With the coming of warm pleasant days, trees in bloom, and gentle rain showers, April is when spring finally starts behaving itself. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth, and a great time to think of a fresh start on parts of our life we want to improve. When most of us think fresh starts, New Year’s Resolutions are the first things to come to mind, but a fresh start can be anything from the start of a new school year, the beginning of a new sports season, or as mundane as a Monday.
Here’s an interesting bit of science that I thought would be fun to share. If you are doing well and succeeding at a goal you are working on, then starting over at an arbitrary point actually means you’ll perform worse in the next round. The opposite is also true. If you feel you are doing poorly, then starting over with a fresh slate does help you do better.
It’s all about motivation and streaks of accomplishment. Someone who has a goal to read every day for 100 days, and has already racked up 78 days in a row, is more likely to want to continue than to start over. The next person who also wanted to read for 100 days in a row, but for some reason or another has missed quite a few and feels they are behind, will perform better with a restart than to continue.
If you are tempted to set a fresh start goal for yourself, say at the beginning of spring or summer, first analyze if it’s something you’re already doing well at and have a good thing going. If you feel you are doing well, pat yourself on the back and keep going. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
But, if it’s a goal where you feel you’ve failed and you have “makeup” things you’ve missed, declaring a fresh start and pushing the negative experience behind you will help you move forward with a new sense of enthusiasm.
I’m a sucker for Monday motivation. Monday’s are my power day where I’m going to kick the week off right and get everything done even if it kills me. Usually, by Wednesday I’m pretty tired, and halfway through Thursday, I’m ready to call it quits. One day I’ll get this work/life balance thing down, until then, I’m all about burning candles at both ends.
If I was stuck with keeping my failures that start racking up Thursday and Friday then I would probably not be as enthusiastic to keep moving forward day after day. Each day could only get progressively worse, not better as I try to make up for what I missed the day before. The whole system would turn into a big downward spiral. But, because I allow myself reset time over the weekend, each Monday begins a new fresh week and I’m ready to go again. Does that mean I sometimes leave chores unfinished? Yes, yes it does.