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A new year is a clean slate. It’s the perfect time to set new goals and start new habits. While the new year is one kind of fresh start, the next 365 days are filled with chances to begin again and again. You just have to know where to look.  

The Science of Fresh Starts

Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman is all about fresh starts. You can check out her book, How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, or listen to her discuss this topic on the NPR podcast Life Kit.

So, what is a fresh start? It’s a chance to begin again. In fact, research shows that people are more likely to achieve their goals or stick with habits if they start them on an important date. Milkman calls these “temporal landmarks.”

According to Milkman, scientists invited a group of people to start saving money in a 401K. They asked half the people to start setting aside money three months from now. The other half were asked to begin saving on their next birthday. The people who were invited to start saving on their birthday ended up putting aside 30% more!

Yup. Fresh starts make a difference. Adopting a new behavior on a milestone date can encourage you to rethink your life. You have extra motivation to pursue change and take your goals and aspirations seriously. More seriously than you would on a random Tuesday, that is.

Waking Up to a Fresh Start

New Year’s Day is one kind of fresh start. That’s why we’re really into making new year’s resolutions. A new year is a chance to start a new chapter. Last year was the old me. This year? It’s time for the new me to bust out and shine. It’s super freeing.

Of course, we also love breaking our new year’s resolutions. So, what do we do when that happens? Milkman says it’s essential to realize the new year is only one kind of fresh start. There are lots of chances to start over again and again.

Every Monday is a fresh start. Your birthday is a fresh start. There’s always a chance to start a new chapter and begin again.

Want to begin a new habit or create a new goal? Here are 10 great times to make a fresh start:

  1. Monday morning
  2. Tomorrow morning
  3. First of the month
  4. New Year’s Day
  5. Your birthday
  6. An anniversary
  7. First day of school
  8. Start of a new season
  9. First day back from vacation
  10. After lunch

Once you choose your own “temporal landmark,” you may want help tracking your new habit or goal. Try starting a gratitude habit with the Calendar for Good. Or keeping track of your daily routines with the Habit Calendar. Let your creativity flow to visualize goals with the Vision Board Book.

If you miss a day? No need to feel pressured or overwhelmed. Remember: you can start again tomorrow. Next week. Or even after lunch. 

How to Make a Fresh Start Anytime

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The beginning is always today | Mary Shelley Quote | Phone Wallpaper | Free Period Press