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The “New Year” of September—Four Tips for a Fresh Start

Where I live, summer is oh-so-short, and the opportunity to get outside, do every sporting event possible and pack in travel and camping is so very tantalizing.  Church attendance comes down, the pastor consistently reminds folks about giving, and Bible studies take a break.

The down side of this delicious conundrum is that it’s so very easy to let some good habits slip—early morning Bible reading, or a weekly industry review, a planned thinking time, a planned writing time, or a regular meeting with people who stimulate and challenge.

For me, my Bible study group has met sporadically for dinner, not study. We almost managed a focused Bible study at one of the meals, when we sat around a wood fire, with a Bible.  The sparks flew up in a distracting fireworks kind of way, while the stars popped out.  The mosquitoes eagerly bit into our legs, and the wonderful smell of the campfire casserole dish we had had for our meal hovered in the air. But just a few people were focused and able to contribute.  It was a great catch-up time.  But, if this were an every meeting thing, the group would not fulfill its stated purpose.

Is it time for a September reboot?  If you say yes, here’s tips to help with the transition back to focused habits—including working in your creative lane.

  1. Celebrate the joys of summer with an end of season event. What about an end of summer sharing party, where each person brings a photo of one of the summer highlights?  Or a family only time, where every member recounts what they loved best about the summer activities?  There’s something official about acknowledging the season, and pointing to the next that helps us return to important habits.
  2. Take one hour for personal review. Pray, and consider.  Write down a list of what needs to adjust, and the next steps needed to cause those things to happen.
  3. Spend a half hour organizing, cleaning or moving to your keepsake spot the reminders of your summer travels and adventures. This task opens  space for whatever you do with fall décor—and a new mental approach.
  4. Take a few minutes on your long Labor Day weekend to reboot and reorganize your calendar. This functions as your hub and can help keep you moving toward habits you want to reinstate. Consider if it is time to invest in a new planner, perhaps even a paper one.  Paper planners are popular even within our digital world, and there are many different set ups to match work styles.

All these tips boil down to one.  Be mindful, thoughtful and caring with yourself.  God gives each day to fill—and asks us to use it for His glory.


Jan Shober is a media analyst, blogger and Vice-president for Strategy for Finney Media, specializing in helping you create experiences that cause your audience to come back for more.

Jan began her media journey as a ten-year old with a neighborhood newspaper—and continued shadowing her love of words to work in radio. She spent time in South America working in international media and about twenty years with Focus on the Family first in creative for audio then in distributing media.

Her big reason for her work?  Her life mission to help more people grow in Jesus. See more about Jan’s journey at:




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