Fresh Start Effect

blog Jan 07, 2021

We all know how tough it can be to start and follow through on your goals. So knowing when is the best day to effectively start pursuing them can help, right? Research published in the journal Psychological Science has found a piece of advice for those wanting to start a new goal off right. These researchers found that when you begin can give you more motivation to start your goals.


So what’s the best day to start a new goal?


Most motivational gurus would emphatically tell you, “Today!” It’s true that you don’t have to wait for any particular date to start pursuing your goals. However, the researchers did find that certain days are more effective than others. That particular day? Saturday or what would be considered Saturday for your schedule. While you may think Saturdays would be the toughest day to begin a new goal, because it marks the end of the work week; it is actually the best day of the week to start getting after your goals. At least when it’s just a normal week in the year. You are better rested, more relaxed, and have the energy to devote to your new goal.


To be honest, the research gets a little more complex than that. It’s not necessarily Saturday. It’s what Saturday signifies. Other great days to start goals can be your birthday, New Year’s, or any other day you have off.


I’m not trying to confuse you, so let’s take a closer look at what the researchers found. Setting goals is important. And starting them is a pretty big deal. Why? It marks the beginning of change. When you take action for what you want personally or professionally.


When we want to make a change to our diet or health, we recognize we want to be a better version of ourselves. We don’t want to dwell on old behaviors or failures. The past is the past. Psychologists know this. People are motivated when they start with a clean slate. A new start gives us motivation to pursue new goals. They move on from past failure and focus on the new, better version of themselves. And what easier way to do this then on Saturday and Sunday! Researchers call this date a “temporal landmark”. This is why Saturday gives us more motivation than other days of the week. Because it’s the end of an old week. It signals a fresh start.


This works even better if Saturday has greater meaning for you, such as a birthday, a holiday, or an anniversary. They are highly significant points in time. So starting goals on these dates seems to give us more motivation to initiate goals.


As the researchers note, the abundance of fresh start opportunities throughout the year offers repeated chances for people to attempt positive self-change, so even if they initially fail, they may subsequently succeed.


So the big takeaway here? Use Saturday and Sunday to help you initiate your goals. If you’re starting it during any old week of the year, Saturday is the best day. But if you can start it on a Saturday that has personal meaning to you, even better.


Granted, initiating goals is only the start of the battle. Staying motivated throughout your goal takes determination and continued effort. This part is just as tough, if not tougher. If you have to restart your goals, you have another fresh start opportunity this Saturday!



By Mike Koskiniemi PhD – Motions Fitness


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