Why You Should Set Goals in September — And 5 Ways to Start

You can feel it in the air — the late-afternoon heavy and hot temperatures turn cool as the evening arrives and the sun starts to set earlier and earlier. The end of summer seems like a surprise and September feels like a new beginning, whether we’re going back to school or not. Old habits are hard to break, and the Monday after Labour Day arrives like the new year — an opportunity to make changes in your routineand start setting goals.

Here are five easy ways to kick start a new mindset, even if it’s not your new school year.

Refresh your wardrobe

The idea that what we wear represents who we are and what we stand for is very real. And as we begin to socialize, head back to the office and attend events and appointments again, it’s the perfect time to assess whether we’re telling our best story. “Think about what you’ve missed wearing over the past couple of years, and what you’d like to hold onto when it comes to your style evolution,” says Vancouver-based stylist Jacob Tracey. “You can translate the comfort of sweats into looser cut trousers or fabric that lets you move, while still looking like you’ve made an effort."

Sort and organize files

No matter where you work, a full day of back-to-back meetings and deadlines doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to put some simple solutions into practice. This fall season, consider doing a mini, Marie Kondo-style purge. Each workday, dedicate 10 minutes as you’re winding down to go through your belongings. The goal? Master file organization [search volume: 210] by streamlining and simplifying. Wonder why you’re holding onto those files (hardcopy or digital) from three years ago? Three months ago? Three weeks ago? If you don’t need them, ditch them.

Overwhelming inboxes, file organizers and computer storage can be as unproductive as a messy desk. According to Angela Crocker, author of Declutter Your Data, start with the category of data that is most important to you, then downsize. In her book, Crocker states that you don’t have to get rid of everything, but when you decide what you’re keeping, create a consistent way to organize files.Using nesting folders or naming conventions are just some of the ways you can streamline your information.

Learn new skills

Upgrading your skills can help you advance your career and set you on an upward trajectory. From work-related goals to personal pursuitsand passion projects, learning online allows you the flexibility to work it into your schedule and increases the likelihood that you will stick with it. Coursera offers a wide variety of learning streams from accredited institutions including the University of Alberta and the University of Michigan, while a learning environment like Masterclass allows you to try your hand at more lifestyle-driven learning. And be sure to check out Staples’ Spotlight Virtual events - you’ll find free speaker sessions and classes on everything from upgrading your drawingskills to learning how to code.

Career networkIRL

Now is the perfect time to expand our networks and work on bringing together those who inspire us, can help us make connections and who can be part of our success story. But meeting people isn’t always easy. Coach Lindy Moles admits that making connections can be challenging, but “setting goals for yourself can help you achieve what you’re after.” Moles suggests setting weekly, monthly and quarterly goals — whether that’s attending conferences yearly, connecting with up to five individuals on LinkedIn monthly, or booking weekly coffee chats.

Learn how to set personal boundaries at work

Setting boundaries and drawing lines between work and non-worktime is key to shifting mindsets and taking care of our mental health. Spend free time focused on the activities that increase your serotonin and when it’s time for work, stay in the zone to ensure efficiency and achieve the feeling of accomplishment. “Being able to cross things off a to-do list is key to satisfaction,” says Moles. The best way to do that is to make sure you’re well rested, satisfied and focused on whatever task is at hand. You can even schedule in free time to make sure you stick to your boundaries and make the time you need to recharge.

By Staples Canada

August 29, 2022