In my mind, there are three times of year when the time always feels particularly ripe for new beginnings.
If I ask any person, when they most start thinking about changing their lives or developing new habits, they’re bound to say ‘New Year’: Well yes, of course – resolutions. It’s become a bit of a cliche but just knowing it’s the first day of the year suggests the possibility of change.
There’s a touch of the cliche about it even and a bit of a backlash. Sadly I often see a lot of cynicism about this on social media, but New Year can be a great launch pad for a new you.
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”Meister Eckhart
Spring is also a time when we can feel motivated to change now. The metaphor of regrowth and new beginnings all around us, and it is natural that our minds turn to our own rebirth and regeneration.
The most subtle time of year for deep change to take place, though, is the month of September. I personally find that this is the time of year when the largest number of people join my annual program and I have often pondered on why this is.
Why change now?
The most obvious reason might be the links with the educational calendar. Think about it: we have been taught, ever since we started school at around 4 or 5, or even earlier that September is the time for something new. A new term, a new academic year, a new school, these things are programmed into us on an annual basis. We expect things to be different, our teachers and parents will often promote the concept intentionally in the hope of inspiring us. We EXPECT change now!
Perhaps also, our minds have become fertile after the rest period that the summer holidays represent. Many will have had at least some opportunity to rest, regroup and relax somewhere away from home. In a new environment ideas can grow and what seemed impossible can suddenly seem possible.
The flip side is also true. While some have found the holidays relaxing, many parents will have actually found them very challenging. Having to care for your children on top of all of life’s other pressures can be overwhelming. It can often feel, by the end of the holidays that the time is ripe for new beginnings.
Do I need a new beginning?
As the yearly cycle completes, you can have a sense that you are repeating your mistakes. You can feel as though things are not changing fast enough, or even that you are sliding backwards. The beginning of a new ‘term’ is the perfect time to reflect on what has happened over the last 12 months. Think about what was good and what was bad in that past year, then ask yourself some questions:
- How would you like things to be in a year’s time, if you could make the changes you need to make?
- What would you stop doing?
- What would you have started?
- How would you look?
- How would you feel?
- What would others notice about you when you have changed?
- What would you want to keep hold of?
- What would you let go of?
Every day is a new beginning in itself. What would be the first thing you would change, today?