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The motivation to make big changes at the start of the year is a bit arbitrary, but you take motivation where you can find it. And if you’re feeling more drive than usual this week, you’re not alone: “I think many, including myself, see the new year as an opportunity to circle back to what matters most,” says Adriene Mishler, creator of the world-dominating Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel. It’s time, she says, to “notice what you have taken on that is no longer serving, and pay attention to what you can do to support your own growth—and commit or re-commit to that.”

Like many other fitness professionals, Mishler’s kicking off the new year by hosting a challenge, a 30-day yoga journey, encouraging her nearly nine million subscribers to join her for a month of movement, with the theme of “breath.” Of course, you’re not supposed to stop there, ultimately: “One of my overarching goals is to invite people to have an experience on the mat that will inspire them to continue,” she says.

 Is that what really happens? Whether it’s yoga, the ever-classic Couch-to-5K, Dry January, or eating à la Whole30, are limited-time “challenges” really the right way to create positive changes that stick as the weeks continue? Or do they just lead to February relapses into the old you? That’s determined by your mindset, says psychologist Brian Wind, Ph.D., CBSM, chief clinical officer at JourneyPure.

“Typically, challenges work because they push a person to do something they normally wouldn’t do,” Wind says. “Once they experience the benefits of the challenge, it builds their motivation and momentum to continue. It also proves to people that they don’t need their old habits to feel good about themselves.”

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