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Why September is the best time to set New Year's Resolutions: A fresh perspective

Written by Eve Williams
2 minute read


Research shows that 23% of people quit their New Year's Resolution in the first week of January. And who can blame them? There is not an ounce of motivation within me that makes me want to start something fresh in January, even with the overwhelming sense of 'its what everyone else is doing'.   


But there's no doubt when September comes I feel a new sense of motivation kick in. Summer is over, school is back and work is picking up again. Goodbye annual leave. September is the new January.


"Goodbye annual leave. September is the new January."


Good timing has a lot to do with successful goal setting. Burnout from the holiday season paired with the big freeze of January doesn't prepare my mind and body for renewed intentions. With that, here's a few good reasons why jump-starting your intention setting in September may make them more successful.


September as a new beginning

Think, new school books and the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil. We're conditioned to think of September as a new beginning. It's a time when we mentally prepare ourselves for a new chapter. This is essentially the same mindset you want to have when setting a new goal. Ask yourself: where do you want to be this time next year? What changes can you make to your day-to-day routine to help you get there? How can you prepare?


Purpose brings motivation

Setting September resolutions or intentions means you're choosing to set goals for good reason. This can make you feel more motivated. The January, post-Christmas slump can make you feel like you need to reset from your holiday feasts, you make decisions from a place of "I have to" rather than "I want to" or "I get to". Having a purpose that's in line with your goals is the ultimate motivation to see them through and into the New Year.


Weather permitting

The weathers nicer. Do I need to say more? Let's be real – battling your way to the gym or starting your marathon training in January's darkness isn't exactly motivating. Whatever your goal is, come September the days are still long enough and light and positivity are on your side, making it way easier to stick to those resolutions (whether fitness related or not).


"Let's be real – battling your way to the gym or starting your marathon training in January's darkness isn't exactly motivating."



Reflect and reframe

By the time September rolls around, you've got a few good months of the year under your belt. You've learnt, grown, and maybe even wobbled a bit. Now, it's time to channel that experience into meaningful resolutions. Reflect on the past months and reframe your goals. It's like editing the first draft of your year, and September is your red pen.


I piloted this theory last year (not intentionally). September 2022 was when I started consciously exercising for my mental health and I'm still doing it today. Had I started in January, I may not have been still moving my body today. Not just because the weather makes me want to snuggle up and stay in bed but because the pressure and noise of January New Year's Resolutions doesn't allow for my own true reflection for what I want for myself shine through.


Now September has come around? What do you plan to accomplish? Can you reframe your potential New Years Resolution into a long-term plan that come New Year you've settled into and can explore further?