End of summer check-in time

Today is Tuesday September 13th. We are one entire week past Labor Day. All of our kids are now in school and in nine days we will officially shift into the Autumnal Equinox.

So many people write about how they love this time of year. The glimmer of cooler air on the horizon. Football. Kids up and at ‘em in the AM. And the sense that this is the last big stretch before the end of the year.

I’m “write” with all of those peeps who love this time of year. But my number one reason is that September is the new January.

I revel in the sensation of newness that comes with September. Three refreshing months to dig my heals in before the holidays are upon us. Four months to focus on my goals for the year.

How about you? This week is a perfect time to check-in with your own intentions for 2016. Grab your journal and your goals/intentions/resolutions that you made back in January and give yourself a few minutes to review where you are right now and where you want to be in December. Some questions to help:
1. What did you set out to accomplish this year?
2. At this point, what do you have to celebrate?
3. Have you had any challenges arise that have kept you from accomplishing your goals?
4. Choose the intention that you are most drawn to at this time and make a commitment to give it your attention.
5. What are the steps it will take to achieve the one goal you’ve selected?
6. Will any of the challenges you’ve experienced this year make it difficult to achieve this one goal or intention? If so, what ideas can you think of for facing that challenge?
Rewrite your goals or intentions in order of importance, starting with the one that is your biggest commitment. This is your to-do list for your most important asset – you.

This simple process will help you to realign for the push to the end of the year. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, distracted, and not sure how to spend your time lately, it’s possible that this kind of exercise is exactly what you need. It’s been many months since you first wrote your intentions for the year. Do yourself a favor and refer back to them so that you are taking meaningful steps that move you forward and not just spinning your wheelies over and over.

Once you’ve taken twenty or thirty minutes with these questions, ask yourself if your new plan feels good to you. If it does, take another five minutes to plug some action steps into your calendar for the week. Don’t forget that planning for next week can be one of your action steps for this week! Start taking steps so that you can celebrate sticking to your goals at the end of the year.

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a writer, publisher, teacher, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit saramarchessault.com.

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