New Term, New Start – for children and grown-ups
Since the end of August, I’ve been lamenting as I counted the remaining days of the summer holidays. I’m one of those people that doesn’t actually want my child to go back to school. Not now, not in any September. I actually enjoy her company. After the normal 6 weeks plus 4 months of home schooling, I’m sad that it’s all over as the new term begins.
Whichever way we look at the start of the new term, we have the opportunity for a new start.
As I started the preparation process for the big return to school, I was reminder that I too would benefit from a new term. A new start. This article shows exactly how I will be doing that. And how you could be getting ready to finish the year on a high too. Yes even this year!
New term, new uniform
The new term also requires me to I check whether things still fit. Assess where the gaps are in my daughter’s wardrobe. Dust off her bags. Polish her shoes, and get her a new water bottle. I remember how important this new term is.
How she dresses and presents herself is a major contributing reflection of her attitude towards school. And her excitement about the coming term. She takes pride in wearing her uniform and being a representative of the school.
When was the last time you checked your wardrobe to look for the message it sends the world? I am not asking this because of how other people judge it. I am asking because of how you do, and what it does to your mindset.
During lockdown I got my colours done virtually. This is something I had not prioritised during my normal working hours pre-March. It has saved me hours of time wasted on the wrong colours and prints. And it has explained why there are some things I wear that don’t bring me any positivity at all.
You don’t have to do this, but it is worth reviewing how your clothes make you feel. What they stand for. Perhaps something that previously brought your high vibes doesn’t any more.
Your “uniform” contributes to the day that you want to have, and the goals that you are headed towards. I started the 2018 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 had an emotional hangover after that day.
Just like you resolve not to have another drink after a real hangover, I decided it wasn’t worth ending the day this way. I resolved not to go unexercised in future.
This worked for me through 2019 too, but in lockdown it wasn’t serving me to be in yoga pants all the time. This now sent a different message. That I had nowhere to be, and nothing to get dressed up for, so I put a curfew on exercise gear. Afternoons were for normal clothes and some. I added that pretty blouse to my jeans, and the off the shoulder top that is too much for the school run. It gave me that little sense of purpose that had been taken with the social restrictions. Ultimately it made me feel better about myself.
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 in the morning, it is my reminder to actually do some exercise! It makes it easy for me to honour my goals at any given moment rather than just thinking about them. Making myself ready makes it easier for me to meet my goals of having a strong, lean body. Laying out my after exercise clothes reminds me that there is a deadline for my exercise and helps me do it first.
Pick one of these to try:
- decide on your uniform
- check if any of your clothes need chucking / mending / replacing because they don’t comply
- let go (give away or sell) any items in your wardrobe that don’t actively bring you joy
- buy one core piece of clothing that can unlock new outfits this season
A new term requires new stationery. Similarly, 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 without being contaminated by old notes and old goals. A new notebook really is a new start. I don’t write everything down – I don’t see the need to write down negative things. Instead, I use my notebook as a place to go back to to remind me of all the good things I have created in my life if and when I lose my way.
Further, I have decluttered my desk, purged my 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 once you have your focus in the right place.
This set of actions and those suggested for you to try above are all examples of how to clear in-between energy. This is chapter two in the book Be The Leader You Want To See. You can get your copy on Amazon or a signed copy from my website.
New term and settling in time
Each new term requires 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 – I will be running my reset retreat this September to aid this new start process.
September, for me, is going to be about setting myself up for some big changes. I always treat September in the way many treat January. I am going to be more focused on the things I want to achieve, kinder in my exchanges with everyone I speak to, and celebratory of every small win.
Take the time to work out what is it you really want, and 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 it 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, and regular commitments that haven’t been questioned in forever.
Before you rush to re-enter society as yourself if you still enjoy going to that choir? Do you have to work from the same place every day – there is more than one room in your house? Are you settling for a very average local restaurant when you could collect from somewhere better? Does your child even like going swimming every week? (I throw this in for parents who could be claiming back an evening or Saturday morning in the future!)
New term, new routine
Once September is underway, kids seem to gather momentum. The new names that were coming up during the settling in period have stabilised. It seems clear who is going to be “in” this year and who isn’t. Extracurricular activities have been decided on if not 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: routine in their life fuels their goals and is the reason for their success. It might be the way they start their day, or the way they end it, but there is consistency in there, always.
New term, new ideas
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. Both of these have virtual events on offer, many of them free to attend.
Above all, enjoy and make the most of this new start. If you need some help with this, consider joining me and some other fabulous women for one of my retreats, or send me an email at email@example.com if you need some 1-2-1 support.
Reset retreat – 15-17 September in Woburn Forest, UK
Finish 2020 stronger, regardless of what has happened so far. A beautiful log cabin, surrounded by trees, complete with hot tub! This is a low risk, yet highly productive way to start your personal development journey. I promise you great company, new perspectives and a whole bunch of optimism about what is possible for you! Not only that – you will leave with a plan and absolutely certainty about how to implement it.
There is only 1 place remaining, so don’t dilly dally – if you are interested, book in a time to speak.
New Year, New Start – 5-7 January 2020 Retreat in Woburn Forest, UK
There are only 3 places at this new year retreat so secure yours now – 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 your focus for the year and a plan to get started.
Early Bird price starts at £2995 per person for a twin room for 2 nights until 15 October 2020 or as long as spaces are available.
If you would like my help with coaching you before / after this retreat, there are some great packages available – please book your call asap to discuss: www.susieramroop.com/booking