It is subtle. Yet, even in the adult years before parenthood, I felt the shift of back to school. One day it was summer and life seemed relaxed and playful, and then the next day was the first day of school and seriousness took hold. We try not to notice it, but it is still there. As parents, there is the prep to get ready, the race to Staples, the comparisons on teachers, the back-to-school shopping, the overall anticipation of the new school year eases out August and sets September in motion. For kids, there is excitement peppered with fear of the unknown, a joy to see friends, yet a weight of the accountability of a new school year. There is a seriousness that the back-to-school season ushers in. No one escapes it. No matter if you have children of your own, or if they are grown up, or if you do not have kids at all—back-to-school means back-to-life!
As adults, we can reap the rewards of just how impactful this time of year can be. Here are 6 ways that embracing a back-to-school mindset can propel you through a successful fall season and allow you to end the year with a bang!
Learn: Learning is a life-long project. There is always something to learn about. It matters little if we find that knowledge in a book, in a classroom, on-line, or in real life. The important thing is that we embrace newness, welcoming in what we do not know. At the core of this is our ability to be curious and to let curiosity continue to refresh and renew us. Learn to learn. It will tweak and reinvent your life each and every day. It is this same curiosity that allows you to step into and through the fears that may block you from achieving what you most want.
Be Accountable: With summer behind us, showing up on schedule, setting and defining your agenda, and then getting that agenda done hinges on not only your accountability to others, but on your accountability to yourself. Allow for flexibility within this to alter plans, to change course, to re-do when things don’t go as planned…but the important thing is that there is a course, and that you are actively doing and engaging. Summer slows us down. This pause permits us to have a lull before gearing up again. Are you willing to do the coursework and the homework required to be and stay accountable?
Concentrate: Focus on the top 3 items on your today list. Falling behind on to-do and time? Then ask yourself, “What can I do?” Power down the distractions long enough to power up the action steps. Class time is usually broken down into 45-minute to 90-minute windows of learning. That is because our minds can only stay on track for that long. When approaching your workday or any activity that you need to blitz through, break down that activity into small chunks. How can you use your “class time” to best work for you in more manageable pieces?
Play: Recess, study hall, sports, socializing with friends are a part of the school day. Make them part of your adult day as well. Take breaks; actually block them out on your schedule, so that you can celebrate yourself. Exercise, classes, hobbies, lunch with friends should be a part of every 24 hour cycle. This is the substance of life, the things that break up and then redirect and build up all the to-do and accomplishment. When we power down on work and overwhelm, we power up on possibility and wonder. We allow ourselves to recharge and reboot clearing a path for whatever is next in our lives.
Let Go/Let In: Most kids do not start the school year with broken pencils and dirty backpacks. Back-to-school sales generate over $800 billion dollars annually. This is possible because we think in terms of new clothes, new books, new school supplies, and new backpacks for our kids. They grow, their grades change, and their supply list is different every year. In order to embrace the new we dump a lot of the old. Two things cannot hold the same space. We cannot carry two backpacks, so we choose the new one. We can only pack one lunch, so we do it in the new lunchbox. We let go to let in. So, where can you let go of the clothes that no longer fit in your closet, or the job that is no longer making you happy, or that business relationship that is stressful? How can you apply the same thought process of new for back-to-school into your personal and professional life?
Create Forward Action: The last stretch of the year is filled with so much activity. It is also filled with thoughts of all the resolutions and goals we set for ourselves back in January that may or may not have been achieved. Want an A+? Then let go of the energy spent overthinking what you did not achieve and redirect it into taking forward action now. Pull out those resolutions and lists and tweak them in real time. What have you done and where were the successes? How can you do more of that? What is still actionable? What is no longer even something that you want? Now manifest! What can you do to end this year with the grade you want? The choice is yours!
Randi Levin CPC, founder & CEO, Randi Levin Coaching – is a nationally recognized transitional life strategist, Fortune 500 keynote, author, and reinvention expert. Randi supports women in becoming legends in their own lives! She works with emerging entrepreneurs and women in transition to redefine their legacy so that they can move from wanting success to living successfully. Randi is a legacy catalyst employing the power of today to curate, design, and drive choice and limitless growth. She is a relatable resource and an action-oriented coach building upon her 15 years in Corporate America, her tenure as a stay-at-home super mom, and her successful reinvent and pivot as an entrepreneur and sought-after life strategist. Randi Levin Coaching is widely quoted and featured in top media outlets and she is regularly a featured guest expert on podcasts, radio, and women’s panels. You may have seen her quoted or as a contributor in Thrive Global, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, Business Insider, American Express OPEN Forum, Working Mother Magazine, Better After 50, or Covey Club. Her workshops have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Randi is the creator of The Personal Success Accelerator System and a contributing author in the anthology series Get RESULTS!