I’ve recently enjoyed Katy Milkman’s new book How to Change and her podcast, Choiceology. In the book, she talks about the motivating power of a fresh start. If you begin a new habit on a random Thursday, it has less sticking power than beginning on “the first day of Fall.” Although many New Year’s resolutions fizzle out, it’s a powerful reframe to remember that at least 20% of them stick — a far higher number than initiating and sustaining new behaviour mid-year.
As people re-gather after summer vacation and begin a new school year, the freshness of that start feels a bit ragged around the edges this time around. We aren’t as rested as we wanted to be, and we’re not looking at the pandemic in the rearview mirror as we’d hoped to be by now. The first day of school feels a little too much like Groundhog Day.
Earlier in the pandemic, people were talking about the Roaring Twenties reappearing once this season was behind us. So when’s the party? When can we dress up in sparkly dresses and dance?
Given that my dance card still appears to be empty for the time being, I am setting an intention to celebrate every win and throw mini parties along the way rather than waiting for a ticket to the ball to arrive in the mail. “Energy management” is a key leadership skill, and one powerful way to boost positivity is to inject the mundane with the memorable. This isn’t one of my superpowers, so I’d love to be inspired by how you’re doing it over the next while. (Cue the noisemakers and party hats. Happy not-new-enough year!)