September is Self-Improvement Month
● By Patrick John
By Patrick John
Vacation season is mostly over. Kids are back in school. Summer’s nearing an end. This is the time of year when many of us sink back into the groove of average daily life. It doesn’t HAVE to be that way. We don’t have to keep doing the normal routine. September is Self-Improvement Month, a chance to embrace the things that make us look better, feel more confident, refresh our minds creatively and enhance our relationships with friends and family.
When polled about top regrets in life, one of the most common responses was not chasing earlier aspirations in life. Most said they abandoned those ideas for the sake of being practical, saving money or raising a family. Dip your toe back in those dream waters. Wanted to be a fighter pilot? Maybe taking flight lessons locally can satisfy some of that regret. Sights set on a job in the creative world, but settled for a nine-to-five? Take a photography class, start painting at home or write a short story. Always dreamed of traveling the world? Subscribe to a travel magazine, talk to a travel agent and start saving for the trip that got away. Baby steps…slow and steady gets you there.
Not spending enough time with friends and family was a topic many felt regretful, and even guilty, about. If you haven’t seen Grandma in awhile, haven’t spoken with a sibling recently or can’t remember the names of nieces and nephews, you’re not alone. We get so busy with our own lives, it’s hard to track what the whole family is doing. Simple start – do a little housecleaning on Facebook and other social media. If you don’t want to unfriend someone, just hide them for now. That will make it easier to see posts from just close family and friends. Be honest – if you want to contact someone, tell them you’ve been a lax friend or family member and want to reconnect. Now that we’re used to hiding behind a screen, a phone call or video chat goes a long way.
Looking better typically translates into feeling better, then into being happier. Overdue for a medical or dental visit? Book those appointments this month and get them off the to-do list. Relief is what you’ll feel after that’s over, and it won’t be hanging in the back of your mind. It may also stimulate exercise and other disciplines you’ve been lacking. Not happy with your appearance? Start walking once or twice a week, join a gym or enlist friends to take a class with you. Maybe it’s time to clear out the closet and ditch those clothes you haven’t worn in the last year. Try this: Turn all your hangers backwards until you wear that item. After a few months, look at how many backwards hangers are left and donate or sell those clothes.
This topic could go on and on. The Human Condition is why self-improvement and motivation books, websites, seminars and blogs are so popular. Try one of these ideas out, or come up with one of your own…you have the whole month to do it!