The Fresh Start Effect


THE beginning of a new week, the start of a new month, the intensified energy of a new year, and the welcome change of seasons are all positive triggers that can help us redouble our efforts, renew our interests, and get over the sad hump of procrastination.

There’s no one intervention for getting things done. But the fresh start effect is a little known psychological marker used to create headway — according to psychologist Katherine Milkman — it’s a passage of time at the beginning of a new cycle when we feel particularly motivated to tackle a goal.

The fresh start gives us a chance to begin from scratch, let go of tired agendas, manage setbacks, and start over again.

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Here’s 8 favorite prime-times that can be used to start fresh:

The New Year – Contrary to popular belief, the narrative around the New Year resolution is surprisingly productive and worthy of attention. Bring in the re-enforcements—a posse of visionaries and go-getters—and turn this annual ritual into a beautiful success story.

BirthdaysLike a boss. This personal milestone is an ideal time to treat yourself to a radically cool undertaking and pursue a sweet and happy life challenge.

Anniversaries – I’ve known ex-smokers to declare, start, and achieve annual fitness and health goals on the anniversary of their “quit date.” Life is a work in progress and appreciating significant markers is a power move.

Seasons of the Year – The change of seasons is my all-time favorite goal vitamin. Pick a season, choose a goal, and let nature take its course.

WINTER is a season where activity goes within and gives way to slower, deeper, and more contemplative quests.
SPRING is a transitional season, a time of renewal that explodes with life.
SUMMER is a time of light, bold expression; fiery goals; and unreserved action.
AUTUMN is a season of dramatic change. As leaves turn color and days grow shorter, nature tells us in a very poignant way that life is always changing, and it’s time to seize the day.

Quarterly | School + Holiday Breaks – Reframe, review, restore, and refresh long-and short-term projects and adventures. Go. Go deeper than you need.

Monthly | The Next 30 Days – One radically cool goal a month makes for 12 projects a year and a portfolio of WOW! YAS, this’ll give you something to brag about!

Weekly | Monday Prompts + Friday Check-ins – All goals have small independent parts. Each part benefits from weekly attention, love, and affection. So tell me; how will you romance your goals?

Daily | Morning Routines – According to your vision, according to your thoughts, according to your attitude, you get to transform your experience daily. You get to choose. More, Less, or different. (Insert interpretive dance!) THIS. This is where it all begins.

Happy FRESH START, Sweet Unicorns. Go. Enjoy it to the max.

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