Why Going Back to School Isn’t only a fresh start for the kids:

Back-to-school is my favorite time of the year. Not because I’m ready for my kids to go back or because I’m craving a return to routine but because, in my house, it’s time for a fresh-start. January 1st comes and goes with barely a notice; resolutions are made half-heartedly with not real conviction. I think that’s because in my mind, the year starts in September.

July and August are months of reflection and planning and goal-setting. This summer we decided to take the dudes to Disneyland in the fall, we reclaimed cluttered spaces in our house, and I signed up for two online trainings for work. We also organized the dudes’ closets, did a clothing purge and my husband trained and ran his first 10K.

As August is rolling to an end, I’m rushing full steam ahead but I’m already starting to feel things start to unravel here and there.  My summer enthusiasm now requires action and structure. More than just planning, I’m into the doing phase of all of these projects. Trip documents need to get organized. Clothes need to be donated. We still have clutter to tackle. Online trainings come with required readings. Now it’s time to work. And, of course, I’m being pulled in so many directions.

I open Facebook and I’m slammed with articles reminding me to make the most of the rest of summer, make sure I plan the world’s best lunches, start the year off right with the dudes’ teachers, make sure my wardrobe is fall-ready and that I don’t neglect my husband. It can be hard to set and stick to my priorities when every day I am distracted by the “next” thing I need to be working on. This is the time of year that I need those “keep your resolutions” articles.  So in case, you are like me and consider back-to-school to be the fresh-start to the year, keep the following things in mind.

  1. You get to set the priorities in your life. If your kids are happy with the same lunch you packed last year, put the Bento box down and send the same lunch you always pack. If lunches are a priority for you and go-ahead and Pintrest away. But spend your time on the things that matter to you.
  2. What we schedule becomes what’s important. Okay, that’s a little touchy-feely, I winced when I typed it but it is advice that keeps my life on track. I need to look at the hours I have in a day and figure out exactly when I’m going to get to all the important things in my life. If I don’t schedule it, then it becomes easy to never actually do it.
  3. Share your goals or don’t depending on what’s right for you. The standard advice is to share your goals as a way to keep yourself accountable. And if that works for you then share away.  But for some people, sharing their goals with other people makes them less likely to achieve them. Figure out which one you are and then act accordingly. I’m a sharer so my husband and sister get to keep me on track.

There is something magical about the excitement and enthusiasm of back-to-school and it’s not just our kids who can feel it.  We can get swept away by the power of fresh-starts and new beginnings but the trick is to keep that momentum going all year long.



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