New Term New Start – it’s not just for children!
Since the end of August, I’ve been lamenting as I counted the remaining days of the summer holidays. ‘Til now I have only imagined what it would feel like to be able to take the summer off. Just taking the time to enjoy my now 6 year old daughter. Guilt and a fabrication of what was expected of me stopped me. Even though she’s the main reason for starting my own business in the first place.
Taking the time this summer has made me see that all the reasons that I didn’t want a job are at threat of being the case in my own business too: feeling like I have to work a certain number of hours a day to feel good enough. Feeling like if I enjoy the sun that we had in July then I was somehow skiving. The reality of course is that I was making a series of choices that were not only denying myself, but positively distancing myself from the joy that I have so desperately been seeking for most of my life.
It’s funny that even when exactly what we want is being offered to us on a platter, we somehow feel that the right thing to do as a British woman is to decline it!
Well, no more.
As I got my daughter ready for her new term this year, I realised that I too would benefit from a new term and a new start, so I thought I would write down just exactly how I will be doing that, and how you could be getting ready to finish the year on a high.
As I check whether things still fit, assess where the gaps are in my daughter’s wardrobe, clean out her bags, polish her shoes, and get her a new water bottle, I realise how important how she dresses and presents herself is to her attitude towards school and her excitement about the coming term.
When was the last time you checked your wardrobe to look for the message it sends the world? I know for me it’s been months, so there is definitely room for a review – it doesn’t necessarily mean that something has to change, but it is worth checking that what you want is reflected in how you dress.
Your “uniform” contributes to the day that you want to have, and the goals that you are headed towards. I started the year on a mission to get stronger and fitter, and so I started every day dressed in my gym gear. Only once did I go to bed without actually having done any exercise. It happened only once because I felt bad that day – I decided it wasn’t worth ending the day this way and resolved not to in future.
During the summer I let my routine slide completely, and so now, having recounted the results that that routine delivered, I am back in my sporty uniform!
Prepare for the next day
On school nights, I hang up my daughter’s clothes for the next day so that it is easy for her to get dressed in the morning. And yet I didn’t do this for myself until recently. Doing this means you actually put some thought into what you are going to wear, and you limit the decision making you have to do first thing in the morning.
By putting on sports gear I the morning, it is my reminder to actually do some exercise! It makes it easy for me to do my routine at any given moment rather than thinking about getting ready, and introducing the possibility of procrastination. Making myself ready makes it easier for me to meet my goals of having a strong, lean body.
Tasks for you this week:
- decide on your uniform
- do any of your clothes need chucking / mending / replacing because they don’t comply?
- would any of your shoes benefit from going to the menders for a reheel and polish?
- does every item in your wardrobe bring you joy?
- are there any core pieces that you need for AW18?
When I start afresh I like to have a new notebook. There is something about having one place to write down what I want and what my reflections are. I don’t write everything down – I don’t see the need to write down negative things. Instead, I keep my stationery as the place to pep me up when I lose my way.
Equally, I have decluttered my desk and drawers of pens that don’t work, and I have sharpened all my pencils. Next stop – a clear desk.
Get on top of paperwork that needs filing. Pay those bills on your to do list. Submit those online forms. Use a timer to get started, and just give this 25 minutes of your attention. It’s enough time to make a difference, and you may find you spend longer.
Settling in time
I think for every school child they need a period of settling in time when they start a new year. To get to know their teacher, their new classroom, classmates and schedule. I recommend doing the same in September, and not rushing from the summer into SAD, as many do. September is the perfect month for percolation before a powerful last quarter of the year.
September for me is going to be about setting myself up for some big changes. I am going to be more vulnerable about my fears, ask for more help, and gobbling up praise like it’s the last meal on earth.
Take the time to work out what is it you really want. What really matters to you, so you can spend your time and effort on the things that contribute to those values and goals? Focus on what you can do in advance to make those goals likely to be even more attainable. Doing this is lower pressure than focusing on the goals themselves, and makes implementation a lot faster in my experience. Any good project manager or decorator will agree!
We spend so much time meeting other people’s needs and rushing around to keep up with our schedules that we don’t pause to ask what it’s all for. Do that this month. Weed out the things that take your time and energy, but don’t give you anything back – chores, people, memberships, regular commitments that haven’t been questioned in forever.
Do you still enjoy going to that choir? Do you have to work from the same place every day? Are you settling for a very average local restaurant with your friends when you could club together and taxi to the nearest city? Does your child even like going swimming every week? (I throw this in for parents who could be claiming back an afternoon or Saturday morning!)
Once the first couple of weeks are underway, kids seem to gather momentum. The new names that were coming up during settling in have stabilised. It seems clear who is going to be “in” this year and who isn’t. Extracurricular activities have recommenced. The routine is underway.
What will keep you stable until the end of the year? It might be your morning or night time routine. Make sure that your routine and your uniform complement one another.
Here’s what every successful person will tell you. They have some element of routine in their life that fuels their goals. It might be the way they start their day, or the way they end it, but there is consistency in there, always.
Choose how you will be consistent this term. Choose one thing and stick to it, and comment below when you start seeing your results.
Also consider whether now is a good time to flex your creative muscles by trying something new. I am always on the lookout for new experiences and it has never been easier using apps like Eventbrite and Meet up.
Above all, enjoy this new start, and if you need some help with this, consider joining me and some other fabulous women for one of my events, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Courage to Change Lunch – 29 September in Harpenden
A low risk introduction to how life could be different, if you wanted it to be. No hard challenge, just great company, new perspectives and a whole bunch of optimism about what is possible for you!
Release, Replenish and Reset – January 2019 Retreat in Woburn Forest
There are only 4 places remaining, so don’t dilly dally – if you are interested, book in a time to speak. We will look at what has and hasn’t worked in the last year, let go what has held you back from the future you want to see, and reset you with your focus for the year and a plan to get started.
Early Bird price starts at £795 per person for a twin room for 2 nights until 30 September 2018.