The Advantage of a Blast Start to 2016

Q to Gretchen Rubin, Author of the Book: Better than Before. We do a detox every January with start dates Jan 7th, 14, 21st and 28th available for our patients. We were particularly tuned in to the section on Blast Starts, which you explain as “the opposite of taking the smallest possible first step.” What are the advantages of a Blast Start, and, knowing that the level of commitment is often unsustainable in the long term, how do we form a lasting good habit afterwards?


Blast Starts are demanding, but that’s part of the fun—and that intensity can energize a habit. A 21-day project, a detox, a cleanse, an ambitious goal, a boot camp—by tackling more instead of less, for a certain period, you get a surge of energy and focus. (Not to mention bragging rights.) However, a Blast Start isn’t sustainable. It’s crucial to plan specifically how to shift from the intensity of the Blast Start into the habit that will continue indefinitely. If you give up sugar for January—what are you eating on February 18? You need a plan for how to transition from intense effort into daily routine.