It’s fall y’all! To me, September has always felt like the unofficial start of a new year. Kids go back to school, the days get shorter, and the leaves start to fall. It’s also right around the time of year that people start pushing the goals they didn’t achieve into the following year. But there are a few great reasons why fall is the perfect time to tackle big goals. The change of seasons can provide a clean slate. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait until January to work on those big goals.
Take advantage of that “back-to-school” feeling
I think September is my January because even though I haven’t been to school in years, the academic calendar is burned into my brain. Because I’m more relaxed during summer, I tend to be more creative and full of great ideas. When summer fun ends, fall signals that it’s time to get back to business. It’s one of the best reasons why fall is the perfect time to tackle big goals. Now is the ideal time to refresh your routine, renew your motivation, and review your goals and intentions to create a plan to finish the year strong.
Turn over a new leaf
People rarely achieve all their goals. Priorities shift, focus fades, and old habits return. And sometimes the goals were not SMART goals. In other words, they were not specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Fall puts you in the perfect position to pause and thoughtfully consider what worked, what needs improvement, and what to leave behind.
As you reflect on all areas of your life (family, health, professional, financial, etc.) and what you’ve accomplished so far this year, ask yourself…
- What’s working best in my life right now?
- What were the biggest challenges I faced? How well did I handle them?
- How can I turn my setbacks into opportunities?
- What’s the most important lesson I learned this year?
- What key actions or projects do I want to focus on for the rest of the year?
- Am I spending my time wisely? How can I change that?
- What do I still want to achieve this year that I haven’t started?
- What is holding me back from achieving my goals?
Then as you revisit goals you’ve already set or create new ones, make sure they are SMART…
Specific—Must be clearly defined
Measurable—Gives you a way to evaluate your progress
Attainable—Is it possible?
Relevant or Realistic—Does it make sense?
Timely—You need to set deadlines to keep you on track
For example, instead of saying, “I want to pay down my debt,” a SMART goal would be, “I pay off $3000 of credit card debt by December 2021.”
Once you’ve set your SMART goals, you can create an effective action plan to achieve them and track your progress along the way. If you feel like you need more guidance, check out my step-by-step goal-setting worksheet to walk you through the process.
No BIG goals?
If you don’t have any major goals to accomplish, fall is a great time to complete all those nagging to-dos on your list. Use this time to work on habits that you want to improve, home repairs you’ve been meaning to get to, and any other projects you’ve been wanting to start. Review your list, make a plan, and block out time on your schedule to get it done. Knocking out these things now will give you more time to focus on the big stuff when the new year begins.
As you can see, there are some valid reasons why fall is the perfect time to tackle big goals. Take advantage of this window of time to reset, refocus, and confidently step into the new year with a plan.