The Fresh Start Fallacy: Avoid It This New Year's Day
Productivity

The Fresh Start Fallacy: Avoid It This New Year’s Day

The new year is right around the corner, and so, it’s time for the resolutions to kick in. So, I figured this was the exact time to share something that changed how I live my life. It’s something I dubbed as the Fresh Start Fallacy.

No time? Listen to it instead

The new year is right around the corner, and so, it’s time for the resolutions to kick in. So, I figured this was the exact time to share something that changed how I live my life. It’s something I dubbed as the Fresh Start Fallacy.

In college, while entering the classroom late one day, one of my friends told the faculty that time was a human construct. The faculty laughed and admitted him inside the room that day. That sentence stuck with me, though.

Time is a human construct, and so is how we measure it: the calendar on your wall or your phone, the next hour, the next month, the next year. It’s all a human construct. That’s what the Fresh Start Fallacy is all about.

Often, when we decide to change our lives, we think of the next perfect Fresh Start. This can happen during the day when we say something like, “I’ll start writing at 5. It’s 4:37 right now.” The same thing happens when people say, “I’m gonna hit the gym starting next Monday.” It will also, inevitably, happen in December.

Not convinced? Look at all brands selling journals already. The first page on most of them is titled: January 1, 2021. As if, buying it in December warrants you won’t use it till January. What a useless waste of time if you’re inclined to journal now.

However, all of that is a fallacy, in my opinion. I believe you can start changing your life this second. You don’t have to wait for some abstraction of the perfect start in your calendar or the clock. That is why most people fail on getting what they want.

You can save your day, your week, your month, your life at the moment you decide to save it. You don’t have to wait for a “Fresh Start”. It’s your procrastination in disguise, and most people know it already. That is, in fact, why they make those plans.

A corollary statement can also be made here: all days are salvageable. It’s a minor shift in mindset but it has a major impact on your life and agency.

If it’s 10 PM, and you’ve not done what you wanted to do today, you can do it now. Of course, not all of it, but you can do something now. That’s better than wasting two hours, and then some more, lying in bed, scrolling on Instagram and calling it sleep.

Consider the idea of getting healthier. It is easy to say you’ll work out on Monday or join the gym starting January 1. It is much harder to do ten pushups now. But, itt also pays to do ten pushups now.

The idea isn’t too complex, so I’ll leave it at this. How to break out of the Fresh Start Fallacy? Remove the words Fresh and Fallacy from it. Just Start.

The Nudge

If at any point this December, you make a plan to change your life in January, call yourself out. You have the Fresh Start Fallacy. Instead of making that plan, start now. If your resolution is to get fitter, start getting fitter today. If you want to write that book in 2021, why waste a month? It’s a tedious process anyway. This holds for your days too. Overslept? Get up and get doing what you wanted to do that day. Every day is salvageable. Every month can be saved. Every year can be made your best year yet. If you’re waiting for the next checkpoint in the human construct of how we measure time, you’re procrastinating. That’s it. That’s the Nudge.


Original Featured Photo by Eliza Diamond on Unsplash.


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