Fall is around the corner and with the changing of the seasons comes changing of mindset. September is Self Improvement Month, aka time to get back to the basics, set goals for yourself, and really focus on your well-being.

Whether you are caught up in your day-to-day work-home-sleep schedule and you want to make a major change, or you would simply like to drink more water throughout the day, we have a simple list of things that you can do during September to help you improve your mind and body.

1. Get Organized. Clean out all of the clutter, whether it be physical clutter that is piling up and causing you stress at home or work. Or, emotional clutter- negative thoughts that keep you from achieving your goals. A stress-free space promotes positivity and will make it easier for you to reach your mental and physical goals.

2. Be More Healthy. Create a meal plan that you will actually stick to. Only eat out once a week, cut down on the fried food, drink enough water, eat more fruits and vegetables, monitor your caffeine/sugar intake. All of these are easy goals that you can implement into your diet to help your body feel stronger and less sluggish.

3. Change Your Habits. Yup, way easier said than done. Current habits that make you feel less than your best didn’t become habits overnight. Start with one thing you can do differently that would make you feel better mentally or physically. If you tend to feel rushed or stressed in the mornings, spend 10-15 minutes prepping the night before. Find yourself plopping down on the couch immediately after work? Take a walk around your building or parking lot before getting in the car to head home. Always reaching for that soda or sugary snack at a certain time of day and feeling guilty afterward? Replace it one or two days a week with an alternative that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself. Regardless of what habits you want to change, focus on how you feel when you make an adjustment. Harness the positive feelings from the changes you make to keep yourself on track.

4. Get Out and Go. Plan a vacation or stay-cation. You could go take a trip across the world or build a fort in the living room. Just unplug yourself for a weekend (or longer) and don’t do anything work-related. It will give your mind the time it needs to rest and recoup.

5. Start Saving. It’s simple; pay your bills/loans, set a budget, and check your financial accounts daily. You could even set up an additional account and set a goal amount to put in each month. Having financial freedom, or at least some financial wiggle room, will take a giant weight off of your shoulders.

6. Don’t Be Complacent. If you aren’t happy in your career or relationship, leave. It may be complicated and seem scary, but your happiness is suffering because you are doing or are with someone that is bringing you down physically and emotionally. Do something for yourself and get the courage to get out, there will always be another partner or career, you just have to go find them.

7. Relax. It may seem impossible to find free time in your hectic day/week. This is why you need to make time to do something that relaxes you. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time (but it certainly can be). Take ten minutes to do something that will put your mind in a positive place and get you ready to take the rest of the day or night. Some easy examples include taking breathing exercises, meditating, taking a short walk, listening to music or podcasts, getting a massage, or even just sitting with your eyes closed for a few minutes.

8. Challenge Yourself. Set attainable goals and create step-by-step plans to accomplish them. What do you want to do but always seem to find a reason not to? but you have yet to accomplish it make a goal for yourself to get it done within a certain time frame. The best way to keep the motivation to accomplish goals is to write them down physically and place them somewhere that you will see them often like the mirror or on the fridge. Write the end date on the bottom in big letters as a reminder of when you want them accomplished. Try and tell as many people as you can about your goals, so they can help hold you accountable.

It is important to remember that making changes to improve yourself may not happen overnight. There will be times you stumble. Eat ice cream three nights in a row and pass out watching Netflix? Spend a little too frivolously since last pay day? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to be more conscious of your decisions. Self-improvement is an investment in yourself! Take it one day at a time, keep your goals in mind, and never give up.

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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