Why You Should Make Fall Resolutions Instead of New Year’s Resolutions - America's Future Foundation

September 3, 2019

Culture

Why You Should Make Fall Resolutions Instead of New Year’s Resolutions

By: Kristine Goffos

Pumpkin spice lattes are back, school is starting up, and football season has kicked off. So while the first day of fall is technically a few weeks off, it’s fall y’all!

It’s also the perfect time to commit to taking a step towards your dream life. New Year’s resolutions, for all their hype, are actually the worst. If you’ve ever actually kept one for an entire year, please do message me and tell me your secret. It’s the middle of winter and freezing outside, it’s dark for two-thirds of the day, and 12 whole months of a brand new habit is just daunting.

We should always be looking to improve ourselves, but there’s a much better time for it. Here’s why you should ditch those New Year’s resolutions for fall resolutions instead.

1. We’re programmed to think of fall as the beginning
After at least 12 (if not 16 or more) years of starting a new school year every autumn, it’s natural to keep this mindset into adulthood. Don’t you remember that beginning of the year excitement? New supplies, new classmates, new classes, new experiences, and all the optimism that this year was going to be better than last year. I still feel that as I watch undergrads returning to campus or see kids shopping for school supplies in Target. We might not be going back to school anymore, but don’t you want a piece of that excitement back? Harness it, and use it to propel your new goal forward.

2. We’re rested
In many careers, summer just tends to be slower. For those of you working on Capitol Hill, I see you–August recess is your only reprieve! During the summer, vacations have been taken, staycations have been enjoyed, family and friends have been visited, and hopefully you’ve had a rest both mentally and physically and are ready to hit the ground running again. What a better time to start a new resolution?

3. It’s an enjoyable time of year
Is it just me, or does something about a crisp fall day just make you feel like you can conquer the world? Regardless of what your resolution is, being able to go outside makes a huge difference. It’s so hard to motivate yourself to do anything in the dead of winter when it’s dark at 5:30 pm, 25 degrees outside, and the couch and blanket are calling your name, let alone do something that’s new and hard. For real, whoever decided we should all make commitments in January to go hit the gym more was crazy. But in all seriousness, bettering yourself is hard enough without battling the cold and the dark. Fall comes with bright, golden colors and feelings of optimism and gratitude that leave you feeling happier and more motivated.

4. It “falls” right into your calendar
You may have heard the saying that it takes 21 days to form a habit. However, newer studies on the topic are showing that the time it takes for something to become automatic is actually a bit longer–about 66 days (or about nine weeks). If you start this week, you’ll have this habit down before the holiday season ushers in crazy schedules and cold weather–when we’ve already established is the worst time to begin something new. There are eight weeks until Halloween; and just in case you fall off the wagon and need to start over, there are twelve weeks until Thanksgiving. It’s like nature is telling you this is the perfect time for a resolution.

So there you have it–fall resolutions for the win! Regardless of your choice in resolution, these four benefits of starting in the fall make it easier and more enjoyable for anyone to achieve their goals. Personally, mine is going to be writing at least once a week. (I have a one-year-old, I’m being realistic here.) What’s your #fallresolution? Join in the conversation over on Instagram.