It all depends on where in the world you live this month.
For the Southern Hemisphere, spring brings out bright blossoms and warmer temperatures. Up here, in the Great White North of Canada, no the snow isn't falling...yet.
But it's the start of autumn. And with that is the start of a new school year.
You might be thinking, what does a 30-year-old, single, non-teacher care about it being the start of school.
Well, the month of September has always felt like a natural start of something new for that very reason. For the 15 or so years that I was in school and university, September heralded a fresh start. New clothes. New lunch boxes (Barbie and the Rockers for grade one was my favourite). New classes. New friends. And new beginnings.
Even professional organizations use September as a hinge month to re-start projects or kick start new initiatives. As do the major television networks in America, with the start of new seasons and series for the fall months. After a lazy, hazy summer, it's back to the grind and back to reality.
So with that in mind, here are three ways you can start fresh this September no matter where on the globe you call home.
1. Set a realistic goal for the remainder of 2015.
Your New Year's Resolutions likely took a nosedive somewhere around mid-February. Off the top of my head, I can't even remember my resolutions. I'd need to go back into some early 2015 journal entries to remember those.
Now is a good time to set a realistic goal for the rest of the year. Stick to some SMART goals so you can accomplish what you want, and check on your progress for the next four months.
SMART is an acronym to help us remember to set goals that are, "Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time- bound." By setting a goal that fits into these categories it's more likely that you'll be able to achieve and maintain what you'd set out to do. For example you might want to read more before the end of the year. You'll know if you've actually done it by setting how many books you want to read in that time frame and narrowing down how often you can set aside to read daily or weekly.
2. Spring clean or autumn clean your life.
I'm not simply talking about decluttering your closet, junk door or the boot of your car. I think September is a good time to look at ways you can declutter your life.
You'll likely need to make room in your life for that goal you just set for the rest of the year, so consider some areas in which you can cut back. Maybe it's saying no to some requests to take on a new social activity so you can make time to invest in one evening a week to yourself. Or perhaps cutting back on empty hours in front of the television or computer, and instead deciding to fill those moments with productive activities.
Before we all know it December and Christmas commitments will start popping up on our calendars. Make some clear cut decisions now on how you want to invest your time and energy. By the time Christmas rolls around it'll be easier to say yes to the things you really want to commit to, and not feel guilty when you say no to others.
3. Make it a priority to make something your priority.
This week a wise friend told me, "We invest in what we value." When put into practice, this statement reveals the variety of things we as individuals hold as important in our lives.
I think the word priority can only be used in the singular. By its very definition the word means making something more important than others. As in we can't have many priorities, just one.
I think it wise to focus in on that "one thing" so as to give it the attention it deserves.
So, what is that one thing in your life you want to be more important than all the others? Instead of focusing inwards, or on personal improvement, is there someone you can make a priority in your life? Or your faith? Or the way you help out in your neighbourhood, office, church, or community?
Whatever it might be, September is as good a time as any to start fresh.
Lisa Goetze is a 30-something woman trying to love Jesus and love people. She's on a journey to find how to do this best through her love for turning ordinary spaces into welcoming ones, encouraging women of all ages to recognize their value and whenever possible including coffee and good food.
Lisa Goetze's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/lisa-goetze.html