Autumn is the start of academic and school years, a pattern so ingrained that a visit to any high-street stationer gets many of us piling our baskets with files and folders and pens, even though our Back to School days are long gone.
January is the worst possible month for making demands of ourselves. The festive season has left us bloated and broke, the weather is cold and damp and miserable and there are 60 days to get through before the slightest glimmer of spring lightens our spirits.
So what do? Pile on the agony by determining to start that diet everyone’s talking about (or at least buy the book), get up at dawn to go to the gym, stop drinking (or at least move the hands of wine o’clock forward a little), clear the clutter, learn a language, etc.
No wonder so many resolutions fail. We make them at a point which seems logical, the start of the calendar year, but underestimate the emotional and psychological effects of a grim month which hasn’t even the grace to be one of the short ones.
September is a poetic month, a romantic one. It has inspired numerous songs. Carole King sang It Might As Well Rain Until September, adopted as the anthem of teenagers on enforced family holidays counting the days until going home time. Brain Hyland sealed the letter to his girl friend with a kiss as they pledged to meet again in September. My favourite is the 1937 song, September In The Rain,which has been recorded by scores of artists, the most memorable one for me being Dinah Washington’s bluesy, jazzy version.
What better time to resolve to develop the way you communicate with other people?. This might be a good time to start to listen to people, to start to behave more assertively, to write the letter, make the call, send the text or email that will initiate or consolidate a connection.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a good September resolution and making it work.
- Choose one thing you would like to do that will enhance and improve your communication.
- Write it down.
- Choose one action that will get you going.
- Perform the action.
- Write down that you have done it.
- Reward yourself.
- Repeat with more actions.
When you are ready, choose another area to work on.
Notice your new confidence, and the new voice which is yours.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.’
Four Quartets, T S Eliot
The year will roll on into the new calendar year and you will already be up and running.