Commit To Get Better, Now
Each month has numerous observances that it is marked by . In September, we acknowledge Hispanic Heritage, Guide Dogs, Honey, Prostate Health and a bunch of others as well. But September is also National Self Improvement Month. It’s the perfect time of year to recommit to your best self and make a some plans for how you are going to get there in the new year.
just enough time to iron out some new routines before family and the holiday season wreak havoc on our waistlines, wallets and ambitions in the new year.
Most people wait until January to commit to changing something about their life (losing weight, reading more, eating less, starting a business). This is silly. Holding your breath until the perfect moment for change to happen, is silly. If there is something you have been meaning to do, there’s no better time to start than the present. September is also ideal for taking on a new habit because it’s just as school is starting for kids, there’s new energy in the air, and just enough time to iron out some new routines before family and the holiday season wreak havoc on our waistlines, wallets and ambitions in the new year.
Plan Your Best Year Ever
More directly, if you want to see changes in your 2018, there’s no better time to start than the tail end of 2017. The year went by fast (as they always do) and here we are at the end of the 3rd quarter. We have three months left to birth something to show of ourselves for the year. Did you do all that you wanted to do? Go where you wanted to go? Show up like you thought you would? For others? For yourself? If not, good news: now’s a good time to assess what to tweak and change to make next year your greatest year yet. It’s doable.
Remember what they said about the early bird? He eats worms. You don’t want worms, but you do want a head start on being the best you in the new year. Just think how empty the gym will be when you show up in October or November. It will be glorious.
If you want 2018 to be different than 2017, you need to have a few things in place before Fall hits you like a ton of bricks (or snow) with the holidays close behind.
Some would have you believe that starting your New Year’s resolutions in September is giving up on the current year. We have 90 days left to make something happen, you say. That’s true. I also know that habits take a while to form, and plans take a while to come together. If you want 2018 to be different than 2017, you need to have a few things in place before Fall hits you like a ton of bricks (or snow) with the holidays close behind. Here are 6 easy steps to start planning for your best year ever.
1. A year in review
What were your wins this year? One of the best ways to start thinking about how to better yourself, is to look at all the ways you did well in the past year. What major accomplishments or milestones did you hit? Did you discover a new path? Unearth a new idea? When were you at your happiest and feeling your most powerful? You can learn a lot about those moments. Make sure to acknowledge those times when life was going right.
2. Awesome Buts
How can you get more of those highs in your life? What were the almost highs that could have used a little boost? How would you boost them? Maybe you went on a vacation of a lifetime, but you wanted to travel with a loved one, or in better shape, or without having to beg for the time off from work. . . . what are the Yes it was awesome, but . . . scenarios from the past 9 months?
3. (Vision) Party Animal
Now is the perfect time to get that vision board out. Take a look at last year’s (if you had one) and start retooling and rethinking what the New Year will look like for you. More prosperity? More love? Happiness? Relationships? The more specific you can be with what you want out of the new year, the sooner you can start visualizing and moving towards that expected reality. Check in with Career Coaches and Life Coaches this month to find a vision board party.
Get some friends and start cutting and pasting those dreams!
These usually kick off in October and November and tend to be intimate settings that fill up fast. Benefits of doing your visioning in a group? 1) You meet some awesome people who are also into personal growth and change 2) It’s a definite date with your future, versus an item on a to do list that you may not get to and 3) The more magazines the better. Get some friends and start cutting and pasting those dreams!
4. Goal Setting
You know where you excelled, you’ve identified where you fell short, and you have started to imagine the best possible outcome for the new year, now what? What steps are you going to take to start making those highs next year even better? Goals are important because they set intentions. In swimming they tell you that your body follows your head. You point your head down, you sink to the bottom, you hold it up right, your body moves to upright. Its the same thing with your thoughts and intentions. Wherever you direct your mind, the rest of your body will follow. So what do you want in the next year specifically? Yes, this is now a plug for SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Pay attention to the realistic and timely part. What can you realistically accomplish in a year? In 3 months? In one month? Remember how quickly 2017 flew by? Hence, this goal setting conversation in September? Be kind to yourself.
5. Chunk It Down
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. A year is not a long time for a transformation, but you can start to make little changes that will crescendo into a big impact. Start with the big goals that align with your vision and then work it back in smaller chunks. Try answering questions about your goal in this order:
SMART goal: I want to ___________________ by (time frame). I will know I am successful when (measure of success)
This is important to me because (what does accomplishing this goal do for you/your life?)
In one year I will . . .
6 months from now I will, . . .
3 months from now I will. . .
In 30 days I will. . .
. . .all the way down to the micro baby step you can take this week.
6. Tell All
Tell a lot of people. Accountability is a huge piece of making change. Not only does it help us mentally to know that someone else may ask about our progress, but often times, having the support of another person further motivates us to get things done. a Mentor, Coach or *Mastermind group can be that regular check in that you need to start making those incremental steps towards making your goal your new reality.
(Bonus tip) The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You may not get into shape tomorrow, or find the love of your life tomorrow or create job flexibility tomorrow, but you can start. And the only time better to start than tomorrow is today. And the only time better than today, is now. Happy New Year! And Happy Self Improvement Month.
*If you are a Black woman interested in a Mastermind group, or group coaching opportunities to help you meet your goals in 2018, please join the mailing list or send Marie an email ASAP to indicate interest. New groups kick off Fall 2017.