September Resolutions?

I have always felt that September is a much more reasonable time for contemplating new beginnings than January, in the dead of winter when everyone is exhausted after a whirlwind of holiday parties.  The brisk back-to-work, back-to-school energy always makes me feel energetic too—ready to tackle new projects, learn new things, begin a “new year.”

So as I sat at the side of a lake on a quiet day in late August, contemplating my return to my usual schedule, I had the thought that maybe this would be a good time for some September resolutions—we could call them “New Years Resolutions Lite.”

Instead of making those heavy, daunting New Years resolutions that for so many people evoke cynicism and dread about breaking them before the new year has even begun—why not pick a few manageable, simple downsizing-the-home tasks to complete before that Other New Year begins?

Maybe just choose one task for each month.

These tasks could (and should, I think) be rather modest in scope. A collection of  childhood photos sorted and made into a welcome-home photo album before the first college-bound kid in your family returns for Thanksgiving. Two boxes of old letters from your parents or grandparents, at least opened and reviewed (if not read) before Christmas, so you can share (or preserve) whatever may be worth sharing or preserving with relatives at the family holiday celebration. Those boxes of kids books you’ve been trying to let go of finally delivered to a preschool or school library, where kids can enjoy them (saving just a few, for those grandchildren you hope may be visiting one day). A couple of hours a month devoted to doing the online research you’ve been putting off to find out for once and for all whether some of those odd things around the house are “worth something” (as some members of your family think) or are more appropriate for donation to the local thrift shop (as others have been suggesting).

The tasks you choose to assign yourself for this season could be kept very private—no one but you needs to know what your September Resolutions are.

Who knows? Maybe with lower expectations, and no fanfare, we might actually get something done!

Happy September, everyone!



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