Is September the second New Year? 4 ways to improve your productivity and happiness this autumn

A new Pinterest report reveals how people are getting organised after the summer break.

As anyone who’s ever tried to stick to a New Year’s resolution can tell you, it’s hard.

January is a challenging month anyway, what with the post-Christmas slump, dreary weather and a lack of sunlight. Throw in an attempt to cut down on booze or get to the gym more and it’s no wonder so many of us fall at the first hurdle, giving up within weeks, if not days.

Maybe that’s why September now being called ‘second New Year’, the time when people decide to make positive changes in their lives, knowing that they’re much more likely to succeed when it’s still relatively sunny and we’re feeling refreshed after a summer holiday.

According to research from Pinterest, searches for terms such as ‘organisation’, ‘positivity’ and ‘goal setting’ spike twice every year, first in January and then in September, as users of the social site start to get in gear after the summer break.

“Over the years, we’ve seen the end of summer become a distinct and significant moment on Pinterest when people want to make personal changes to refresh their routines, set goals, get organised and most importantly, stay positive,” says Enid Hwang, culture and community manager at Pinterest.

“We call this mindset ‘back to life’ and find that people have a specific intent around what they’re thinking and feeling.”

Graph from Pinterest 'back to life' class=
(Pinterest/PA)

The Back to Life report reveals that 66% of respondents feel more joyful and energised in the summer and 55%  are looking for ways to maintain their positive summer mindset throughout the following months.

Are you one of them? Then you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve got some suggestions for how to use summer as a springboard for a happier, healthier autumn.

Inspired by Pinterest, here are four ways to embrace New Year in September…

1. Budgeting

Feeling a bit thrifty after an indulgent summer? You’re not alone. The Pinterest report shows that searches for ‘budgeting finances’ are up a massive 3,298% this year compared to last, with 26% of those surveyed saying they would like to better manage their finances as they prepare for autumn.

Just like getting into a routine with exercise or your diet, it takes time to form healthy money habits. Using a household budget chart can help to identify any bad habits and avoid them in future.

2. Body positivity

Feeling good about yourself doesn’t have to involve attempting to change your body or appearance, it’s about self-acceptance and learning to love yourself outside and in.

To that end, there has been a spike in searches on Pinterest for ‘acne positivity’ (up 193%), stretch marks positivity (163%) and body hair positivity (158%).

If you’re feeling insecure about something, seek out social media accounts that promote positivity and self-love – you’ll find whole communities of supportive, like-minded people sharing their own experiences and offering advice and encouragement.

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3. Home organisation

The Marie Kondo effect is still in full force as people attempt to follow the Japanese author’s advice for decluttering their houses – searches for ‘organisation videos’ are up 230%.

Want to do the same? Kondo says that clothing should always come first, so start by going through your wardrobe and pulling out all the clothes that don’t fit or you never wear anymore then give them away to friends or charity. Once you’ve got your wardrobe sorted you can start on other areas of your home.

4. Travel planning

You may have just come back from your summer holiday, but it’s never too soon to start planning your next big trip. Searches for ‘travel dreams’ have risen by 2,178% on Pinterest as users compile their destination bucket lists

Having a holiday ‘mood board’ on a social site can help to narrow down your choices, and if you’re looking at a pricey long-haul trip you might want to combine it with some budget planning to stay on track with your travel goals throughout the year.