Fall is in the air. We find ourselves in a familiar place: the beginning of the school year!

It’s a time for football, pumpkin picking, and an opportunity to start fresh with routines. And so, in the spirit of “September is the NEW January,” We’ve got 3 top tips to share on how to make it a great year.

Take a look and see what you’re already doing or what you might add…

1. Use a Planning System

Every teen-aged human across the country groaned as I typed these words. But these very same awesome humans also have pretty clear goals about being the best they can. And a planning system not only helps you remember what you have to do, it creates the mindset of achievement. The mindset of setting and tracking goals, realizing gaps in where you want to be, and celebrating accomplishments.

The practice of using a planning system in youth will lead to greater productivity – and greater satisfaction with life – well beyond the school years. Need help? Yellow Parachute has a solution called Next 90! Email Jenny McKeand right now to find out more.

2. Normalize Telling People What You Do Well

Does this statement make you cringe a little bit? I get it. Stick with me, OK?I don’t want to give the impression that I’m against humility; on the contrary, I believe that using our gifts to serve others is one of the most humble actions and greatest goals to which we can aspire.

When we share with others – in an open and authentic way – about our strengths, it reminds us what we do well. It builds our confidence. And it sets the stage for asking questions or about things we may not know.

In algebra class, that might look like a student saying, “I know how to…” “and I’m not sure about the next step.” This 2-step statement helps a teacher know where to jump in and help while affirming the student’s capabilities. Elsewhere, it might sound like, “I’m great at seeing the field and making unexpected plays, and I’d like to improve my speed and agility.” Do you see the balance?

One final thought about telling people what you do well, brought to you by Wharton Professor, Author, Speaker Adam Grant.

Grant writes, “One of the greatest antidotes to loneliness and isolation is to both give and receive,” he said. “And I can’t think of a better way to do that than to invite people to ask anything they need or want of anybody in their network.”

He goes on to say this is a practice that the most successful people in business do. So if our kids start practicing this idea of “here’s what I’m good at and here’s what I need,” imagine the success they will experience beyond school years and into careers.

3. Ignore Advice (and Commentary) From People Who Don’t Have Your Best Interest in Mind

This is easier said than done, and we are all works in progress when it comes to ignoring the naysayers. It’s extra tough for students who are looking nearly everywhere but to your family to develop your own (amazing) identity, so hurtful comments and actions from peers can seem extra difficult. Find one or two trusted friends or mentors to talk through this with you. Some other points to consider:

When someone is rude to you, your first instinct may be to lash back. But remember, you always (and only) have control over yourself. Choose not to give in to drama. No matter how another person acts, you own your behavior, just as they will have to own theirs.Try to avoid impulsive actions, especially on social media.

Keep your cool, as much as you can. Take a deep breath and give yourself space to calm down if someone has upset you. If you need to give a parent or trusted adult you phone so you stop looking at it, go for it! You don’t have to stoop to their level, and doing so will probably only make matters worse in the long-run.

And there you have it, the top 3 things to do to make it an awesome school year! What would you add?

Sending the best from all of us at YP, and we’re here to jump in as you need us!