There are so many types of diaries and planners out there that it’s easy to feel lost and get caught up in the decision making process of which can distract from the actual purpose of having a diary. Should you go for a ring binder planner or a desk diary? Can you keep up with setting a bullet journal or do you need something very functional and simple? Daily or weekly spread? A5 or pocket sized? Blank or dotted pages?
Fun as those choices are, all of this distracts from the main point of a diary, which is to keep track of your days, tasks and goals. This is where the humble mid-year diary comes in. There’s two types: the ones that begin in June or July, or my personal preference, the academic diary, which usually starts in August. And the mid-year diary is, in my opinion, the most motivational of all the diaries, whatever style, layout or size you choose, for a few reasons.
They give you a chance to reassess
Late summer and early autumn is the perfect time to reassess what’s happening in your life – hopefully you’ve had a bit of time off, and in the process of starting your new diary you can really sit down and think about what you want your life to look like.
I don’t just mean reassess your goals, although this is obviously really important, and good to do when you have much more of a feel for how the rest of the year has been. I mean really look at what you’ve been doing, what your commitments are and where you’re spending your time (and who with), and whether that’s something you want to continue.
If you start your diary between June and August, there is a very natural pause after half a year because Christmas and New Year arrive and take over – the perfect time to check in with yourself and what you’re doing. If you set your goals and plans in January, the timeline is all a bit wishy-washy until, well, the following year. That break between Christmas and New Year is ideally placed for re-evaluation and working on things that you actually care about and want to work towards – not just the slightly guilty resolutions made after overindulgence!
You can tap into that “new school year” motivation
Even for those of us who have left school a while ago, it’s hard not to feel that natural rhythm of everything starting again in September. Even in the working world, the summer can be a bit fragmented and slow, with lots of people going on holiday, and September is often a time for projects to either start or get a real boost of energy.
The summer is also a great time to take a break from daily life and start to think up those new plans and projects you want to implement.
By starting your new diary and schedule in September, you can totally hitch a ride on that natural motivation train – plus there’s tons of amazing stationery in the shops, and to be fair, choosing the design is still the best bit.