Emily reveals why setting her 'new year resolutions' in the summer has helped her achieve them.
I will confess right here and now that I really don't like January. Apologies to all those who have birthdays at this time of year but I think it's just the worst month. After too much partying and rich food, I generally feel bloated and sluggish, with nothing but the coldest, greyest days of winter yet to come.
For me, it's probably the worst time of the year to feel inspired, set myself challenging goals and consider my values and aspirations. August, however, is a different matter. Although I might eat and drink too much, it's normally of the Mediterranean variety (as opposed to stodgy roasts, gravy and Christmas pud), so I don't feel as morose. Nor are the skies above me a foreboding grey. They're a stunning blue - at least some of the time - and the sounds of clinking plates outside combined with the smells of BBQs and summer flowers make me feel positive.
Before you think I'm reminiscing about running through fields of farmers' wheat(!), my point is to suggest that this may be a better time of year to set oneself goals. At least, I think it is for me at least. I came to this revelation a couple of summers ago when I took time out on holiday to re-evaluate what I wanted from my career and set myself some new goals.
For me, I realised that this meant returning to the mainstream workforce in a role that would suit my life and external commitments. Having been a consultant for the last decade I knew that 'to get a job' would take a significant amount of prep. My CV, my LinkedIn, my interview skills, my confidence and the rest.
Empowered with this revelation and new goal, from September to December I set about getting my ducks in a row and had already had a couple of interviews under my belt by December, so when the holidays came around I felt an enormous sense of achievement and was on a roll, well underway to getting back into the workforce.
January therefore became a natural progression and continuation of following a resolution made while at my most positive and proactive, rather than trying to dredge up my lack-lustre spirit and force creativity on my desperate-to-hibernate self.
So, a few years on: I find myself in a job, writing stuff I love to write, in a company whose values align with mine. Not only do I feel blessed, but I must confess I think that may have been the first time ever that I've managed to achieve my resolutions.
Now I need to challenge myself once again to come up with some new August resolutions - to stretch myself, challenge my inner critic and confront my self-limiting beliefs. At least I know what my first one will be - to always make my resolutions in August.
What mid-year resolution will you choose?