Using Spring to Jumpstart Your Resolutions: A New Goal-Keeping Strategy

There’s just something about Spring that awakens the world around us. After a long, dark winter, the weather warms, the days expand, and nature comes alive again. In response, we tend to feel a heightened sense of hope and promise. We feel joyful. We feel empowered.

Another common term used to describe Spring is a fresh start. A change for the better. We become eager to open our windows, clean our homes, transition our wardrobes, and take on new hobbies and habits that are well-suited to the warm weather. Spring screams “New!” like nothing else.

Sounds like another time of year, doesn’t it? New Years and Spring share similar qualities that motivate us towards positive change. So, why don’t we view this time of year as a time for resolutions and goals?

January 1st is the traditional season for resolutions, but sometimes, that just doesn’t work for us. There are many reasons why we don’t keep resolutions and a lot of discussion around how best to make them stick. But, before you beat yourself up about not keeping those three-month-old goals, consider this: Spring could be the secret to change that you’re missing. Here’s why.

Winter encourages rest and preparation. Cold, dark weather elicits a state of hibernation, which typically involves inner reflection and biologically-driven preservation. Comfort foods beckon, and the sun’s schedule makes rising early hard. Since our bodies tend to move in sync with the seasons, it’s natural for us to seek relaxation and restoration.

On the other hand, Spring encourages action, and goals require outward action. Change is uncomfortable and challenging, two things we may not want to pursue while hunkered down in winter. With Spring, the pace of life picks up and the world (literally) comes alive, making action and transformation instinctive.

“Spring is the best time of the year to initiate change and make adjustments to the way that one lives their life — their health habits, spiritual habits, exercise habits, relationships and overall lifestyle,” says Melanie DewBerry, author of The Power of Naming: A Journey to Find Your Soul’s Identity.

Think about it. What other time of year breathes so much life into us? If the flowers can bloom and the sun can push back his bedtime, we can spend an hour a day working on change, too. The raw energy that Spring radiates can provide the perfect springboard for making our goals and resolutions a reality–if we allow it to.

Been a while since you’ve worked on that New Year’s resolution? Listen up. The key to a successful resolution is to pursue a lifestyle, not a temporary goal. Changing your mindset on this will help you view starting again as not quite “starting over”, but instead picking up where you left off. Whether one week or six months have lapsed, you’ve not failed if you keep going.

Missed the New Year’s resolution window and simply decided to wait until next year? You can (and should) make resolutions throughout the year. In fact, doing so increases your chances of success. “People feel too much pressure to change on New Year’s — it is very cliché,” says adds DewBerry.

Instead of hyper-focusing on the seemingly powerful reset of New Year’s, what if we allowed ourselves to ride out the rest of winter while thinking about, educating ourselves on, and setting intentions for our resolutions? Then, when Spring arrives and the world starts to move, we can, too.

Take a moment and reassess your intentions for 2017. Regardless of where you are on our journey of completing them, think about how you could harness the power of Spring to jumpstart your resolutions. You never know; Spring could be the ingredient to change that you’ve been missing.