How to Initiate a New Habit & Generate “Fresh Start Energy”

In spring, it’s important to intentionally reinvigorate our bodies and ignite new sources of inspiration. As Kapha dosha increases during this season, lending its heavy, sluggish and sticky qualities, we may start to feel stagnant or stuck in our mood or thinking, or in our physical body. It’s an excellent time to shake things up.

However, we’ve all probably gotten excited to turn over a new leaf at one point – say, to start exercising, or cook more, or meditate regularly – and then found ourselves losing steam after the initial burst of enthusiasm. There is nothing wrong with our character when we fall off the wagon – it’s just human nature. Rather than using up precious energy in self-judgment or trying to figure out what went wrong, we can focus instead on the next step – generating the energy to jump back in. 

“Fresh start energy” is that surge of focus, excitement, and dedication that gives us a turbo boost to start something new (or re-start again!). We naturally feel it at certain times, like the turn of the new year, or on landmark dates like birthdays or anniversaries, or when confronted with a troubling symptom or new diagnosis. 

Because it’s so easy to get pulled back into old patterns (especially when Kapha is high), it’s helpful to anticipate we will likely need to get reinspired, and to consciously develop the skill (because it IS a learnable skill) to generate “fresh start energy” and self-encouragement to start again. 

Here are 5 ways to generate “fresh start energy” to initiate a new habit.

1. Tap into the Power of Dawn ~ The ancient texts of Ayurveda (and many, many other traditions) name the moments preceding sunrise as the “hours of the divine,” or the ambrosial hours – or in Sanskrit, the Brahma muhurta. Brahma is that aspect of the divine that initiates or brings new things to life. There is a particular potency and vitality imbued in these hours (provided, of course, that you have slept enough!). Anytime you want to add extra power and impact to a new endeavor, begin it in the moments before dawn. Get up early and immediately dive in. When you start your activity at this time, you will feel supported by the very forces of the universe.

2. Refine your Intention ~ A sankalpa is an inspiring heart-felt intention, phrased in the affirmative present tense. Connect your desired action to a statement of WHY you want to do it, what you are building through this action, or the resulting mood (bhavana) you wish to establish. A sankalpa can be as simple as “I am enough” or more detailed, such as “My body is a strong and energetic vehicle for connecting with the people I love.” Repeat your intention to yourself as you do the habit, and as you move throughout the day, reminding you of the larger impact you are dedicated to embodying. Write down your sankalpa so you see it by accident throughout the day.

3. Choose a Day of Initiation ~ Start (or re-start) your action on a day or date that has inherent initiation qualities. This may be the first day of a new month or an important anniversary for you. It might be the start of a season, such as an equinox or solstice. Each day of the week has a planetary patron who imbues their particular energy and focus in that day, so choose a day that resonates with your intention.

Monday (Moon day) supports the mind and emotions. Tuesday (Mars) is excellent for strong, decisive action in the external world, or martial energy to defend or assert your needs. Wednesday (Mercury) is an auspicious choice for communication and diplomacy. Thursday (Jupiter) is ideal for teaching and learning. Friday (Venus) is  about beauty, charm, and establishing uplifting surroundings. Saturday (Saturn) is an optimal choice for dharmic action, service, and discipline. Sunday (Sun) brings auspiciousness, spiritual focus and self care.

4. Clear the Clutter ~ Anytime you are feeling stuck, go find a space in your home or office that is messy, disorganized, full of piles, or excess material stuff that simply takes up space. Clear the clutter and get rid of things you don’t need. Create systems for organization and file things away. Restore visual order and tidiness. You will be amazed how much energy this frees up, imparting a sense of capability, competency and potential. You can then focus that energy into your new endeavor. 

5. Dedicate the Merits ~ As you prepare to do your action, take a moment to dedicate any benefit or positive outcome that may arise to a person or cause that is important to you. Envision the good energy and karma that you are creating by your action going to support someone you love, or towards a universal goal. For example, your meditation may be dedicated to increasing compassion in the world, or your exercise may be dedicated to someone who is healing from an injury. You might say to yourself, “I dedicate this to my daughter – may she be supported”… or,  “May any benefit that comes from my action strengthen the energy of self-caring in the world”… or simply, “May all beings be healthy and happy.”

Our individual actions contribute to the energy of the world in profound and tangible ways. Remind yourself that your actions (even the seemingly small ones) and the impact they have on you and your immediate surroundings are contributing to the greater fabric of humanity, so dedicate your efforts with deep respect and loving intent.

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