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10 Surprising Ways to Create a Fresh Start

The beauty of a "Fresh Start" is that it can be anything you want it to be … from shaking up your old routines to celebrating a new career, or heading off in an entirely new direction for a complete reinvention. It doesn't mean you don't value the life you’ve created up to now, just that you are ready for the next phase in your natural evolution on your journey to living your life to the fullest.

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10 Surprising Ways to Create a Fresh Start

  1. 1. 10 Surprising Ways to Create a Fresh Start
  2. 2. It’s natural to associate making a “Fresh Start” with the beginning of a New Year, or major life change, but consider this definition of the term ... “An opportunity to start over without prejudice.” A Fresh Start doesn’t have to be triggered by a date on a calendar or external event, you can create a fresh start at any time you choose whether it’s the beginning of a new month, your birthday, a move, a new job, or simply deciding you are no longer willing to tolerate certain circumstances (or people) in your life.
  3. 3. While any one of the following strategies can be used to ignite a “Fresh Start” in your life, believing that you are capable and deserving of better circumstances will play a key role. If you doubt either, any attempt to change will feel like trying to drive with one foot on the gas and one on the break. It’s okay to start small, but challenge yourself to celebrate whatever action you choose to take as a turning point in which you are consciously opening yourself to a new opportunity for growth. This will serve to create focus and fuel your motivation.
  4. 4. Every time you choose to stay comfortable instead of challenge yourself to try something new, every time you avoid a difficult conversation or agree to do something you don’t want to do in order to keep the peace, you are saying no to an opportunity for growth. So maybe you’re not ready to say “yes” to bungee jumping off a bridge, but there are plenty of other things you can say yes to. #1 SAY “YES” TO YOU
  5. 5. How about saying yes to your own needs by admitting you could use some help instead of always shouldering burdens yourself? You could take a class, write that book that's been rattling around in the back of your mind, or commit to make self-care a priority by setting aside just half an hour or an hour each day to do whatever YOU want to do.
  6. 6. The reasoning behind this twist on the standard task list is simple … for everything you choose to say “yes” to you have to say “no” to something else. No matter how hard you try, you can’t say yes to everything or everyone, and if you don’t identify the things that take instead of add value to your life, they will be relentlessly competing for your attention with the things you DO want to do. #2 CREATE A “STOP DOING” LIST
  7. 7. There will be things you have no control over, but most you will, for example … • Checking email 15 times a day. • Endlessly rehashing past mistakes and failed relationships. • Setting the same goals again and again (without ever actually doing anything about them). • Commitments (or relationships) that drain your energy. • Saying “yes” just to keep the peace. • Waiting for the right time.
  8. 8. Some will be habits that need adjusting or breaking, others strengthening or setting boundaries, but all will require you to do some internal work and be honest with yourself about your needs and wants, which is why it’s best to do this in writing. Writing your thoughts down clears your mind so you can process your feelings and emotions, helps you to think in terms of possibilities, and gives you a record to refer back to as you continue to grow.
  9. 9. Many people will spend their entire lives searching for happiness, without ever taking the time to define what happiness looks like for them. After all, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all formula, what makes you happy may be very different from what makes me happy. So if you desire to have a happy and fulfilling life you must first define what that will actually look and feel like for you. #3 DEFINE YOUR HAPPINESS
  10. 10. What activities, circumstances, and people contribute to your state of happiness and how can you begin today to eliminate stressors and unwanted things (see your “Stop Doing” list) to make way for more of the things that contribute to your happiness? This is a great exercise to go through with your significant other, because if your respective definitions of happiness vary widely, it may be time for a reality check and a conversation.
  11. 11. The nature of clutter is that it has a way of gradually building up over time which is why it’s so easy to put off dealing with it until you find yourself facing a pretty grim mess. This can be physical clutter, like in that junk drawer or hall closet, but more often than we realize it is mental clutter created by limiting beliefs, personal history, and unresolved emotional issues. #4 CLEAR THE CLUTTER
