As you may have noticed if you live in the northern hemisphere, my favourite season is coming. The physalis is turning orange, plums are all over the market, and regular newscasters are back on TV after weeks of summer holidays. September is also the season for renewal - new activities, timetable, stationery, resolutions, and learning...
Apart from the new agendas, notebooks and scented candles, to me, the back to school season is an opportunity to refresh the "life plan" : what do you want for your life? Where are you at regarding resolutions you took at the beginning of the year? How are your projects and objectives going?
Assessing daily habits and reaffirming objectivesIt is said that what you do every day forges who you are. No matter your objectives - may it be in terms of simplification, life meaning, career, family, creative pursuits - it is with small daily steps that you see a big change after weeks, months and years.
But daily life is tricky : after the high of taking resolutions (may it be at the beginning of the new year or whenever you get to snap out of automatic habits to decide for a change), the daily obligations and routine creeps back in. Which is normal. One needs to work, clean, prepare food... With time, some good habits become natural and others become forgotten.
That's why I believe it is very positive to have these small rituals - the new year's resolutions and the back to school assessment, in my case - to snap out of daily life, take a look at how your objectives are going and rectify the course if need be.
Plus, it is the occasion to get a new agenda, try out new organisation methods, and, why not, do a bit of end of summer editing and minimizing!
Learning, alwaysTo me, the back to school season is also the symbol of learning new things, getting new classes and activities for the year to come. I've always been one of these weird children who actually liked to learn and enjoyed going back to school in september.
As an adult, it is too easy to get caught up in life and stop learning. But learning new things keeps life exciting, the brain on top of its shape and makes daily life a little less dull and a little more exciting.
It can be a time to look for a new professor, register at a club for new activities, night classes or even a MOOC!
This week, I have registered to a new Coursera MOOC that might be of interest to you if you are following this blog: A life of happiness and fulfillment
Why do I like it? The idea from the Dr. Rajagopal Raghunatha, a marketing professor, was that the former students from his marketing school who had the best career were not necessarily the happiest ones. Business school doesn't teach people about life fulfillment. So he decided to start a class about how to be "happy smart", meaning understanding how happiness works in our brains to craft our own life fulfillment.
Similar to the Science of Happiness MOOC I took last year (and which is opening again soon if you are interested), this course is about all the studies on the human brain and what makes us happy or unhappy. As a very rational person, this scientific approach to well-being suits me well.
If you are interested in joining that MOOC, classes start this week and the first assignment is for September 4, although you can ignore assignments and simply learn the course materials. Chances are this will provide inspiration for future posts on the blog.
What about you? What does september mean to you? Do you have rituals for new beginnings, assessments and motivation boosts?