We’re working on an episode about behavior change — essentially, how to get yourself to do the things you should be doing but often don’t. It revolves around the fascinating research of Katy Milkman at Penn. For example, she and her colleagues have noted a “Fresh Start Effect”:
The popularity of New Year’s resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. … We propose that these landmarks demarcate the passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors.
What we’re looking for are your examples of fresh starts — whether it’s a new timeframe, job, relationship, living situation, etc. — and how it may have motivated some aspirational behaviors of your own.
Use your iPhone, Android, or other recording device to make a short audio recording of your answer and e-mail the file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your name, where you live, what you do — and, most important, your Fresh Start story. We’ll pick through the best, weirdest examples and make them a part of our show. If you’re too shy to record your voice, give us a shout on Twitter, on our Facebook page, or in the comments below. But audio is what we’re really after.