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  • Writer's pictureBarbara - Keys to Resilience

Can You Keep A New Year Mindset, all Year Round?

Updated: Mar 11

How to Hack your Motivation with The Fresh Start Effect

I’ve never made it a secret.  I  LOVE  the New Year. . 🎉


I love the feeling of being able to let go of what I don’t need any longer and begin something new.  


To me, New Year’s Day is just like opening the very first page of a beautiful notebook.


Everything is crisp, fresh, and full of possibility. 


And I can write a new future..



New beginnings like New Year’s Day offer a kind of Psychological ‘do over’.

Katy Milkman calls this the Fresh Start Effect; it wipes the slate clean, and gives us the motivation to pursue new goals with extra energy.  

We can Hack the Fresh Start Effect all year round;  By consciously choosing our new beginnings,  we can give our motivational drive the boost it needs.


It's that time of year, and it seems everyone is weighing in on the subject of New Year’s Resolutions.  

Why we should Embrace Resolutions 


Why we Shouldn’t Bother. 


The Perfect Process for Goal Setting 


Why we should Set an Intention Instead. 


The dismal Percentage of Successful Resolutions, 


The Habits needed to make sure ours Is One of Them.


So I've been asking the question...

Why do we commit to making big changes at New Year? 

And why do so many of us lose the motivation to succeed?


Enter, Katy Milkman's research on the Fresh Start Effect

Katy Milkman is a behavioural scientist and professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative.


According to Milkman and her co-authors, what they named the Fresh Start Effect could be one of the reasons we choose the New Year to make Resolutions.


The Fresh Start effect is common at the New Year, and also at other times in our lives.


The psychology of it goes something like this...

The story of a life doesn’t run in one continuous straight line.  


Instead, Human Beings experience life like a novel with "chapter breaks”, made by significant moments like birthdays, job changes, bereavements, or yes, a New Year


At these chapter breaks, people feel at a distance from past failures, more able to wipe the slate clean, and pursue new goals with extra vigor. 

And this isn’t just anecdotal; the evidence backs it up. 



Choose Your Chapter Breaks & Hack the Fresh Start Effect 

What's empowering about Milkman’s research is that it shows we can create our own Fresh Starts as motivational resets. 


Catalysts for change. 


Moments to let go of the past, and springboard ourselves into a new way of being.


Imagine it.   

Life as a story.

Punctuated by New Beginnings



New Seasons...



Walking Through Doorways...


So many opportunities to choose our Chapter Break, our Page Break,  a New Paragraph, a whole  New Sentence.

Each new beginning with fresh energy and motivation.

The promise of a New Year’s Day, every day.  I LOVE it.🎉


I wish you and yours the most wonderful of years in 2024.  

Make it yours.

Don't over-complicate it.

Create as many Fresh Starts as you need. 

Barbara, smiling, with hiking pack on back

Barbara is an enthusiastic traveller, teacher, mentor and, above all, a life-long learner.

She founded Keys to Resilience to inspire a compassionate revolution in the way we value, support, and uplift those who work to support others' well-being.


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