September, in most of the United States, marks the official “back to school.” For adults with kids, the month offers a bit of breathing room. Summer vacations are over. Class room and teacher assignments are known. School supplies checklists are complete. Parents aren’t yet burdened with carpooling for extra-curricular activities. There’s a moment to create mental space—an opportunity to consider natural transitions to a “what’s next?”
Just as a new “school year” gives our community’s students a fresh start, September can bring a fresh start to the rest of us. Professionals may seek a new career opportunity. Entrepreneurs might want to launch a new product or service. Leaders can take a fresh look at culture, strategy, enabling team effectiveness, or organizational results.
Instead of waiting until year end to count successes and contemplate what’s next, consider setting aside time in September. Moving this to fall gives us time to think about what a strong finish for the year looks like, and helps us to build up towards new beginnings we might want to implement.
We can assess what’s not working, what objectives we haven’t met, and what worth while change might look like. What should we leave behind or let go of? What does living our best self in life and work look like? Feel like? What one or two steps can we initiate right away to move us towards our something new.
Action: Take a blank sheet of paper and imagine what a fantasy year end would entail. If time and money were no object, what wild and wonderful change would bring immense joy and deep meaning to your life? Sketch out what this would look like. Add detail in words or color. Now take just 10 minutes to imagine your day, with that life or work change fully implemented, from start to finish. What’s it like to wake up? How does your day progress? Where do you go? Who do you engage with, and in what ways? What do you feel, taste, smell? As your day draws to a close, what thought comes to mind? What are you grateful for?
The truth about transition is that there is always something possible, and we can create our future through our choices and actions today. So, what change do you want to see? Take a step right now, in this moment.