William Liao

December 31, 2021

multiple new beginnings

The idea of declaring a new beginning — a Fresh Start — as a way of increasing the odds of successfully adopting positive changes in your life actually has some solid footing in the field of psychology. 

In a 2014 study titled “The Fresh Start Effect,” Dr. Hengchen Dai, her doctoral advisor Dr. Katy Milkman, and Dr. Jason Riis found that dates with some level of significance known as temporal landmarks — birthdays, new semesters, new years, etc. — helped people to more effectively set and achieve new goals.

If you recognize January 1st as the beginning of a new year, then it’s probably a day worth leveraging to help motivate positive changes in your life. 

And if you happen to slip or stumble at some point in 2022 (let’s face it, this happens to the best of us), there’s good news: the study also suggests that there are plenty of temporal landmarks within the year to choose from.

A new month — even the beginning of a new week can serve as a fresh start. 

You need not be discouraged if your resolutions don’t pan out after January 1st. The year is filled with temporal landmarks — opportunities for Fresh Starts — that you can benefit from to ultimately help bring you closer to your goals.