autumn clothing anyway, so you might as well take the time to do a proper de-clutter. And if organising your wardrobe is your idea of hell, here are my tips for mastering a closet cleanse.
ORGANISE YOUR DESK
A tidy desk means a tidy mind! And I recently went through all of the clutter in my home office, throwing away old pens, used notebooks and scraps of paper; then grouping stray USB sticks, cables and external hard drives together. My refreshed desk set-up has definitely made it easier to focus. And I no longer have to shift through stacks of post-it-notes whenever I want to locate a postage stamp.
And why just stop at your desk? My MacBook desktop has also become a breeding ground for clutter. So I plan to carve out an hour of time later in the week to delete old files and re-organise my folders. It sounds dorky, but I genuinely can’t wait to get started on this task!
START WRITING STRATEGIC TO-DO LISTS
You know I’m Little Miss Organised. So it should come as no surprise to hear that I love a to-do list. However, in the past I had a rather unhealthy relationship with to-do lists, and would overload them with impossible tasks and drive myself crazy with stress and anxiety.
So last year – in an attempt to save my sanity – I started writing short, strategic to-do lists instead. I now give myself a maximum of two large tasks a day, and three smaller action points. Sticking to realistic goals, and taking the time to properly prioritise my workload, has increased my happiness tenfold. Plus, I’m now far more productive. Check out my favourite productivity tricks for more details on my to-do list rules.
PRIORITISE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
January 1st seems like the sensible time to set big health and happiness goals. You know the ones I’m talking about: join a gym, start eating healthier, cut back on alcohol, start meditating, spend more time doing the things you love…
But why wait until January?
The truth is, we usually feel completely exhausted and lack the motivation to bring about big change come January 1st. So stop placing your health and happiness at the bottom of the priority list. Saving these goals for tomorrow or the next week/month/year never works. Start today.
And, if that sounds overwhelming, just remember that you can start small. Maybe you’re not quite ready to join the gym – but you could make time to go for a 20 minute walk or run. Take the small steps now, and by January you’ll have settled into positive new habits.
LET GO OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND PEOPLE
If you’ve long had the feeling that your happiness has been put on hold – and something isn’t quite “right” – take this opportunity to examine why. September marks the beginning of a new season, and it would be lovely to enter it without any of the baggage that’s been dragging us down all year.
That could be negative thought patterns that need addressing – either through journalling, mindful reading and conversation with trusted friends or a therapist. Or perhaps there’s a toxic relationship in your life that needs re-evaluating.
It can be so difficult to let go of friendships and romances – even when we know they’re bad for us. But ultimately you need to decide whether certain people are going to hold you back and stop you from entering a new, positive chapter in life.
How do you plan to capitalise on September’s fresh start feeling? Leave a comment below to have your say, or tweet me at @cocosteaparty…
Photos by Marlene Lee