Since ancient times, September has been viewed as the beginning of a new year, a time for reflection and resolution. Jews observe the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of public and private atonement, a sacred withdrawal from the world for twenty-four hours in order to become right with God and others, so that real life might be renewed with passion and purpose. Change in the natural world is subtle but relentless; seasons seem to give way gently to one another, even if the monthly motion is so swift we don't realize we're moving. But when the leaves start turning colors, it's time for turning over a personal new leaf so that our lives might be restored. "What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm." Katharine Elizabeth Fite wrote in Good Housekeeping in 1949, urging the beginning of a new tradition for women; personal and positive resolutions in September. "Why do you suppose so many of us waste the autumn? Why don't we make the effort that would provide something new in our lives?" January's negative resolutions "are made when we are worn out in spirit, body, and pocketbook, and have no real urge to do anything but rest."
It seems to me that January resolutions are about will; September resolutions are about authentic wants. What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life you're leading? It could be as simple as seeing friends more often, setting aside time to have adventures with your children while they still want your companionship, rekindling romance in your daily round, calling a solitary hour a day your own, or just taking more walks in the dazzling sunshine.
The beauty of autumnal resolutions is that no one else knows we're making them. Autumnal resolutions don't require horns, confetti, and champagne. September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change. I can try to do that. So can you.
Quote from Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach