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Using the Fresh Start Effect to achieve positive change

 

Around the world, people usually start each new year by setting goals and making positive changes.

But once we are past the New Year's deadline, it is still possible to harness the energy of a resolution and create what's known as the Fresh Start Effect.

The reason that a new year or a similarly big event like a move to a new country can be such a great time to make changes is that they provide a clear 'temporal landmark'.  These landmarks give us an opportunity to step back, survey our lives and figure out what things we'd like to tweak.

So if you are looking to make some adjustments, there is no need to wait until January 1 rolls around.  Instead, you just have to create your own temporal landmark.  It could be the new financial year or consider a birthday, a work anniversary, the start of a new season, daylight saving or a holiday.  Whatever you choose, be clear on what the date means to you.

Before you reach your landmark date, make sure that you understand what you are trying to achieve, and create goals that are more likely to succeed.

Making changes or starting something new is easier with these techniques:

  •  Making a public commitment - Announce your new goal on social media.  If your friends and family get behind your goal, you are more likely to be accountable and more likely to succeed.
  • Join a group - If you want to pick up a sport, start a new hobbie or pick something up, considering joining a group.  Again, this is a great way to create accountability - if you are worried about letting down other people, you are more likely to commit or show up.
  • Be specific - When you are setting goals, be exact.  If you want to go to the gym more often, know what this means in practice.  For example, set your goal with dates and times in mind and put them into your diary.

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