My Birthday = A Fresh Start

Xperience Growthblogposts

It’s my birthday week! Naturally, it evokes a time of reflection on where I’m at and vision casting for where I want to go.

When the calendar rolls around to mark my birth each year, I get a jolt of possibility thinking.

Same thing happens on News Years. This past new year I had fallen out of my health routines. My exercise routines had become anything but routine. In fact they were on the sparse side of sporadic.

Add that to my diet routines that had given way to the comfort foods that feel so good in the fall and joyous around the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays. That equation – not working out as much, eating rich foods without a plan caught up with me. I was my heaviest weight in the past 6 years.

On New Year’s day, I decided to take the “new” momentum and change my diet… I got on a new meal plan that I could stick with. I’ve been on it all year (although admittedly this week I’ve been indulging… It IS my birthday week after all… I’ll jump back on this coming week).

And, at the start of the year – using my possibility thinking – I started a yoga practice. I’ve been wanting to get into yoga for a few years but kept talking myself out of it. I just went for it in January. I started online for a few months, building up my skill sets and confidence, until I felt ready to start in a yoga studio. I’m now doing yoga 3-4 times a week and adding in running for cardio.

The results have been me getting down to my goal weight and building back muscle tone and strength. Plus, it’s a breath and mental presence practice that helps me beyond the mat.

Author & University of Pennsylvania professor Dr Katy Milkman says this possibility of thinking around significant events or dates is a key tenant to sparking behavioral change.

She coined this psychological phenomenon the “fresh start effect.”

She says in her book “How to Change” “we’re more likely to pursue change on dates that feel like new beginnings because these moments help us overcome a common obstacle to goal initiation: the sense that we’ve failed before and will, thus, fail again.”

I had fallen off my health wagon… i.e. a failure. New Years let me get a psychological re-do.

Birthdays are the same feeling. It’s like I’ve turned a page. The day prior I was 42; now I’m 43. Somehow it feels the same, yet different.

I have the whole next year in front of me. The possibilities feel endless. That’s encouraging and I can use it to springboard me.

This coming year, I intend to up my coaching business to impact more people through expanded coaching offerings, the Xperiential MBA program that Chris Suarez and I partner to create, teaching, writing and speaking. Plus, equaling my professional visions to be an even better Dad & husband with intention.

My goals, dreams and vision continue to grow. As I blow the candles out on my cake, I’m taking that energy into changing into the best person I can be in the coming year.

Happy fresh start to me!