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Here’s to a Fresh Start

PostedJanuary 9, 2018

Fresh Start

Welcome to 2018 everyone! We are already several days into the new year and many of us are basking in the glow of a fresh start.

Are you feeling it? Renewed optimism for change, for a better life, a better you. That energy and determination to start fresh, to wipe the proverbial slate clean. A chance to reinvent our lives and ourselves, to shed the baggage of 2017 and to do anything… everything!

Yes, true, we are all too familiar with the New Year’s effect; for some it means jump-starting an exercise regimen or eating well. For others; a commitment to spending more quality time with friends and family, or to climb the corporate ladder. Whatever the goal, we’re all striving to do better, don’t you agree? Thing is though, research claims that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February!

So, how do you accomplish “resolutions” and go beyond past failures even if you’ve fallen on your face before? Well, according to the Wharton professor, Katherine Milkman, the “fresh start effect” is a much more effective tool than the “New Year’s effect” in pursuing goals.

Have you noticed that after a birthday or a holiday, people double their efforts to achieve their goals? Why? Well, at “fresh start” moments (which could be the beginning of a new week, the start of a new month, following a birthday, or after a holiday) people feel more distant from their past failures and inspired to give it another go. It’s all about the determination and the energy we feel when we’re able to wipe the slate clean.  What if I tell you that every Monday could take on a new identity when framed as an opportunity to correct the shortfalls of the previous week?

Here’s How:

First of all, be strategic about when to start. Milkman and her colleagues found that we are more likely to follow through on our goals if we begin working on our commitments on a Monday rather than a Thursday. So, when choosing a day to trigger the “fresh start effect”, think carefully about what that day means to you.

Also, be attentive to future “fresh start” opportunities. Know that motivation fades and that you must keep motivating yourself and look for opportunities to give you a sense of empowerment. So, if you drift off the target, focus on a new “fresh start” date. A Monday. A birthday. Anything you can frame as a new beginning, and start fresh.

Decide what you really want. It is easy to be persuaded to set goals that others want for you. Be clear on what you want, not what you should, and connect with your future self. Consider how each decision will affect you in the future. Find happiness right now. Don’t look at happiness as a destination, at something you’ll get later. When you’re doing whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you decide is worthy of your time, heart and focus… you’ll be happy.

Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% what you do with that. What we do every day is important because we are exchanging a day of our life for it.

So, 365 new days with 365 new chances, what a gift, right?


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.