August is the new January.
After 13 to 17 years of being students ourselves, now many of us are parents with more school beginnings for our own kids. All these August back-to-school days wire our brains to make us feel like the start of a new school year is a new beginning—even if we’re no longer in school. And it really is a fresh start for everyone—adults included.
Why a new school year is the perfect time for a fresh start
Even if you’re not a parent of school-aged children, the first-day photos that flood your Facebook wall, the flashing school zone signs, and big yellow busses back on the road—all trigger that “new year” feeling you’ve had for so many years in school.
Here’s why it really is the perfect occasion to make some time for yourself and concentrate on things that you need, including your health and fitness:
- It’s the perfect time to make new fitness goals. The days are still warm, and this invites more activity than the cold days of January when many people make their fitness resolutions. The gyms aren’t as crowded as they will be at the start of the new year. Plus, if you start now, think about how far ahead you’ll be of everyone else that starts next January!
- Fall just forces a built-in momentum. Those lazy days of summer are over, and things naturally become more structured: mealtimes, bedtimes, after-school activities, etc.
- New routines inevitably get established at the start of a new school year.
- If you’re a stay-at-home parent, work from home, or have a flexible work schedule, you really do have more time to schedule for yourself while your kids are at school all day. And as one of our recent blog posts discussed, this isn’t selfish, it’s selfless! So if you have flexibility in your daily schedule, give yourself some time to become a healthier you. Your whole family will benefit.
5 ways to set yourself up for success
1) Routines get reset in the fall, especially if you have school-aged kids at home. Take this opportunity to set up a routine that fits what you want to accomplish this year. Schedules are in flux at the beginning, and you can build the routines you want now. (Routines are so important to your success; we’re going to have an entire blog post on that later this month.)
2) Bedtimes makes a comeback. Summer can lead to late nights for everyone, and that’s fun for a while. But fall is the time to rein it back in. It may be a fight at first, but establishing a good bedtime for your kids gives them the rest they need. It also gives you some time to relax and the ability to get in bed at a good time yourself. When you get enough sleep, you’ll feel ready to meet your new exercise commitments the next day.
3) Give your kids more responsibilities. Your kids are getting older, so it’s a good thing to give them a few new responsibilities as you’re setting up a new routine. We know they’re busy too, but it’s good for everyone when the kids learn to handle a few responsibilities such as lunch prep for the next day, or loading the dishwasher, their own laundry, pet care…all depending on their age and available time.
4) Say no when you need to—right from the start of this new school year. Realize that every yes you give, is really a no to something else. Don’t say yes to too much! Guard your time for what you want to accomplish.
5) Remember that our personal training sessions at Jesse James Fit and most of our Outlaw FitCamp classes are half an hour. We know you’re busy, but if you can commit to half an hour of fitness, we’ll get you in and out of the gym with an efficient, effective workout in no time.
August really is the new January!
We’ve been conditioned since the time we were children that fall is the time of new beginnings. Many people find it’s easier to get motivated to start a new routine and work on improving habits in the sunny days of August, than the dreary cold ones of January.
In fact, an August survey on Pinterest surveyed 2000 adults. Almost 70% of them said that small improvements in the fall were easier for them to achieve than New Years’ resolutions.
When school starts this year, take advantage of this perfect time to start a new routine. Set aside time to increase your fitness level and work on your health. Contact us today about personal training sessions or group exercise classes for a great start to your “new year.”