Ahhh, do you smell that?
The delicious aroma of motivation, with an added tinge of excitement, and purpose floating in the air.
Don’t fall victim to the smell of a fresh start.
You know how it goes. You either read something, see a celebrity doing it, have an idea pop into your head, or look in the mirror, and you get all excited and motivated because you now have a purpose! Woohoo! You know what you want to achieve, and you have some slight knowledge of how to go about it. Now you just need to get the hell on with it. You mean, I have to actually work for this?
But that fresh start you are looking for is ever looming in the distance.
I don’t know how many times I saw someone running in the wee hours of the morning, and told myself that I’d get my butt out of bed and start doing that too. I’d tell myself something along the lines of:
I’ll start on Monday just so that I can prepare myself mentally until then
How many times have I said, “I’ll start on…“? The moment that thought pops in, I can kiss my fresh start goodbye, because the initial motivation, excitement, and purpose fade away. I’m giving myself leeway, and allowing excuses to invade my internal conversation. Not only that, but I’m allowing time to chip away at my intention. And you know that the longer you wait to do something, the less likely you’re going to do it. There’s that e-mail I still need to reply to from a year ago...
This is why I’ve done away with New Year’s resolutions in the last couple of years, and why I no longer wait for my birthday to come around in order for a fresh start. Because who wants to be reminded on their birthday that they haven’t achieved what they set out to on their last birthday… I find this way of living to be extremely damaging to my personal self-esteem, and it adds unnecessary weight on my shoulders. A weight I can’t afford to carry. What with a toddler tied to my hip at all times.
It also makes me waste time. Precious time. And there’s nothing I hate more than wasting time.
All this waiting we do in order to have a fresh start has to stop. We’re chained to these cultural milestones without giving them a second thought. We put so much pressure on ourselves, that we end up succumbing the moment we hit a snag on the road because we feel like we failed.
Oops, I ate a chocolate-loaded fudge brownie cookie dough sundae. There goes my resolution. See ya in 2020!
The Fresh Start Effect states that people are more likely to take action towards a goal after temporal landmarks that represent new beginnings.
What if we didn’t wait until January 1st to begin our journey? Or until we hit our 30th mark before moving across the country? Or until we get that raise in order to invest money?
What kind of arbitrary date are we setting our sights upon? And why are we so mentally triggered for a fresh start at the beginning of a year, a month, or a week?
Or for some of us, on our birthday, when the moon is full, on Friday the 13th, or when bears go hibernating.
Why can’t your fresh start be on a Wednesday? Or more appropriately, tomorrow?
What’s holding you back from having that fresh start as soon as possible? What are you waiting for?
A year from now, you’ll have wished you started today.
Here’s an example.
If there’s one thing I don’t hold back on when I’m on vacation, is food. When I go to a new city, I want to experience the food culture to the maximum, which means I blindly eat my calories up. Sure, I’ll have that strawberry waffle, egg benedict, country potatoes special you have. Thanks.
Of course, I’m not without feelings, which is why the moment I step off the plane and make my way back home, the suppressed food guilt comes up to the surface as I stare at my ever-expanding stomach.
This is why my fresh start begins the next day.
I’m not going to wait until the beginning of next month to get back on track with my fitness and healthy meal planning. I’m not going to wait for the New Year to roll around before I start making beneficial changes. By that time, I’ll be rolling in my rolls.
This is an example of a micro fresh start because it’s not necessarily life-changing, but it can easily be put off. It’s even easier to not get on with your fresh start when you’re uncertain about it, or uncertain about yourself. This is why you cannot give yourself time to think about it. The moment you give yourself time is the moment you let that fresh start slip away.
Your fresh start should happen the moment you set your sights on it. Focus on the experience instead of the goal.
Make this change in your mindset and you’ll see how much freer you’ll feel, and how much more you can get accomplished throughout the year. I promise it works. Break free from the chains and be your own agent.