fresh start

Getting the Fresh Start You Need

It’s January, and after the Super Bowl every NFL team reverts to a perfect record. It’s the same in the major leagues; 2016 may well have been exciting for the Cubs, but in a few week’s they’ll be going into Spring training on equal footing with every other team in baseball. We are no different. Last year is in the rear-view mirror; it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, everyone gets a fresh start. 2016 could have been your best or your worst, but the beginning of 2017 represents a unique opportunity to re-calibrate, recharge, and reboot.

We may be tired of clichéd resolutions, and that’s not where this article is going, but there’s something magical about a clean slate that makes even the hardest uphill road seem more possible. If you can bring yourself to a place of believing, then it absolutely could be your best year. Here are a few prompts to help get the ball rolling:

1. Look for inspiration:

When my kids still lived at home I always had a current photo on my desk. When I doubted myself, the picture reminded me of what really counts. Today it’s my grandchildren and they’re the background on my desktop. They’re three and four and they begin every day brand new. If they can, then so can I.

Try beginning each day with a sentence or two of affirmation.

2. Simply Believe:

We often over-complicate life and the answers more often than not take us back to the essentials. Belief can be a decision that our attitudes and actions then grow from. Try beginning each day with a sentence or two of affirmation.  “This is going to be a great day!” “I refuse to be defeated!”

3. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself:

It’s easy to get in a rut, but getting a fresh start requires pushing the edges of your comfort zone. Select some kind of a goal each week and make a run at it (walking extra miles; surprising your wife with a date; showing up for lunch at your kids’ school). Even if you don’t always make it, pat yourself on the back for the effort.

4. Surround yourself with positive role models:

We’re always telling our kids to pick the right friends. Why? Because we understand how both the good and the bad can rub off. All Pro Dads benefit from role models too.

5. Exercise daily:

The research is clear when it comes to the benefits of exercise, and the benefits are mental as well as physical. Simply adding twenty minutes of vigorous walking in the morning can make you sharper at work and calmer at home. Try setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier for a week, and see if it provides the fresh start you need. Then add a short walk before bed instead of late night TV.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What makes you excited about the new year?”