A new school year - new supplies, new clothes, a new schedule and new opportunities to learn, grow and experience life.
It's been a long time since I have had to buy back-to-school supplies and though I no longer have to worry about the bus schedule and after school activities, the beginning of the school year still signals something new.
For kids and students, the next 16 weeks or so bring a change in routine, added structure, expectations, successes and failures. By the end of the semester, they may have learned a new language, improved their game, and made new friends. Certainly they will be challenged with new experiences and will be expected to progress.
Somehow when we are well past our school days we lose the anticipation that comes with the start of a new semester. Our lives become a steady flow of doing the same thing day after day. We no longer have people expecting us to progress and we no longer are tested on everything we have learned during the past few months. We lack a syllabus and soon one day becomes the same as the next.
We may start something new but quickly give up when it becomes challenging. We are not being graded after all. Life experiences provide an opportunity to learn, grow and progress yet these experiences are often quickly forgotten as we move forward with our busyness of daily life.
Students are expected to do their homework, stay on task, and reach a goal. Shouldn't we expect the same of ourselves?
Believe me, I was not always a big fan of school and I certainly did not thrive in every subject. But as an adult, I choose the subject, I choose the homework, and I choose the goal. Like many people, however, after 16 weeks I often find I have to give myself a big old "F" on my own report card. I give up too soon, lose interest or get caught up in the daily grind.
Considering that I chose the subject and the goal, most of my reasons for not getting an "A" are invalid. Sure, sometimes the goal is unrealistic and sometimes life throws a major curveball that I cannot control. Most often though, with persistence, dedication and commitment all of my goals are achievable.
This new school year means new opportunity and I have written my syllabus to guide me through the semester. I have chosen 2 goals - one personal and one professional - and am confident I can reach them if I put in the work, maintain my focus and do the things I need to do even when I don't really feel like it.
Have you been talking about beginning an exercise program for years? Maybe you have been thinking of taking better care of yourself, but find a reason to put it off another day. Then that day becomes a week, then a month, a year, etc.
Do you have a project sitting in the closet that you will get to "one day"? Do you want to read that long novel, write a book or learn how to play an instrument when you have time?
What about that trip, that adventure, that vacation you are going to take when you have time and can afford it? When will that be?
Yes, we all fall into the trap of "one day when I have time/money" but the years pass and the dreams remain.
Many of my clients tell me that they spent a year or more thinking about taking better care of themselves, learning to eat properly and beginning an exercise program. As we progress into their program, nearly all of them say "I wish I had started sooner". Their sense of accomplishment, improved confidence, and the pride they feel when they reach their goal is incredible! They set a goal, did the work and made real, positive changes.
When was the last time you felt proud of yourself? When was the last time you challenged yourself, worked hard, and met your goal?
Of course much of my focus is on improving health, but that does not mean just proper diet and exercise. Certainly those are 2 big components that are lacking in many lives, but I take a more holistic approach. I know many things contribute to a healthy You. Relationships, stress management, your occupation, emotions and your living environment all contribute. I have found, however, that once a person improves her physical health many of the other factors improve also.
Improved health gives you more energy to be productive at work and more fully engaged in your relationships. The stress of doctor visits, pills, and illness is reduced. All of these things work together to create You.
Personal growth, no matter what area it occurs in, keeps life interesting and fulfilling. As we continue to grow, our world expands and we learn to recognize possibilities and opportunities to create and enjoy a more gratifying and satisfying life.
As the kids hit the books, fill in their notebooks and cram for exams what will you accomplish in the next 16 weeks? Will you finish that project, read that book, or finally make the commitment to live a healthier life?
The start of a new school year is the perfect time to focus on your own personal growth. Your notebook pages are ready to be filled - how will you fill them?
Thanks so much for reading!
I hope I have inspired you to continue to grow, learn and experience new things. I am always inspired by others as they explore, set goals, overcome obstacles, and continue to enhance all aspects of their lives.
Each day I challenge myself to grow, whether it be personally, professionally, emotionally or spiritually. As I grow, I become a better, stronger, healthier, and more content version of me.
Better Health, Better Life, Better You