It’s that time of year. The school season is just around the corner. Whether you have little preschoolers underfoot, college kids moving out or anything in between, or even are completely out of the whole “school season” time of life, we all typically feel the change in schedules, mindsets and activity when the school year comes around. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love, love, love summertime and all the things dealing with the summer. For that reason, I hate the thought of school starting and all the hustle and bustle that it brings. On the other hand, I do love the thought of the newness, a new schedule and all the new opportunities the new schedule brings.
I think September, and this time of year, is like the fresh start in January. It’s a great time to set a new schedule, get back on track, and set new goals. In fact, I talked about this in September is the New January.
If you are dragging your feet into September and this new season, I’ve got some things that might help. Here are some tips I’m working on right now to jump into this Fall energized, ready, organized and excited for “all the things” that will be coming.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had emails and texts asking when my private group classes will begin, what days I’ll be teaching fitness classes, and where I’ll be teaching. I’ve also had emails about setting my schedule with private clients that take time off during the summer, as well as start dates for classes I teach only during the school year. In a sense, this can make me a little anxious because I honestly don’t want to get back in the grind of a set schedule. On the other hand, I love what I do and all these people so it gives me a little tingle of excitement. If you are beginning to feel that little knot in your stomach or are beginning to get a tingle of excitement about starting fresh, I’ve got some things we can all do to jump right in for big success this September.
Here’s the best thing for all of us to do right now:
1. SET YOUR SCHEDULE.
Go ahead and pull out your calendar, daytimer, phone, notebook or whatever you use to keep your life in order and pen in (notice I did NOT say pencil!) your workout time in your Fall schedule. Think about when you will most likely be able to make those group classes, runs, walks, yoga, whatever is your jam and put them in your calendar. Now you know where you will be on those days, have them written down so you cannot schedule something else during that time, and have yourself set up to get you some exercise in the Fall.
I have a confession to make right here. I don’t necessarily dread the thought of school starting back as much as I dread all the other stuff that comes along. And one of those things is the volunteer jobs that come our way. There it is – I said it. It’s not that I do not like to volunteer. I do, really. But we all know how overwhelming it can be when to also juggle other jobs, responsibilities and commitments, along with volunteering in so many other areas. Here’s the best thing for all of us to do right now:
2. CHOOSE WISELY.
When it comes to saying yes to volunteer jobs at school, church, and in your community, you have to learn to pick and choose. You need to take some time right now and consider what you really want to do with your time and where you really feel lead to spend time. Get your head wrapped around that this very minute. This means tackling that word “no” and learning to use it. If saying “no” is hard, get in front of a mirror and practice. Write out a script to have on hand. Do what you need to do to be ready to say no to some volunteer opportunities. I am not at all telling you to be a slacker. I am telling you to consider where you can best use your gifts and time to make the biggest impact. You cannot effectively help any organization if you are stretched too thin from saying yes to every organization that asks and doing too many things. So, figure out right now what you will say no to so that you can say yes. (This is one of our weekly activities in the Better & Beyond Program and one I think is SO beneficial to all of us!). Remember, you can do All The Things, Just Not All At Once!
When the school year begins, I always feel as if I lose huge chunks of time. Every day. Each day seems to be so jam-packed with getting through the morning routine, the day, the afternoon activities, the dinner, the projects, the smelly uniform washings, the meetings, the conferences, the practices, scrimmages and all the things, that everything else easily piles up. What happens to the closet that needs a cleaning out, the paperwork that needs filing, the areas that need de-cluttering, the pantry that needs to be re-stocked? Here’s the best thing for all of us to do right now:
3. GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.
Seriously. This will make your life so much easier. Take some time right now to get your hands dirty and clean out that closet, put that paperwork away. Go to Costco, Wal-Mart or wherever and stock your pantry with all the staples you know you’ll need for weekly meals. You know how much better you feel, how much better you can operate and how much more productive you can be when your house is organized. Don’t think about it, just do it. You will feel so much happier and healthier – I promise!
4. REJUVINATE YOURSELF
I want you to head into this second new year with all the things that come with it feeling fresh, ready and rejuvenated. Take the next couple of weeks before things really kick in high gear and do what refreshes you. Maybe you can have a mini getaway with your family, maybe you can take a day or even half a day to pamper yourself. If there is a movie you’ve been dying to see, a book on your list, a friend to catch up with, or even an afternoon siesta, take the time to make it a priority before you get swallowed and feel like you don’t have the time. Think of these last days and couple of weeks as gifts of sweet and precious time to spend doing what matters to you, makes you feel whole, rested and rejuvinated.
Summer is a precious time when we tend to have more time with our children and families. I encourage you to savor the last of the lazy days and also encourage you to begin the school season ready, refreshed and excited for all the season brings.