September is a time of transition in many various ways. As we gently say goodbye to summer, we gradually get back to our routines. This can be in regards to work, school, or just our daily normal activities. We transition from a more flexible schedule to something more structured. While routines can give us a certain level of comfort at times, it can also cause some stress, particularly during a global pandemic. After a long, strange summer filled with restrictions and a lack of normality, it may not be as easy to get back into the routine life as we have in the past. Going back to school may cause some anxiety, businesses may be struggling to meet ever-changing protocols and there may still be an overall lingering feeling of lack of familiarity. It can take some time to get back into the swing of things, especially this year.
However, transition periods could also be a great time for self-reflection. A time to ask yourself what’s working for you and what’s not working in your current routine? What would you like to focus more on? Is there something you’d like to achieve and if so what can you do to help make it happen? Transition periods could encourage new beginnings and make us feel ambitious and invigorated – this is what behavioural economists call the “Fresh Start Effect”. Essentially, experts argue that it is easiest to adopt habits (either good or bad) at natural transition points. Therefore, September is a great time to set clear intentions for yourself and perhaps address certain areas of our lives that may have fallen out of line during the more carefree summer months. It can be a great time to reinforce healthy habits and routines that matter to you (such as working out, reading more, eating healthy, etc.) and perhaps limit aspects of our lives that aren’t very helpful to us (such as social media, overcommitted schedules and activities, etc.) and establish clearer boundaries. The key is to remember to set realistic goals. Rather than perfection, transition periods are about growth, progress, and finding comfort in what works best for you.
While transitions can be both difficult and exciting at the same time, be mindful of your needs and check in with yourself throughout the process.
Wishing you all a great September and transition period. Be kind to yourselves.
– Henri Bergson
– Seth Godin