  12. 12. You can decide at any time to begin the work to identify and release these burdens once and for all. Yes, it will be hard, but if you accept nothing else, accept the truth that hanging on to useless emotional clutter hurts no one but YOU. Each time you successfully clear some hidden trove of accumulated emotional sludge you eliminate unnecessary stress and increase peace of mind, not to mention your confidence and self- esteem.
  13. 13. Naming and owning your fears is one of the most powerful things you can do to change your life for the better. Fear has a way of turning into one excuse after another, because no matter how confident you may feel now, there will always be fears in your life that are just the right size. Not too big to completely stall you, yet big enough to create resistance that holds you back. You may not be able to eliminate fear, but you don’t have to let it define you. #5 STOP USING FEAR AS AN EXCUSE
  14. 14. As comforting and efficient as they can be, routines have a way of slipping into unproductive ruts. You may not even recognize you’re stuck in a rut because it’s easy to become numbed by the habit of repeatedly doing things the same way. But if you find yourself inexplicably low on energy or experiencing a vague sense of unhappiness then it’s worth taking a look at your routines. Sometimes all you need is to shift some small behaviors and throw in a few random moments here and there. #6 RECOGNIZE A RUT FOR WHAT IT IS
  15. 15. Many of us are masters at starting things, but not so great when it comes to finishing. Sometimes we get distracted; other times we lose interest or momentum or just try to do too many things at one time. Just like physical and mental clutter, unresolved problems, unfulfilled commitments, decisions or goals left dangling in the wind take up space in your mind and sap your energy, confidence, and self-esteem. #7 FINISH SOMETHING
  16. 16. Spend some time creating a personal inventory of tasks, goals or decisions awaiting your attention, then pick out one of them, maybe it’s a problem you need to solve or decision you’ve been procrastinating on making, whatever it is commit to either finish it or let it go once and for all. Repeat as necessary.
  17. 17. The great thing about removing useless clutter is that it makes way for growth, and every day is an opportunity to take your world in whole new directions by learning something new. Cultivate a curious mind, play, go out on a limb, let your imagination run wild once in awhile, challenge yourself to see the other side of the coin … keep learning and growing. Read a book in a genre you normally wouldn’t, take a class, go someplace you’ve never been, or start learning a foreign language. #8 LEARN SOMETHING NEW
  18. 18. Trust involves vulnerability, and that is something most work hard to protect, especially once we realize that other people are not always going to behave the way we expect (or want) them to. Developing trust is (or should be) a gradual process of building relationships that is based on a healthy sense of self- trust. You may say it’s the other people you don’t trust, but if you have trouble making decisions, rehash old failures and experience fear and worry, then you are coming up short on self-trust. #9 LEARN TO TRUST
  19. 19. For better or worse, this journey through life involves some trial and error. There are no perfect people in this world who will never hurt or disappoint you, and sometimes there will be no warning that someone is about to let you down simply because that person may not even realize it themselves. But if you are willing to do the work to gradually build self-trust, and allow others to earn your confidence, you will find that your world will change for the better in ways you may never have imagined possible.
  20. 20. It could be that the most important gift you can give in this life is not material items at all, but a piece of yourself. You may say you have nothing of value to give, but you do, beginning with the example you set by the way in which you live your life. Each time you share your knowledge or reach out to help or inspire someone (or don’t), you are building your legacy. Becoming intentional about your legacy can create a powerful sense of purpose for what you choose to give your time and energy to. #10 BECOME AWARE OF YOUR LEGACY
  21. 21. The beauty of a "Fresh Start" is that it can be anything you want it to be … from just shaking up your old routines to heading off in an entirely new direction. It's up to you! It doesn't mean you don't value the circumstances and people in your life now, just that you are ready to take the next step in your natural evolution on your journey to living your life to the fullest.
  22. 22. Marquita Herald Independent writer, author, resilience coach, founder and chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living