As the summer draws to a close and we say goodbye to long evenings and vacation time, the academic calendar is ready to sweep in and hit us all with another packed year of hard work and early mornings. Whether it is taking the kids to school, work-life or other commitments, September is often the month where we all hit the reset button.
How can you make this a September to remember?
The final quarter of the year is looming over our heads. Maybe you are entering it having had time to recharge your batteries, or perhaps you have been all systems go and can't remember the last time you just took a few days off. Either way, the clock is now ticking on those New Years resolutions and Q1 business goals that may have slipped to the back of your mind in the midst of the craziness that we call 2021.
September should be a month where we get back to BUSINESS, not back to BUSY-NESS.
I like to view September as a designated period of time where I can declutter and get myself back on track. We have been setting goals since the start of the year, in both our business and personal lives, so why stop now? Just because we can see the finish line doesn’t mean the race is won. Hopefully, you are close to reaching the goals you had previously set at the beginning of the year, but why not challenge yourself even more?
Alongside those goals, you can end 2021 with an additional goal specific to the final quarter. This end-of-year goal will be the sprint to end your marathon.
Of course, best-case scenario, you have already reached your annual goal, and I am sure many of you reading this are probably on track for that. However, we all need an additional push from time to time to ensure we exceed every self-imposed expectation for the year. If you are feeling a little astray from your path, or are thinking of ways to bulldoze through your remaining 2021 objectives, then here are a few simple and effective tips you can use to schedule some good productive habits into your life to ultimately get you back on track!
Give your habits a specific space in your life.
Want to get back on track with your writing schedule? Struggling to find the time to work out? Maybe you have a backlog of emails that you are dreading going through?
Whatever it may be, you are never going to 'find the time' if you don't make the time.
A really great tip is to give yourself a designated time & place for each task to happen.
When trying to incorporate new habits into your life, nominating a certain space to do the task is a proven way to encourage its completion!
For instance, if your goal is to grow your social media following, then you will likely need to create more social media content. Here's how to approach it:
In this case, you know how long it will take, the time it works in your calendar, and the location you will attach to this habit. If you have a goal, you need to break it down: set yourself deadlines, timelines and action steps. Once it's on your calendar, it's much easier to execute your plan!
Ever heard of time blocking? It's a time management skill that includes sectioning off specific hours in your calendar to complete a certain task related to one area of your life. So why not behaviour block? Connect one habit you have already mastered with the new one you need to incorporate into your life. Not all of your habits will fit a specific time frame, but they all should have a trigger that facilitates doing them.
For example, if you want to start writing an ebook, you will need to find something to activate that writing time. It might be nice to tell yourself that you are going to change, but getting specific makes it real and gives you a reason to get back on track whenever you slip up with that task.
What current habit could you behaviour block to activate the new habit you want to create?
Think about the time of day you feel most inspired, consider when you get a dip in energy and most importantly, figure out when you have the least amount of distractions around you. You need to be extremely realistic when planning this behaviour blocking and account for the worst-case scenario.
For example, if you find your morning coffee time to be inspiring and tranquil, tap into it! Get up 20 minutes earlier, enjoy your coffee time and then, once finished with your coffee, whip out your laptop, set a timer and get writing! In this, you have your trigger (coffee), you have considered your surroundings, and you know that you will feel in a positive frame of mind for writing first thing in the morning.
Okay, you probably sat down at the start of the year and wrote a page of things you want to accomplish. Have you read it every day? Do you even remember everything you wrote down?
Your life is the sum of every habit you build into each day of your life.
It's natural to get distracted. You might have followed through on 50% of your goals but what on earth happened to the rest of them?
If you don't remind yourself of what you want to achieve every day, then you may not forget, but it will no longer be the priority. To ensure you have a successful life, you have to break it into successful years, full of successful weeks, days and, so on... You get the idea.
Aside from behaviour blocking and a strong schedule, you can add little reminders throughout your day that will motivate and remind you of what exactly it is that you really want to achieve.
1. Morning focus. Have your top 5 goals written somewhere that you will be forced to see every morning. This could be on your bathroom mirror, beside your bed or set as your phone's lock screen. Exposing yourself to these intrinsic desires that you have will help to keep you on track.
2. Phone reminders. When it comes to smaller daily tasks that you haven't quite made habits yet, use your technological devices in a positive way to remind you. It takes 2 seconds to set a reminder on your phone and no matter what the task - if your phone tells you to do it, hopefully, you will be more inclined to!
3. Post-it notes on your mirror. Once again exposing yourself to these goals and missions during your daily life is the best way to make the habit stick.
4. Weekly planning. I am not talking about writing out a weekly schedule. Weekly planning should be a list of things you write somewhere near your calendar. This list should include a handful of new or irregular tasks you want to get done that week, with the goal of one day completing them without having written them down.
Whether it’s setting goals, enforcing a new routine, establishing new habits, or working on a more optimistic mindset, it is vital to reassess where you are going and not let your lethargic, end-of-summer psyche make its way into the final months of the year.
It’s time to try and adopt a positive mindset instead of mourning the end of summer. So, grab your pen and paper, highlight your big Q4 goal and start implementing these September rebound tips to turn 2021 into your best year yet!
If you want to take an extra step for your brand in this final quarter, join us for our FREE September webinar next week. Expect 1 hour of client attraction focused content designed to level up your business before 2022.