Grey, pink and orange have all been the ‘new black’ but did you know that September is the ‘new January’?0
The school year
September was always our start to the school year. With fresh uniforms, updated pencil cases and renewed vigour from the activities of the summer break. So, if this start to the new academic year has always been the start of new things, why don’t we keep it going?
The New Year
Traditionally January, as the start of our calendar year is the time to start afresh, but it’s not necessarily the best and most productive month to try and adopt new habits; it’s cold, dark and wet, we have just gotten through the festivities of Christmas and are firmly in the most miserable, depressing time of year. Not very inspiring for changes and challenges.1
There are many figures quoted in the media from various studies over the years as to what New Year’s resolutions we make and how good we are at keeping them, and the most common ones (around 40%), tend to be focused around losing weight or getting fit and healthy.2 But with only just over 10% of us actually keeping them, usually because of a lack of motivation and commitment, then it’s worth rethinking when we should take on the challenge of pursuing them.2
September is a great month, as you still have the warm weather and light evenings before the clocks go back and the renewed energy from a summer break; all before our internal hibernation mode kicks in.3 You can set new challenges and goals, join new clubs and form new habits. In fact, by the end of the month they could be part of your new routine, as habits are said to be made or broken in just 21 days. As much as 40% of our daily behaviour is habitual, so those burning New Year’s resolutions that we never seem to keep, maybe it’s time to dust them off and give them a proper go?4
The great outdoors
Being outdoors for longer, whether it’s walking in the setting September sun, going for a run or a cycle, can bring you a whole host of benefits. Not only are you enjoying the last of the natural vitamin D supplements from the sun, but also the ever-changing scenery provides a mental stimulation that an indoors gym or fitness class just can’t match. Research has shown that being part of nature has physiological, as well as physical and psychological benefits, and we can burn up to 30% more calories outside too!5
There are seasonal English apples, blackberries, plums and pears all great for eating raw or making into a wholesome pie. And you can still keep your summer salads up for a bit longer with fresh and local lettuce, rocket and beetroot, as well as leeks, cabbage and carrots with their many documented health benefits.6 The soil association supports this principal by holding a month long campaign called Organic September, encouraging people to choose organic products in the shops.7
The summer may be coming to an end but don’t let your drive to achieve something for yourself diminish with it. Just think that when the New Year comes you may have already achieved your resolutions. Now that’s motivating!
References available on request.
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