By Nadine Araksi Silverthorne, Toronto-based Storytelling Coach

Possibility Feels Fresh and Crisp

I crave that back-to-school feeling of fresh pens and notebooks, a crisp new outfit, the excitement of learning my new schedule and seeing who is in which classes with me. Right? Yes, even though I know everything is going to be different this year for the real students (and the humans who nag them to do their homework). Just like my children’s bedtimes have slipped later and later as the summer went on, a few of my better habits have slipped of late. That back-to-school feel makes me want to get back on track.

Having a great summer is part of my vision for my best life. I want to be outside and on vacation for lots of it. Through observing my behaviour and my resistance points the past three months, I’ve noticed that making my summer fantasies a reality has caused some misalignment with my other goals. Steph likes to cover off the many forms of entitlement humans use to get out of doing the work they need to do to achieve their goals and vision, including Tired Entitlement (“But I’m tired today, so I deserve to watch Netflix instead of apply for a new job…”), Stress Entitlement (“I’m so stressed! I deserve to buy this thing on Amazon, even though I’m paying on credit and likely doing my future self a disservice) and my personal favourite: Global Pandemic Entitlement (“I’d work out, but the gym is closed and there’s a pandemic and I can’t really prioritize my fitness right now…”). Perhaps by putting off the work towards my vision for the fun of a sunny day I’ve been a bit guilty of Summer Entitlement?

Summer Entitlement

My Star Goal (the big goal we ask clients to write about in the present moment, as though they’ve already achieved it) is, “I’m so happy and grateful to be earning $150K by December 2020, changing lives through changing my habits, telling my stories while helping people and businesses tell theirs.” One of my support goals to ladder into this goal was to publish 12 articles by December (I’ve published three so far). And while I’m writing blog posts and newsletters for Kickstartology, what I really mean by this is to have my work appear in other publications and websites. My vision is to be on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations (or the like) by the time I’m 50, and I know publishing articles and writing “the book” are key to making this dream come true.

But it’s summer, so beaches and time with the kids have taken the front seat, because carpe diem and all that (or YOLO, as the kids say). I’ve been a bit lax in many areas of life and it’s time to evaluate whether it’s my goals or my choices that need revisiting. There are only so many blocks of free time to dedicate to what I want for myself and if I don’t connect with my vision daily, sometimes my old habits get the better of me. There’s been the surprising addition of a love interest, which is distracting in the most fun way. (And remember, I have a passionate make out session on my vision board, so I’m still aligned there!) Yet I can’t help feeling like I need that September feeling to kick things back into gear and make some crisp as apple pie decisions on where I am going and what I’m going to commit to doing differently to get there.

My September Reset

A successful back-to-school feeling for me means determination defined by decision and commitment, the dedication and thrill of falling in love with an idea of who I can be at my best. We never know how a school year is going to go, but this year feels particularly murky. How do I set myself up for success (and how do I define success)? For me this could look like hitting my regular exercise and meditation habit targets, which have the byproduct of putting me in a better mood. When I’m in a better mood, I have good energy to put into work, colleagues and kids. It could look like approaching writing my book with more commitment, blocking time after the kids have gone to bed because I know that finishing that book is going to feel better than scrolling Instagram mindlessly.

When my life is aligned to my vision, I feel like I’ve colour-coded by subject in my binder. I feel like there’s an agenda and a flow to my days. Don’t you crave that new pencil case feeling?

Do You Want a September Reset?

Maybe you’re feeling bored, or you’re tired of all the times you enable yourself to opt-out of a better habit. If you’re feeling a bit restless, a bit like you know something needs to change and you need some accountability to get back on track, join us at Kickstartology. Even if you are reading this in May.


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