Fresh Starts: A Key to Getting Motivated to Pursue Goals

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“My last 2 months sucked! I’ve been sick and I’m still feeling unwell! I was looking forward to planning my goals for the new year, but I’ve lost my motivation.

I need your help to snap out of it and get into motion – for myself, my team, and my family.”

inside out disney GIF

I could see the sadness, frustration, and defeat in my client’s demeanor. Yes, he was disappointed, and he needed to acknowledge the regret before we could focus on helping him move forward.

And when he was ready, we figured out a way for him to have a fresh start.

Since Chinese New Year’s was just around the corner, why not use that as a fresh start? He decided to run with this idea and use it as an opportunity to create a team building event. As a result, he left our coaching call re-energized and committed to setting new goals.

Perhaps you’ve felt like my client has. You feel like the New Year has gotten away with you. What’s worse, you feel like you’ve lost the advantages that this fresh start offers.

We’ve been conditioned to view the New Year as a chance to make significant changes in our personal and professional lives. There’s nothing better than that feeling that you’ve got 12 months ahead of you. That feeling that says, “dream about what’s possible and plan ahead for what you want to accomplish.” 

What if there was a way for you to create that fresh start feeling at different times throughout the year? What would be possible then? How might this help you revitalize and remotivate yourself and others towards your goals?

Katy Milkman, author of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, tells us that “timing can be everything when it comes to making a change.” Her research team sought to answer the question:

 “When are people most motivated to pursue their goals?”

They discovered that its the Fresh Start Moments when people are most likely to turn a page, reflect on what’s possible for them, and begin anew.

Moments like the start of a new month, a new week, or a new day. Moments like the beginning of a new season, a new chapter in our lives, or even a milestone like a birthday, anniversary, or holiday bring a renewed energy and commitment to goal achievement.

Knowing that fresh start moments are a key to increasing motivation to pursue goals is a game changer.  It's great news for busy leaders and teams who get side-tracked and distracted from what’s most important. It's also great news for leaders who want to inspire and motivate their team, throughout the year, to work towards individual or common goals.

Your Leadership Challenge:

As a leader, you can intentionally create fresh start moments for yourself and your team. By doing so, like my client, you’ll be more motivated by that jolt and buzz of a “new year” feeling.

All it requires is for you to ask some key questions:

  1. What milestone dates can I use on a consistent basis so that my team can identify and align to what’s most important throughout the year?
  2. When things aren’t going as well as planned, how can I create a new fresh start to get things moving in the right direction?

What will you do to inspire and motivate yourself and your team to make positive changes at times other than that magical moment in January when the clock strikes 00:00?

Want to explore ways to create your own fresh starts throughout the year?  Read my article Staying on Track: The Power of a Self-Accountability Practice.   

Lisa Holden Rovers, MSc, CPHR, PCC, is the Founder of Workplace Matters. Since 2005, she has been coaching small and mid-sized business leaders to grow their influence and inspire their teams to thrive. With her data-driven coaching and training approach, Lisa helps clients improve collaboration, productivity, and well-being. As a certified leadership and team coach, Lisa utilizes solutions like Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors® to help clients leverage their strengths and build high-performing teams.

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