Move over New Year’s resolutions. October is the new January. A Pinterest study revealed that the majority of us think of autumn as a popular time for starting over (again), taking care of long-awaited goals and making needed personal changes.

It makes sense, right? Gone are the days of summer, where recreation is more at the forefront of our minds – even with the current pandemic-related challenges. As the nights get longer and the temperatures begin to drop in many parts of the world, we go more inward. Tending house is in order, both metaphorically and literally. What can we do to improve our lives? Our spaces? Our minds? We also correlate this time of year with the start of school, regardless of our age. We remember the routine and the consistency of returning to the classroom in fall, collectively learning with others, handing in homework assignments, even donning new school clothes. These fall-time rituals serve as a bedrock for personal growth. And more globally, these seasonal routines provide a sense of safety, purpose and meaning. (Check out this excellent article in The Atlantic on seasonal fresh-starts!) As we slow crawl our way out of a pandemic, the need for routine and self-education has never been greater. While studies support the critical importance of self-education during times of radical change, it may be easier to understand in laymen’s terms. Simply put: when the world feels out of control, it is human nature to focus on the aspects of life we can control. Learning is one such thing. Education always awaits us. It expands our minds when the walls feel as if they’re closing in. There’s also something inherently hopeful about learning. It is a spiritual and cognitive door-opener. No one feels worse after learning (almost regardless of the topic). We feel empowered when our minds are fed, when we meet personal goals, when we advance ourselves. So what goals await you this “new” new year? If completing a dissertation is on your shortlist, let’s talk.