Feeling that back-to-school adrenaline even though you’re no longer in school? Take advantage of this time of fresh starts to move closer toward your goals.
Whether you’ve been out of school for three months (congrats, grad!) or 10 years, there’s something about those back-to-school commercials, sales in malls throughout the country and yellow school buses hitting the road once again that creates an undeniable energy in the air.
While every day is a new chance to begin reaching a goal, feeding off that can be a great way to get a running start. With so many people around you setting goals and vowing to turn over a new leaf, allow yourself to get swept up in the excitement and reignite your passion for whatever dream it is you’re trying to achieve.
Here are four easy ways you can apply the back-to-school mentality to reach your goals this fall—and beyond.
1. Wipe your slate clean
One of my favorite things about beginning a new school year was the chance to start over; embracing the feeling of “I can be whoever I want to be and accomplish whatever I want to accomplish this year.”
If you haven’t been focused on your goals this summer, look at September as a clean, blank slate. A new start. Forget about the barriers that held you back from going full-throttle at your goal in the past and look toward the future as a brand new opportunity to do something great.
2. Pick up a new skill
Always wanted to learn a new language? Or maybe finally enroll in that Photoshop class to kick off your photography biz? With many community colleges and adult schools starting new semesters in early fall, now is the perfect time to enroll in a class to pick up a new skill or hone an existing one.
If you can’t physically take a course, consider checking out sites like , a community marketplace for classes with an option to take hybrid (online) classes. Or, sign up for ’ for a free, weekly dose of inspiration and advice.
3. Get organized
Goals feel less daunting when you break them down into manageable chunks and create a solid plan. Consider pulling out that dusty old pen and paper planner or getting comfortable with your favorite online calendar. (I swear by .) Visually laying out your schedule along with self-imposed goal deadlines makes it that much easier to conquer the mountain ahead.
Take some time to research and download different productivity apps on your smartphone. You may find a new favorite to do list app (, and all come highly recommended) or tool to help you manage and reach your goals.
4. Take advantage of back-to-school sales
Walk, don’t run, to your nearest Target!
I’m certainly not encouraging you to drop last week’s paycheck on new, shiny office supplies or clothes, but there’s something to be said for taking advantage of sales on things you’ll need to buy anyway to move closer to achieving that goal.
For example, if you’re looking for a new job, now could be the perfect time to finally buy that fancy schmancy (and expensive) interview suit. Or, if you need to buy a new computer or software like InDesign or Microsoft Word to that helps you get closer to your goal, many companies offer back-to-school deals that might make now the ideal time to dig into your wallet.
How are you applying the back-to-school mentality this fall to reach your goals? We hope you’ll share with us in the comments below!
is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area.