As we know, January 1st is a widely known time for resolutions, but have we ever stopped and wondered why? The likelihood of sticking to our resolutions in January is low and will ultimately leave us feeling defeated.  Winter is dark, cold, and dreary. Days are at their shortest. It’s a time we usually stay inside, are disconnected from our support system, and motivation can be at an all-time low. Once we get over the whirlwind of the holiday season, we tend to go into a slump, as it can leave many feeling exhausted as they return to their regular schedule. It makes sense that we may have trouble sticking to our resolutions in the winter.  Experts say we are more likely to stick to change in behavior during the spring compared to winter. It may be time to rethink a new tradition for when we make our resolutions: spring renewal.  It’s about time to seize the month of March to gain motivation and achieve the goals we once had in mind months ago.

Achieving a goal requires four steps:

  • Identify what needs to change and why
  • Specify what you want (I.e., your goal)
  • Determine the actions necessary to achieve the goal
  • Get yourself motivated to take action and see the process through to completion.

Most people making resolutions can accomplish the first three steps fairly easily. It’s the fourth step that often gives them trouble and resolutions to fail.

With the month of March, comes the spring equinox. The days are getting longer, temperatures are beginning to warm. We emerge from our winter cocoons and finally get to feel the warmth of the sun. As humans, we grow increasingly happy and contented as the days get warmer and longer. More hours of sunlight has a direct effect on our physical and mental well-being. The most direct effect of sunlight is an increase in serotonin and vitamin D levels. Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter in the nervous system which aids in mood regulation, memory, sleep, and even bone health. It is most known as being the target for most antidepressant medications. Other effects of spring, other than increased mood, are an increase in physical activity such as exercise.

Spring is a season of renewal, rebirth, and growth. According to psychologist Anthony Scioli, spring is the season of hope, which is associated with higher motivation. He remarks, “none of these other seasons can match the bounty of hope that greets us in the spring.” Where there is hope, there is a higher likelihood of achieving our goals. It seems that springtime naturally sets us up for success and is the perfect time to take a new look at January’s resolutions and take advantage of the season of hope. It’s important to keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with postponing a few months to try again when the environment fits in with achieving your goals.

Here are some tips to help you march into motivation:

  • Go back to your goals, remind yourself why you chose them in the first place
  • Set a limit with your intentions, remember not to overload yourself
  • Get organized, think spring cleaning
  • Try journaling or daily logs
  • Try a new activity such as gardening or hiking
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Most importantly, look after your mind, engage in self-care


By, Amanda Navarra, EAP Counselor Intern