On Doing Things Differently

Ah, September—the month for transition. We can’t really say here in San Diego that the seasons noticeably change (Although if you pay attention, watch closely, you will notice it’s getting darker earlier and more quickly, and the light has a different character.), but the month is still associated with a shift in attitude as we acknowledge the end of summer and focus on back to work and back to school. Even children (or especially children?) notice this, and I remember growing up feeling that sense of warring disappointment that summer was over versus the excitement of a fresh beginning, a new classroom, a new teacher who might do things differently. What if as an adult, I could revive that feeling of a fresh start? Sure, my September isn’t much different from my July these days, but what if I chose to make it so? What if I didn’t save all my adjustments for January 1st and instead incorporated a few small healthy changes on September 1st?

I’ve been focusing on sustainability this year, and I’ve found that as my work-life, home-life, and family-life change, it requires Doing Things Differently. I’ve been an evening exerciser in order to clear my head at the end of my days for the last decade, but now I accept that I have joined the 5:30 AM crowd in order to ensure I won’t skip out on exercise due to last minute opportunities at the office. (There is always *one* more thing I can do. Have you seen the new retail bags?) Also, instead of cooking 4 dishes on Sunday evenings to provide food for my week, I’ve switched to spending that time with family and friends and started relying on template-style quick meals during the week, where I have all the healthy components ready in the fridge and I simply have to assemble.

Here are a few other inspirations for doing things differently this month. Do any of them resonate? When we wake up our routines, it can allow our brains to work a bit differently and sometimes bring clarity.

1.     Walk a different route. Seriously, I’m a creature of habit and tend to walk my dog in the exact same pattern. Choose a different street and consciously notice the houses, the yards, and the people.
2.     Spend your fun money a different way. Spent $20 on Netflix last month? Use it this month to go to an amusement park or something similarly out of character.
3.     Sleep on the other side of your bed.
4.     Blend something other than fruit or greens.
5.     Make a new friend.