As the school year begins and as new season style slowly seeps into the shops, our thoughts turn to comfy knitwear, winter coats and burgundy boots. Change is afoot and as the seasons merge, autumnal colours slowly replace the buds of spring and the flowers of summer.
Alongside this new pencils, pens, books and notebooks spell the return of a routine to homes, schools and workplaces. September begins and so too does progression, transition and movement upwards and forwards in school. Somewhere in our heads and hearts September, the harvest month, becomes associated with forward momentum and deep meaningful change.
Casually disguised, September is the superhero month albeit in hiding. A month that silently triggers deep instinctual cues for change, than other months, more typically associated with new beginnings can only hope for.
So how can you capture that feeling and make it work harder for you?
Decide on a goal
Decide what you would like to change, achieve, or do differently to help you to grow, improve and develop personally, professionally or both.
Try not to link your goal to an event. Psychology tells us that goals linked to specific events are less likely to form lasting habits. For example, if your goal is to lose weight for a wedding in October, the chances are once the wedding is over you will regress. Instead link your weight loss to an overall goal of getting fitter and healthier. Swap the goal of weight loss for the wedding out for a goal that focuses on a healthier lifestyle overall The wedding now serves only as a check-in point on the path to your overall goal.
Put detail around the change you want to bring in your life. Be very, very specific. If you want to get fitter, define exactly what that means to you. If you want to learn a new skill, be clear what that skill is. Now decide your why…why is this specific goal important to you. The more specific you are the more likely you are to achieve change.
Powerful in 60 seconds
Small daily changes lead to big changes over time! Commit 60 seconds every single day to thinking about how you to integrate the new habit into your life. Make it really simple so it’s easier to integrate into your existing routine.
Choose an event, time or thing that you do every day as your trigger to move to action. This cognitive reminder becomes associated with your goal. By associating your goal with your trigger you increase your chances of being consistent and therefore successful.
Find a friend, family member or colleague to make yourself accountable to. Ask them to help or support by reminding you on a weekly basis of your goal. Accountability intensifies your commitment and builds resilience
Expect crap days
Anticipate days when things don’t go your way or when you lapse. Accept it as a moment in time, a day or a few days that you didn’t meet your goal. Ask yourself what could you do differently today to improve and move on. Don’t give up just because you had a small or single lapse. Instead use it as an opportunity to learn, move on and do better next time.
There is no better time than now. Make a decision. Choose that one goal that is nagging at the back of your mind and go for it. It might be to take up photography, learn about social media marketing or to catch up with friends more frequently. Whatever your goal, there must be no more procrastination.
Think of September as the start of your New Year. By the time January comes you will be 12 weeks ahead of the posse and much more likely to have committed to and made the changes you want.
Remember these key points –
- Make a specific decision.
- Start small.
- Link your goal to a daily trigger.
- Tell a friend.
- Roll with the punches.
- Start now.
Don’t forget, if you don’t design your own success someone will do it for you. Good luck from A Career to Love HQ!
By Sinead Brady