(Goal setting for a happy new start)
I love September.
I repeat, I absolutely love September.
I even have a love song for September, that I play on the 1st day .and most days after!
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes from some romantic play
Still can make me feel that way.(Neil Diamond)
September lends itself to great songs, think “Earth, Wind and Fire’s, September or the more melancholic and equally great Jonny and Roseanne Cash; “September when it comes”, these songs show it’s a month filled with nostalgia, a bitter sweet end of the summer.
The days are still light, everyday feels like a fresh start, there’s hope in the air. We can change things, we’re refreshed from the summer, our skin still clings on to a faint tan and the days can be warm, like a bonus extra mini summer as we cherish every extra day of sunshine.
As I am writing this, with my September play list playing, the sun is hot in my garden, I cherish and savour the fact that I can work outside, appreciating every second as I know that autumn is on its way. The mornings are still bright, you can catch a glorious sunset at night and the dark nights are not here yet. You can run in the evenings, go for a walk and still catch a beautifully, warm t-shirt day. You can see the leaves starting to turn slowly at the edges and weekends are filled visiting the countryside and arboretums.
And School starts
It’s a new start.
A fresh page.
New pens, pencil cases, a crisp uniform and shiny shoes, every lesson has a new topic, a brand-new book and neat writing on that very first page. Mums, proudly, put their children’s ‘doorstep photo’ on Facebook and lots of people moan about it. I love to see children growing up, the more doorstep photos ,the better for me.Smiling children, starting out on a new term, in blazers too big, cheery smiles from the little ones and the rolled eyes of teenagers, if you can bribe them to stand by the door.
September can be bitter sweet as older children move off to university, travelling or full time work. It is a transition for lots of people, a new start for many, even if it’s just in our mind.
On a personal level, I get to start university again, see my fellow students and know we are not yet back in the overwhelm of the mountain of reading. It’s like a deep breath in, before the workload gets too much, and we know that it always gets too much.
I discover, at least for a short time, that I like routine.
I embrace routine in September.
Nights in and sporty days out.
On the rainy , cooler, crispy, days we can snuggle down as the good family shows come back on our televisions.
Strictly becomes my not so guilty pleasure on a Saturday night.
The football and rugby seasons start again, so I can stand on the touchline without freezing with layers and layers of clothes., restricting my movements. I enjoy seeing parents who I haven’t seen for a whole summer and looking at growing children and being nostalgic about another summer finishing and another season starting.
However, there are drawbacks…..
It can be a time of loss. For parents especially saying goodbye to little ones at the first day in school and coming home and feeling a little lost. It can be bitter sweet as older children move out.The empty house, the anxiety of whether they are eating, sleeping, partying too much or too little. I am feeling all of those feelings ,as my older son heads off travelling, for four weeks. For many parents, it’s the longest they have been away from their children ever.
We know all the logic about ‘letting them go’ etc, etc, please, please don’t tell us.
It hurts at a biological level, just allow us to sit with the wide range of emotions it brings.
It’s the empty nest syndrome and it’s complicated.
Usually, this month, everyone is still fresh and optimistic from their holidays, people generally are rested and excited and positive. My business line starts to ring a little more than it did in August, people want positive psychology coaching.
If something isn’t right they want to tackle it, to face it head on, to make life a little better, tweak it here and there and deal with the hard stuff.
They’re motivated and ready and stepping into September with a new vision.
In September, we know we can cope, we know we will get through it, however hard it may seem.
Goal setting for greater wellbeing and happiness
September is a great time for goals. We are more refreshed than January where our resolutions and goals often reflect the over indulgence of Christmas and the stress of organising everybody over this time.
My Happiness Workshops will reflect this goal setting as their main topic this month, and will focus on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model, the scientific Theory of Happiness. If you would like to know about this model and how we can adapt it to your life, please grab some friends and join us for a fun evening of goal setting and exploring.
Let’s not make our goals in September be about stopping something.
Let’s make them about adding happiness to our lives and flourishing.
To give you an idea, I will very briefly share my goals, for the next 90 days based on a PERMA structure. Remember this is just a very brief outline:
P Positive Emotions – (love, joy, hope, optimism)
Goal: To savour and record positive emotions this month and build in as many events as possible that include these feelings.
Goal: I am going to create a daily mindfulness practice using the Calm app and the Soultime app. This should help me to be more present during the day.
Goal: To see my family more, to cherish the relationships around me and to spend time with people who make me roll around laughing. I am going to look through my diary and not just add work but add in time with people who uplift me, as often as I can and make that as important as work, exercise and all the other crazy commitments.
Goal: To find a church with an evening service to attend when the morning one is too difficult to get to because of rugby. Worship makes me happy, it uplifts me, calms me and sets me up for the week. I need to make time for it and my faith.
Goal: To create a realistic study plan for my Masters starting again.
I would love to hear about your goals, please comment below.
Have you noticed that all of my goals are adding something to my life, not taking it away?
I’m not trying to stop something, I’m building more pleasure and meaning into my life.
This is what positive psychology is about.
It’s about making the most of every day and noticing the good things so that you can build up resilience and protection when the curve ball comes, and things are not so good.
It’s about looking at what is right, rather than what is wrong.
To find out more about the PERMA model and how you can apply it to your life, Why not attend a happiness workshop in September. These can be with a group of friends, 4-8 people are the ideal number and can be held at your house (free bottle of Prosecco for the host) or a venue of your choice.
These evenings include group coaching and a fun, warm conversation with like-minded women and are held in the Warwickshire area.
Or alternatively book a one to one coaching session, on Skype or face to face in one of my two venues in Stratford upon Avon.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great start to the new academic year.
Happy Happy September everyone
CALL TO ACTION
Grab some friends. (4-8 works best)
Choose a venue.
The can be at your house or in the Wildmoor Bistro.
Daytime or evening for approx 2 hours.
£25 per person.