There’s something about September that I love.
It’s probably the combination of a new school year, the end of summer and the beginning of new routines as we head into cooler temperatures.
I find that this time of year is a great time to rekindle my goals and get back on track with some healthy habits and routines.
But I’ve noticed that just like new year resolutions, my ‘September spark’ can fizzle just as quickly if I don’t fan the flames.
It doesn’t take long before routines get stale and shorter days make me feel like I’m climbing the walls. Before you know it, I’m ready for a vacation.
The good news is that over the years, I’ve gotten more and more intentional about finishing my year strong. Here are five things I do to keep focused on God’s plans and the goals I’ve committed to Him, even when I feel like giving up.
Prayer has a way of reconnecting me to the heart of God. It’s so refreshing to know that I can present my concerns and requests to Him at any time (see Philippians 4:6).
When I want to get re-inspired about my year, the best thing I can do is turn to God and I’m reminded that He has good plans for me.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV
2. Keep it simple
Why complicate things when we can keep them simple? At this time of year, I don’t try to change too many things at once. I start with just one goal or new routine and work with that. It might be a new workout, a new Bible study plan or a renewed commitment to cut down on sugary snacks.
Get some traction going with your one thing and add another one after you’ve made progress. You’ll be more likely to stick to your new habits if you stack them.
3. Mind the minutes
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the year has gone by pretty quickly. There are some weeks, I look back and wonder where all the time went. If I’m not careful, all my weeks will roll into one without me even noticing. And just like that, the year would be over.
A big part of being intentional is being mindful about how I spend my time. I’m minding my minutes so that my moments matter.
Whether I’m at work, relaxing with friends or enjoying time with my family, I want to be fully present. Managing my time well allows me to show up and be all in, not distracted or pulled in several different directions.
By the way, if you prefer to spend your time on the things that matter most to you (instead of running on empty), join me for my Time to Shine time management course launching next week.
We’ll help each other stay accountable and cheer each other on, which brings me to the next point.
4. Tag a friend
We all can benefit from having someone in our corner encouraging us along. Tell a friend how you plan to finish the year the strong and ask them to check on you. This builds in the accountability you need to keep going and you might even be able to return the favor. The next thing you know, you have an entire cheering squad. Hooray!
5. Pick yourself up and go again
Let’s be real. Sometimes, it’s tiring to keep up with all the things. You might fall short and not make the changes you expected. Rather than get disappointed or beat yourself up, give yourself some grace. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. Remember, you committed those plans to God – He will see you through!
So, how about you? How do you keep your eyes on the prize this time of year? We’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.