September is the new January, which means it’s time to reset self-care!
New beginnings present an opportunity for us to reset and refine the goals that we’ve laid out for ourselves. September just happens to be the start of a new school year which means there is a lot of new energy floating around. This means that it’s also a good opportunity to check in with your goals and even make some adjustments. To keep things simple it might be helpful to think about this in three areas of your life: mind, body, spirit.
First, check in with yourself.
How are you doing with those goals you set out for yourself at the beginning of the year?
You might have struggled with some, zonked out on others and crushed a few. At the beginning of this month, and the impending new fall season, sit down for some quiet time and revisit those previous goals you’ve set for yourself. Take a honest, and nonjudgemental (as much as possible) look at where you’ve been this year and where you still want to go. That honesty is the first step in taking accountability and problem solving so you can reset self-care for the coming months.
Small Goals to Reset Self-Care For Your Mind
Were any of those goals directed towards bettering your mental health? If so, September presents a good opportunity to take another look at how you’ve been taking care of your mind.
Have you been in attending therapy as you thought that you would? Have you been investing in your personal development by taking courses or reading books that further your self knowledge? If not, that’s OK. This is a good time to restart.
One of the most helpful things that you can do is to make SMART goals. This help you set yourself up for success. You give yourself the best chance to get closer to reaching them if you follow the SMART model. Otherwise, you might find yourself floundering. If you aren’t familiar with how to create SMART goals this resource will help.
Here are some smaller goals to help get you better manage your mental health:
- Setting aside time for weekly or biweekly therapy.
- Creating a morning meditation routine that helps you focus and balance yourself as you start your day.
- Re-dedicate yourself to learning a new skill or practicing a new mental strategy
- Engage in a nightly journaling practice, like the GLAD Technique.
- Do the work to acknowledge your personal patterns and work to create a new story for yourself.
A New Kind of ‘Body Goals’
Most of the time when we’re setting personal goals for ourselves at the onset of any new year the focus tends to be on creating new habits for our bodies. For many people, it’s about losing weight. That’s fine, but I also think that our bodies are more than just a number on a scale.
Many people drop off of their health and fitness related goals because often we don’t set realistic challenges for ourselves given our life circumstances and present abilities. It’s always important to take into account where you’re starting from and create small, measurable steps to get to your ultimate goal.
Behavioral change requires a lot of support and can often be a longer process than we think. Working with a therapist could be very helpful in creating a feasible actionable plan of small measurable steps and offer you some much-needed accountability.
Here are some other body related goals that you may want to start out with to help you restart self-care goals for your body:
- Create a daily practice of stretching for 10 minutes.
- Try ordering takeout one less time per week and choose instead to prepare a meal at home.
- Take a health-focused cooking class to learn how to prepare more nutrient-dense food.
- Invite a friend to try out a new workout class.
- Research a personal trainer or consult with a nutritionist.
Goals to Reset Self-Care with Your Spiritual Self
In the realm of wellness, the idea of spirit often gets overlooked but I thought it would be helpful to include here for those who have religious or spiritually related goals.
Here are some smaller goals, or objectives, that can help reinvigorate some energy in your bigger spirit-related goals:
- Research a new spiritual/religious site to visit for service.
- Purchase tarot cards or an oracle deck to help with self-reflection.
- Try out a local meditation meetup.
- Check out a book focused on spirituality from your local library (or buy one that comes highly recommended).
- Attend a local workshop or presentation on finding purpose and healing.
Don’t forget to leave your judgment at the door.
Guilt and blame won’t get you very far if you’re trying to restart important goals that you set out for yourself in the earlier part of the year. Instead of asking yourself “Why haven’t I done this yet?!” try to take a more practical approach such as “What haven’t I completed yet…and what’s gotten in the way?” By leaving self-criticism at the door you’re giving yourself an even better chance at getting a better hold on your goals and reaching your ultimate destination.