The fresh-start effect

The “fresh-start” effect, psychologists call it. There is something magical about new beginnings. Whether that is the beginning of a new school year, the 1st of the month, a fresh Monday or Januay first.

Fresh start

Such a fresh start offers the opportunity to dust off your old habits. Habits that you do know are good for you, but that still kind of sink in or get snowed under. Like a daily walk. Take a short 2-minute break and look out the window or take a deep breath three times a day. Digging up your mindfulness practice.

Or conversely, taking a chance to try something completely new. Starting a new course. Going to the gym for the first time. Or start visiting musea that were on your list forever.


Whether you’re starting a new habit or just reviving an old one, that fresh-start effect helps. It also works great for appointments with yourself that you used to follow faithfully, but which have fallen into oblivion. Often we judge ourselves when we have forgotten to maintain good habits. But there is nothing crazy or bad about habits becoming worn out and out of sight. No judgment is needed. Nor is it helpful. It doesn’t help at all to be unkind to yourself. That doesn’t fix your habitual patterns. It is quite normal and human for us to forget or give less priority to these kinds of good actions due to the busyness of the day.

New round, new opportunities

If you know this, it makes it more easy. The invitation is to specifically make use of this fresh-start effect. Make a new beginning for yourself with a small, manageable action that might become a good habit. And have no judgment when things may not go so easily.

Tomorrow is also a new day. And with that comes a new opportunity for a fresh-start.

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