I always find September to be a motivational time of year. As someone who has been studying for almost half their life and who loves leisure learning as much as formal education, I’ve often been starting something new after the summer holidays.
Sometimes it’s a new course of study, a new job or a new project – whatever I want to begin, I always find that September is a good time for me to start working towards a goal. The ‘first semester’ between now and Christmas always seems to fly by, making it a brilliant time to get some momentum going for your project or plans.
But you don’t have to be a student to capitalise on that inspirational back-to-school feeling that September brings. At any time in life, you can set yourself a ‘new term’ goal and work towards it, with the aim of completing it before the end of the year. It’s like a mid-year resolution if that makes sense.
Plus, your children might have started their first term of the academic year, which has freed up some extra time during the day for you to work on your own plans. Having a routine once the family is settled back into school life – and therefore scheduling the occasional hour to allocate to your goal – really helps you to stick to the tasks you need to do in order to reach a goal before the school festive holiday arrives.
So, what plans could you work towards this semester?
Perhaps moving home is on the cards – I’ve recently written about how to move house before Christmas, so now is a great time to get started on this goal if you need to organise solicitors and removal companies. Plus, you can get a head start on your packing and use the weekends to donate or sell items that you don’t want to move with.
Would you like to improve your health after the summer break? I previously wrote about ways to stick to your health goals in the summer but you might want to revisit them and end the year on a health high. Between now and Christmas there are 13 weeks, which is plenty of time to make a big difference to your health without it feeling rushed.
Gradual physical and mental improvement is always more sustainable, whether that’s getting stronger, improving your stamina, boosting your wellbeing or feeling fitter. Last year, I started Couch to 5k in September and had completed it by December, having never imagined that I would be able to run for more than 1 minute! The little-and-often approach helped me to achieve a physical feat that I didn’t think would be possible.
Maybe you want to start studying a new topic? A language? A skill? This is a more traditional way to use this first semester of the new academic year and it’ll mean that you’ll have definitely gotten to grips with the subject by the end of December. Then you can progress in the subject as part of your New Year’s resolutions next year!
Many leisure learning courses start around about now so you could sign up for a local class and start learning straight away. Just think about how great you’ll feel by December, having discovered a new skill or developed your knowledge in the last quarter of the year.
Even if you’re just wanting to get a grip on your finances or prepare for Christmas in advance by saving a little extra cash each week, using the new term as a timescale for your money-saving plans will really help you to focus on improving your finances.
Whatever you decide to do during this ‘first semester’ I’m sure you’ll make great progress and will be able to look back at the end of the year and feel a sense of achievement. Let me know in the comments below what goal you plan to work on this term.
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