Fall. The leaves are changing and the temperature is dropping. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…kinda. Though everyone’s opinions vary, many people find fall to be their favorite season. Whether it’s the football games, pumpkin spice lattes, or the transition from Summer, there are so many amazing aspects. Perhaps the most important reason that Autumn is so popular is because it is considered to be a temporal landmark.
WTF is a Temporal Landmark???
A temporal landmark is a certain indication that gives us an idea as to where we are in time. Examples could include how the sun rising indicates a new day or how Monday indicates a new week. Fall in particular indicates the start of a new school year. According to the article, “Don’t Apologize For Your Obsession With Fall. It’s Science”, kids relate Fall to the idea of new classes, new clothes, new school supplies and so on. This is why people usually tend to like this season; so many new beginnings. As a result of this, many tend to get motivated by this fresh start.
With the start of a new season or new school year, there is no better time to create new goals. The article, “Fresh Start Effect: How to Motivate Users with New Beginnings” pretty much describes the Fresh-Start Effect as the tendency for people to become encouraged to establish or fulfill new objectives due to the occurrence of a temporal landmark. This website includes how studies found that college students tended to go to the gym more at the beginning of a new week, month, semester and break. It is evident that we attain such a high level of motivation at the beginning of a new time period whether it be as short as a week or as long as a year. For me, at the beginning of every school year I would tell myself that I would wake up earlier for school that year…Though that only really lasted for about a week, I still find it very easy to draw connections to this effect.
What are we thinking?
While conducting this research, I couldn’t help but wonder as to what is going on in our minds that causes this entire effect to happen. According to an article posted on Scientific American, we tend to compare our current self or state with a better, future situation. For example, going along with my goal to wake up earlier for school, I would contrast the differences between myself now: waking up late, rushing to school, and my goal future self: being a morning person, not having to rush. This comparison is what ran through my mind when planning to start my new school year goal. Imagining the benefits that I did not currently have, motivated me to want to achieve this.
If you’re still wondering ‘what’s so great about Fall?’, just know it allows the chance to try many new things. So while you’re enjoying your fall days at Beaver Stadium, Starbucks or even playing in the leaves, remember that this is the perfect opportunity to set some goals for yourself. What will yours be?