Get a Fresh Start This February

getting a fresh start in west los angeles

Or… 86 Days a Year When It’s Best to Start a New Habit

Did you miss the boat on your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you already behind on your “19 for 2019”? What can you do to have a fresh start at creating some of the habits for the life you really want to have?

Good news! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that there are 86 days a year that are a great time to make a fresh start! Certain days of the year somehow reset the calendar in our brain to “open a fresh ledger” and start anew.

The days that you can “trick” your brain into re-setting your calendar are:

important days in 2019

°The first of the month

°The day after a federal holiday

°The day after a religious holiday

°Your birthday


And in my house—where I’ve had at least one of my kids in school for 21 years, my husband is a high school teacher, and I myself worked in high schools in Los Angeles for four years—the first day of school is always an excellent fresh start day. Lazy summer days are over and it’s time to crack down and be efficient and productive before the holidays begin and everything goes to shit again. Well, that’s my reality anyway.

You probably have your own personal fresh start days as well—anniversaries of weddings or jobs, the day you ran your first 10k, the day you moved to this city or this house. Be creative; everyone can use more fresh start days!

groundhog day in West Los Angeles

This February comes with several fresh start days: February 1, naturally, then there’s Groundhog Day February 2, and the Chinese/Lunar New Year on February 5. There’s President’s Day on February 18, and Valentine’s Day February 14—when you can renew your resolution to work on your relationship, practice better communication skills, keep date night every week, or even go to couple’s therapy. Or maybe you renew your commitment to dating, and decide you will get back on dating apps for another month just to see what happens.

Humans have a huge capacity to reinvent themselves. We know, for instance, that Baby Boomers have had an average of 12 different jobs from age 18 to 48. Millennials are switching jobs with greater frequency than their parents, and they are much better primed for the whole “reinvent yourself” idea than the generations before them. Nevertheless, the statistics are a little less clear than many articles suggest. Despite the public perception that millennials are a significant hiring risk because they frequently change jobs, the statistics do not bear this out. Millennials are switching jobs at a rate only slightly above the rate of their parents.

It’s important to remember this fact when it seems like your happiness hinges on getting that one specific job, and the HR person won’t even return your emails or phone calls…

What is it that you would like to have a fresh start with?

Walking on Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Do you want to re-evaluate your resolution to “eat only whole foods” and revise it to something more manageable like “pack a healthy lunch every Tuesday and Thursday”. Or maybe you want to change your resolution from “go to the gym every day” to “go for a 20-minute walk after dinner on the days I don’t get to the gym”. Here’s an article that will give you some unexpected ideas on how to make resolutions that stick.

The idea of 86 fresh start days a year came from a podcast by Dan Pink, author of When. I would highly recommend both the book and the podcast for anyone who would like to maximize both the days on their personal calendar, and the hours in their day. In When, Pink describes how your personal biorhythms determine when you are most creative, when you are most productive, and when you should take a break. Planning your days according to his suggestions can make a significant difference in both your efficacy and your happiness!

Starting new habits on Venice Beach

Still Stuck in Patterns You Can’t Seem to Shake?

Give me a call at 323-999-1537, or shoot me an email at, and sign up for your FREE phone or in-office consultation, where we will discuss your specific situation and how therapy can help. I want 2019 to be your best year ever!