In some ways, September is becoming the new January.  Many people are moving away from the idea of New Year’s resolutions.  January can be a bad time to start new habits like eating better or exercising more.  It’s cold and wet and that puts you off going out for a run. Diet wise we feel the need for comfort foods which tend to be hearty and filling, rather than light on calories.

So if January is a bad time for new resolutions, then when should we look to start?  Some people like the idea of the spring, as the weather gets better. The coming of the improving weather is a good time to get the motivation to make exercise and diet changes.

But September is associated in our minds with the start of the academic year – that’s engrained in us since childhood.  It still feels like a good time to start afresh.  You can even get new diaries that start in September.  It’s a great time to make other changes in your life:  to become more organised; learn a new skill; take up a new hobby, or flex your creative muscles.

Learn a new skill

Practising a new and challenging activity is a great way of building and maintaining your cognitive skills.  Think of it as a way of keeping your brain young.  You could learn a new language to speak on your next holiday.  Starting in September will give you a good chance of being able to make yourself understood next summer.

Become more organised

There are loads of tools available to help you focus on what’s important to you and to aid you in achieving your goals.  Try reading a few self-help books and maybe treat yourself to a new planner to keep you motivated along the way.

Be more creative

If you have always wanted to write a book or pick up a paintbrush, then now is the time to do it.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment or training courses, just get started writing or drawing.  Doing something regularly and often (ideally every day) will soon help you develop new ideas and revive long dormant skills.


Helping your community can fill you with a sense of purpose and you’ll feel more connected to the people and places around you.  It’s a great way to meet more people and learn new skills.  Helping others is a great way to destress too.

Take up a new hobby

If you have always wanted to be able to play golf or take up DIY or you’ve been meaning to try fishing for ages, then find a local club or venue and just do it.  Many clubs have open days, courses for beginners, etc which are great ways of getting started.  You’ll meet local people and learn something new.  Pop into your local community centre to see what they offer or just google your chosen pastime and your area to see what’s available nearby.

How to be more creative and make better use of your time