I'm sure that many of us have experienced a point in our lives where we've became aware of the need to start making some positive changes. We may feel ready to commit to formal New Year's Resolutions or simply say 'today's the time to focus on spring cleaning our habits, friends, relationships and ultimately our lives'.
Already tempted to tuck away your trainers in time for 2017's resolution attempts? Then spare a thought for the thousands of people braving those dark January mornings - and even darker nights - as they prepare themselves for what is, for many, the ultimate running challenge: the London Marathon. I never thought I'd be one of them.
I know, I know, resolutions can sometimes feel a bit tired, but they can still be useful. At the start of 2015, I knew I wanted to volunteer, so I set myself some ambitious goals to make a difference by volunteering my time. By the summer, I had left the UK to work side-by-side with local volunteers in Uganda on international development projects with Restless Development.
September's here and we're gradually returning from summer holidays refreshed and energised, with renewed motivation and enthusiasm for life! September is also traditionally a month for change, as the new academic year begins, as many people move city to start new jobs / degrees, and as the job market floods with new opportunities.
Resolutions essentially come into the category of goal-setting. We often make them for things that we have been putting off, such as learning a language or quitting smoking. Quite often they are things for which we have a long-term incentive, like our health or our career prospects, but no reason to do it right now
We are just about one week into 2015 - a new cycle has begun, and is pregnant with potential. I enjoy the (perceived) clean slate that comes with each new year. It compartmentalizes our existence into meaningful increments, into manageable time frames that help us to cope with the turbulence of life.
So I am going for it this year. Every morning will be welcomed with open arms and the previous day's downers will be consigned to the past. Of course I will starting running. Of course I will go on a diet but this will not be because it's a resolution, it is because I want to do it so that I finish the year feeling like a better person than I started (and be able to tie my shoe laces again).
If we're really looking to get rid of the old and commit to new focus, attitudes, and quality of life it's important to filter out the physical and mental clutter of our lives, to look beyond the things that keep us stuck, bogged down and tied to negative situations or feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed.