Yes, it is true that summer ends and September rolls around. For all of us, even those who do not work within an academic calendar, September can tend to carry a preset mindset. For many that preset mindset can represent stepping back in the box, the opposite of “Thinking outside the box” which was the theme of my June column. By stepping back inside the box we must adjust to what can be tighter schedules, more “to do’s”, new challenges with new teachers, classrooms, schools, academic material, new friends, etc. For some, there can be an actual grief experienced with the loss of the freedom that summer can offer.
I would like to suggest an alternative strategy that can be very powerful in helping us navigate the transition from summer to fall. If we take preset mindset and add reset to it we give ourselves a tool for mentally adjusting to the challenges the come with change and transition.
Reset involves a number of steps:
- First, breathe
- Second, cognitively rescript with positive openness for being in the moment and allowing the moments to unfold
- Third, use mind’s eye imagery to develop a mental picture of calmly accepting and walking
through each daily change and challenge
- Fourth, talk honestly about your desire to approach preset mindset to reset and ask for help if you are struggling
- Fifth, take it one day at a time, use baby steps as you develop a new mindset that is positive, open, and future leaning
- Sixth, reward and reinforce yourself with bravos as you carefully, deliberately and with intentionality shift your mindset to embracing each new day. This process acknowledges the importance of finding something each day that we have learned, that has made us smile, that has done something for the betterment of our world around us.
May we all start to live with a reset mindset.