As the sun-soaked days of summer gradually give way to the gentle rustle of falling leaves, there’s a sense of transition in the air that’s hard to ignore. September, often dubbed the “second January,” holds a unique charm for professionals, executives, and leaders seeking to recalibrate their focus and reignite their ambitions. Just as January marks the start of a new year, September brings the opportunity for a fresh start—a chance to realign priorities, set new goals, and implement positive habits.

Habits and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin has long embraced the month as another January, writing that: “September feels charged with possibility and promise. Even though I haven’t been in a classroom myself for many years, September still has the back-to-school atmosphere of a clean slate.” Research has also found that September is one of the biggest months for enrolling in weight-loss programs, going to the gym, and cooking at home – it’s a time of new routines and new expectations. 

Embrace the Back to School Mentality

Remember the excitement of starting a new school year? The crisp notebooks, the unopened textbooks, and the anticipation of learning something new? That sense of renewal can be harnessed even in the corporate world. September is an ideal time to step into a “back to school” mindset. Embrace the idea of continuous learning and growth, whether it’s acquiring a new skill, exploring innovative strategies, or simply expanding your knowledge base. Investing in your personal and professional development will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run.

Goal Setting and Goal Getting

Just as students set academic goals at the beginning of the school year, in the world of work we can take this time to set our own objectives. Reflect on the goals you had set earlier in the year and reevaluate your progress. Did you achieve what you aimed for? Are there areas that need more attention? Use September to reset your goals and break them down into actionable steps. Remember to factor in the unexpected as I recommend in my book, What’s Your Catalyst?: With so many things happening in your life beyond your control, the ability to plan includes the need to be proactive (thinking ahead) and adaptive (responding to change). The combination will allow you to create a plan for life that accounts for life!

Building Habits for Success

Habits are the building blocks of success. They are the small, consistent actions that compound over time to create significant change. As you embrace the September renaissance, consider focusing on habit building. Identify the habits that align with your professional objectives and start small. Whether it’s dedicating a specific time for strategic planning, practicing daily mindfulness, or allocating time for skill development, these habits can propel you toward your goals.


September goal setting Alana M Hill

Five Tips for a Supercharged September

  1. Reflect and Reset: Take time to reflect on your achievements, learnings, and challenges over the past months. Use this insight to set clear intentions for the upcoming months.
  2. Prioritize Your Goals: Narrow down your goals to the most important ones. Overcommitting can lead to burnout, so be strategic in your choices.
  3. Plan Strategically: Create a detailed plan for achieving your goals. Break them down into smaller tasks and allocate time for each.
  4. Network and Collaborate: Connect with peers, mentors, and colleagues to exchange insights and collaborate on projects that align with your goals.
  5. Celebrate Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. This positive reinforcement will keep you motivated.

As the warmth of summer transitions into the autumn breeze, seize the opportunity to reinvent yourself and your professional trajectory. Embrace September as your second January—a time to refocus, renew, and revitalize your journey toward success.