If you are like me, you look forward to the New Year as a point in time for renewal. For many of us, it represents a moment when everything that we've experienced in the past year can be washed away as we welcome the freedom that comes with newness. It's a time when we are willing and able to put past failures and unmet goals behind us while riding the wave of hope in the possibility of new success.
Well, I know it's not quite the New Year yet, but I've been thinking about this idea of the 'fresh start'. And, I'm wondering if we can create a fresh start at any moment in time?
When you are aware of your health progress and feel that you are not hitting your goals, declaring a fresh start day can actually work in your favor. Psychologically, designating a fresh start is a great way to reset your action plan and restore your purpose in action. As you move along on your wellness journey, it's important to recognize when you are not making progress in certain areas. For example, perhaps you have been consistent with your walking program but hit or miss with your nutrition follow through. When you recognize the limited positive movement on the nutrition front, it could be time for a fresh start.
It's important to note that a fresh start may not work for every person. For example, if you have been walking successfully and sticking to your nutrition plan, the research says this is not the best time to designate a fresh start. Therefore, fresh starts are most effective when you are not experiencing success in behavior change. So, it's crucial to determine what's happening; are you just feeling stagnant and bored and need to upgrade your current plan of action, OR have you not been successful. Making sure that your planned actions are appropriately aligned with your lifestyle and interests can resolve boredom. Lack of success is a more significant issue related to a disconnection between goals and effort. Using the fresh start as a psychological tool is an excellent strategy in this situation.
Here are some tips on how to create a fresh start;
Revisit The Goal: Take a moment to revisit the goal associated with the behavior that you need to change. Determine if your goal is still a good fit for your lifestyle. If you are working with a wellness coach, make it a point to discuss this challenge in your next session.
Identify Troublesome Actions: Chances are you made a plan of action associated with the goal you set. Make a list of the actions you feel are not working well for you or those you have the most trouble with.
Revising the Action Plan: Revising is a great way to support a fresh start, and it provides a mental shift that makes you feel like you are doing something new. After choosing one or two actions that you've not been able to complete consistently, decide how you can revise them to be easier to accomplish. For example, let's say your goal includes drinking five bottles of alkaline water daily, but you consistently forget to bring your bottles to work. Revise the action by putting a week's worth of water in the car on Sundays. Or, you could set an evening reminder on your phone to pack the water. This step aims to identify the challenge that keeps you unsuccessful and implement a step to eliminate the challenge.
Choose Your Fresh Start Day: Your fresh start day should be at the beginning of the week. The research tells us that you are 60 percent more likely to succeed with a fresh start when you begin at the start of the week.
Ramp Up Your Resources: Make sure that you have the tools in place to keep your resource pool rich! Keep a journal to record your actions or set reminders to take action on your phone. Or, if you are like me, make a list of the activities you need to accomplish the next day. Some of us might need a little more support and if you are one of those people, consider registering for my accountability program by clicking here. This program focuses on the one-to-one accountability that is so valuable when changing health behaviors.
Above all, don't stress about a season that hasn't been full of success! Grace yourself with moments of care that include being kind enough to yourself to affirm that you can still reach that goal.
Be persistently optimistic about what you can accomplish.
Pat yourself on the back for ANY small victory!
Your success will unfold as it should!
On the journey,