Renewal: The Power Of A Fresh Start

renewal: the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again

fresh start: an opportunity to start over without prejudice – a clean slate

Every January 1st it’s the same. I feel compelled to announce my resolutions for the new year – my iron-clad commitment to change... to do better... to be better. And then I go forth and show my backbone, or lack thereof, to follow through. And by February, I’m frustrated with myself for my lack of discipline and commitment. Will I ever learn?

Sound familiar? I know I’m not alone in my annual self-loathing, self-pity trip. Why do I do this to myself every year? We all know the definition of insanity... right?

Well... funny thing... I’m doing it again for 2022. Can’t help myself. Why? Am I really just a masochist with a confessional blog? I do know better. Really.

The Power Of A Fresh Start

Truth be told, I think resolutions are great! They force us to confront our failings and inadequacies (we all have them)... and they force us to think proactively and specifically about how we could improve ourselves for the better.

Every new year’s day is a new opportunity for renewal... for a fresh start... a new day for which our history is not yet written. It’s a history over which we have control... if we can find the strength and resolve to follow through on our promises to ourselves that life CAN be better... that WE can be better.

Scientific studies(1) show that resolutions are most successful when there are specific failings just before the resolution. In other words, an eat-better resolution after binging during the holidays has a better chance of succeeding than a diet resolution made after a period when you have been pretty disciplined.

Studies also show that being too specific about the goals of your resolutions may not be the best strategy. “Thinking about your goal in abstract terms, moving away from the specifics of the situation to a more nuanced and deeper understanding of your wants and needs can help push you forward.”(2)

Another very good article on the specific steps to optimize the power of a fresh start was written by Peg Streep for Psychology Today(3). Check it out.

My main interest in this post is to energize your thinking about the value of resolutions... renewal... a fresh start. Sure I fail a good part of the time, and it’s frustrating. But, I think like most people, I find that resolutions help me FOCUS on the thoughts and behaviors that help me become a better me, even if it’s not for the long haul.

Whatever the failures, I find that some part of my resolutions always stays with me and improves my life in some way. And I’m ok with that.

I don’t want to fail at following through completely on each resolution. But I also don’t beat myself up when I fall short. I just pat myself on the back and feel grateful for whatever improvements that I can sustain. And I know that I’ll try again and again to enrich my life proactively, because ASPIRATION is a core part of my ageless life.

Tomorrow is filled with opportunity... if we can just focus on doing good stuff today. I believe that everyone periodically needs a reset... something to motivate us to FOCUS on looking ahead to something better... a fresh start... a clean slate... unfettered by the baggage of past failures.

So I’ve made my resolutions for 2022. I’m going to try hard to make them come true. I’m resigned to the reality that they all may not be achieved. But I know confidently that my life will be better for having tried.

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