September is the other January

Agree? Disagree?

It’s probably no surprise since I hinted at it the other day, but I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. September, to me, is it’s own kickoff for fresh beginnings and new starts and if there’s anything I love in life, it’s CHANGE! I thrive on making declarations to try something different or taking a risk with something I’m unfamiliar with. I shine when making plans to experiment with new challenges and putting them into action is a huge thrill for me every time. (And if they don’t work out or I simply don’t like them, then all the more reason to start over with something entirely new!)

For years, I’ve let the resolution naysayers get the best of me and shame me into keeping quiet about this, but I love making resolutions – at any time of year. Whether it’s on January 1st or in line with the changing of a season – even “next Monday” or “the first of the month” suit me just fine. The more new starts there are in the year, the more reasons to make new resolutions and the more reasons to make new resolutions, the happier I am. If I’m not evolving, I feel like I’m standing still.

Gretchen Rubin agrees. (Full disclosure: the title of this post is actually her statement. Both that and the following came from her book Happier at Home.)

…September, too, marked the start of a new year, with the empty calendar and clean slate of the next school cycle. Even though I was no longer in school myself, September nevertheless remained charged with possibility and renewal. Each year, Labor Day was a milestone that provoked my self-evaluation and reflection, just as New Year’s Day, various major birthdays, high school and college reunions and the publications of my books did.

If you’re familiar with her book The Happiness Project, then you’re familiar with Happier at Home or with the idea of it at least. It’s the second happiness project that she documented to align with the school year and it took a more narrow focus on – you guessed it – her home. The Happiness Project devoted one month each to a tailored checklist of resolutions that addressed areas of life work and leisure, friendship and extended family. Happier at Home touches on very similar subjects (our lives outside don’t just disappear once we cross the threshold at home, of course) it also expands to include more home focused topics including possessions, neighbourhood and time. I enjoyed The Happiness Project so much that I reread it earlier this year and am planning on rolling out my own happiness project in 2018. I am currently making my way through Happier at Home and it’s helping me massage out my ideas.

One more little quote because I just love how she described her home:

Behind our unremarkable front door waits the little world of our own making, a place of safety, exploration, comfort and love.

So, I’m not saying that you should pick up a home related resolution this September, but it might be a good time to try something new somewhere in your life. This is the time of year to join a bowling league (this I know) or a soccer team (this I think) or make plans to attend an art class or learn to knit or play the violin. My fall resolutions aren’t nearly that monumental or even that leisurely. We have goals and after finishing the summer with a couple of weeks of disability that opened the door to a short bout of total laziness, we need to refocus and get back to work on them. (I say we, but these are all my resolutions. For the record.)

  • Less TV. In fact, I’m toying with watching all my shows for the week on one day on the weekend. The way I see it, that’ll allow me to devote more time to meal prep and enjoyment, then reading after dinner.
  • More sleep. We have early mornings planned from now until mid-November. Only increased dedication to sleep is going to make that happen painlessly.
  • Routine. Honestly, this is a four-letter word in my mind. I cringe at the idea of doing the same thing over and over again. I can’t run an identical route twice. I intentionally avoid brushing my teeth in the same order every time.
  • Preparation. I’m okay at this, though it tends to start feeling a little routine if I do it at the same time all the time so I need to take care to avoid that. This is laying out clothes the night before a workout, packing lunches for the week ahead, having enough cat food on hand that. We spend a lot of time in reaction mode because we just sort of go with the flow all the time.

Do you like making resolutions? Is there anything you’ll do differently starting this fall?

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