How I’m Getting A Fresh Start in the Spring


I had many plans at the start of 2024. I wanted to get back into a regular gym routine, crush career goals, and upgrade my life. The vision was very clear, but how it panned out was a different story. Working from home with an 8-week-old puppy is not for the weak, and my daily routine quickly got thrown out the window. My New Year’s goals were pushed to the side, and the first two months of the year became about just getting through the day.

Falling short of your goals can be discouraging, but I’ve learned that beating yourself up about it will just set you back more. You can begin again at any time. Don’t wait for the start of the new year: Spring is the perfect time for a reset to refresh your intentions and take action toward living the life you want. If your year hasn’t gotten off to a great start, or if you’re just ready to refresh your life, read on for five ways I’m hitting reset this spring to enter my “soft girl era.” 

1. Bookend your day with gratitude

If you’re going through a rough patch, gratitude can feel especially challenging. But I’ve learned that focusing on the things that are going well, even in turbulent times, can create more positivity in your life. Take time throughout the day to notice things you’re grateful for, or try gratitude journaling and write out five things you’re thankful for first thing in the morning. Practicing gratitude and accepting the present moment can help shift your mindset to see that there is still good all around you if you take the time to notice. As soon as I wake up or as I’m making my morning cup of coffee, I list a few things I’m grateful for. I’ve also put into practice sharing what I appreciate from the day with my partner as we’re winding down in the evening. It’s a way for us to connect more deeply and sets the tone for a calm mind before bed.

2. Get outside as much as possible

When I’m feeling down, all I want to do is hide and stay under the covers, and winter makes it easy to stay hunkered down at home. But now that it’s spring, make a concerted effort to get outside in the name of your well-being. According to Healthline, direct sunlight boosts serotonin, which keeps you feeling calm, happy, and focused. Being outdoors also promotes better sleep, improves mood, and encourages time away from all things digital—all the more reason to go outdoors, especially when you’re in a funk. Try going for a walk after dinner, eating lunch on your front stoop, or reading a book on your balcony (just don’t forget your SPF). I make it a point to step away from my desk for an afternoon walk every day, and I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work. 

3. Make a “reverse to-do list”

A few years ago, I took a workshop with life coach Jennifer Pastiloff, and she encouraged me and the other participants to “give yourself a medal.” In other words, celebrate yourself and all your accomplishments, no matter how small. We often look for validation outside of ourselves, but instead of waiting for someone else to celebrate you, celebrate yourself first. Make it a practice to speak kindly to yourself and not brush off seemingly menial accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back with a reward—from a solo coffee date to the pair of Mary Jane flats you’ve been eyeing—as an incentive to keep progressing. I practice this by making a “ta-da” list at the end of each day, which is simply a list of all of the things I got done that day. Also known as a reverse to-do list, these lists always make me feel good and remind me that productivity doesn’t have to be solely work-related. Waking up, washing my face, and eating dinner are meaningful tasks, too!

Constantly scrolling on social media can make you feel like you’re not enough or doing enough. It’s so easy to compare yourself to the highlight reel of other’s lives, but setting boundaries with your phone can help you gain perspective. Take time away from your phone and focus on romanticizing the little moments in your life to help you stay present. Curate your TikTok and Instagram feeds to inspire you, rather than making you feel less than. Unfollow or mute any accounts that don’t serve you, and take note of how you feel after a few weeks. I do a social media cleanse once or twice a year, and most of the time, I don’t even remember the accounts I’ve muted by the end of the month. 

5. Revamp routines to support your current circumstances

Winter is generally about embracing a slow, cozy pace, but now that it’s spring, shift with the season and spring clean your wellness routine. Brain-dump ideas on how you’d like to start and end your day, then slowly start to implement them into your existing A.M. and P.M. routines. For example, swap out your winter skincare products for lighter ones, try a new meditation app, or jump into a new workout class. Now that the sun is setting later in the day, optimize your nighttime routine by taking a walk after dinner or whipping up a sleepy girl mocktail. 

Bringing our new puppy, Betty, home has forced me to completely change how I begin and end my day since my schedule now revolves around taking care of her. I used to have a pretty lengthy morning routine, but I’ve shortened it to a few deep breaths and a moment of gratitude. While I miss my routine that consisted of reading a few pages of a book and a workout, I’ve learned a valuable lesson since we brought our new family member home: Work with your life as it is, not as it was. Let your circumstances inspire your refreshed set of routines so you feel supported, taken care of, and maybe even renewed.

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