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Give yourself space to grieve, be sad, acknowledge the changes when you’re starting over again – feel free to take yourself out of your normal environment
The biggest thing we need to realise when we’re starting over in life is that giving ourselves time to grieve, be sad and sit with our feelings is what creates lasting change for our fresh start.
When my brother passed away it would’ve been easy for me to fall back into the habits I was used to. It was when I sat with myself and gave myself time to grieve that I was able to reflect on the person I was and the person I wanted to be. I not only acknowledged all that I had been through, but I acknowledged the type of person I was and took responsibility for the things I needed to. I took count of all the behaviours, limitations and ways of thinking that set me back. I allowed myself to gently be accountable for the person I had come but also take responsibility for creating a fresh start in life and moving forward.
It’s important to do the reflecting because this is where we see the differences between why we are where we are and how we can change that. Questions like:
- What type of person do you want to be when you start your new life?
- How do you want this fresh start in life to begin?
- What boundaries would you need when starting over?
- How much self-love have you given yourself and how can you change that?
- What habits haven’t served you and what new habits do you need to replace them with?
Something that also helped me in moving forward and starting a fresh life was taking myself out of the existing environment that I was in. Sometimes we need to do this for a while and other times it’s about changing our environment just for reflection and a new perspective. I was grateful that I was able to go away to my grandparents beach house to give myself space and put myself in a new environment. A fresh environment can also help give us the reboot and reset we need after a big life change.
Look at your most important relationship – the one with yourself – otherwise nothing really changes
I feel this point deserves the biggest mention. Of all the things that truly helped me when starting over in life, it was this. Looking at the relationship with myself. I thought about about how I’d spoken to myself, treated myself and what I expected of myself throughout the years. I had to reflect on how critical I’d been too. But most of all, I thought of the practices that I had (and didn’t have) to take care of my health, my wellbeing and my soul.
At the time, I didn’t have any hobbies or practices that helped me. In fact, I didn’t actually know how to be in my own space. My relationship with myself was complicated at best. So, I made a simple goal of devoting time to figuring myself out. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a long walk on the beach – with yourself. For me, walks outside, exercise and treating my body well by nourishing it with good foods was the beginning.
Slowly, I worked myself through the mental health part of self love. I set boundaries, started journaling and appreciating myself for all that I had been through.
The relationship with yourself is key to starting over. For a fresh start in life, I had to rebuild who I was based on who I wanted to be.
Related post: 6 Simple Self Care Ideas That Are Life Changing
Reflect on the way you want to change your life and your environment and make the changes as they arise
After taking myself out of the environment, reflecting on my life and reflecting on my relationship with myself, the next step to starting over was to start listing the changes I needed to make in my life.
This came with time. It wasn’t something that I could’ve just figured out the moment I realized I wanted a fresh start in life.
For me, moving forward came in stages of greater self-awareness. When I looked at the relationship with myself and showed myself more respect, I was able to see, when a situation arises, how I was taking part in it, how I was allowing it and then how I could change it.
When we have the intention to start a new life, one of the biggest things that either causes this change or is the first thing we change, are the relationships in our lives. When I showed myself self-love, I realized how by not loving myself, I had allowed relationships in my life that were not for me. They didn’t serve me and I did not serve them.
This was my first step of self-awareness. I realized that I was allowing myself to be treated the way I was so, I made the decision to step out of it. This was my first move in starting over. Afterwards, once I’d had the courage to set boundaries on one relationship, my awareness increased and it helped me with other relationships.
Shortly after, I was contacted by people in my past. These were similar situations. The relationships did not serve me but one of the things that I struggled with was always trying to be nice.
Once we make the first decision that creates that self-awareness, it spills into other areas of my life. This is what happened here. I realized the reason I get contacted by these people is because I allowed it. I participated in it. I also realized I was always getting the same type of people in my life because I’d always accepted those type of people in my life.
Continuously reflecting and becoming more self-aware is key in starting over. When we reflect on what we are currently allowing and then think about what we don’t want to allow, we see the difference and notice it when it comes up.
Creating a list of values for yourself
Another important part of moving forward and resetting in life is to build a new set of values for yourself. All of the above experiences created this.
Through reflection, changes in relationships with myself and others and showing myself more respect and self love, I was able to start setting better values for myself.
The way I did this was by listening to TED talks and reading work of people I really admired (liked Brene Brown and Caroline Myss). I’m going to link below a particular talk that was one of the catalysts to my starting over in life.
As I heard things that resonated with me, I wrote them down. One of the best speeches I listened to that helped me to start a new life was Brene Brown’s Netflix speech. Her simple quote “courage over comfort” was one of those aha moments for me. I wrote it down, I stuck it on my wall, and I carried that value you with me every time I was scared to start something. I reminded myself that courage was more important to me than comfort.
Setting ourselves a list of values becomes a personal guideline for everything we do in life. Whether it’s business, work, or a relationship, the values become the markers that we reflect on in every situation. They help us determine whether we’re falling back into old habits or moving forward with the new ones.
I know every time I tried to fall into an old habit of convincing myself I couldn’t do something, this one value “courage over comfort” reminded me to move forward. It helped carry me forward into a fresh start in life.
Make a list of changes, goals and things you can do to start those changes
Doing this work is amazing. It’s life changing work that can really help you to reboot and reset for a new life. To keep the momentum going when starting over and moving forward, it’s best to put all these new values, self reflection and self love into a list of goals or actionable things you can do to start on those changes.
These don’t have to be massive goals. They can be simple. They also don’t have to be money related. The goals I started with when starting over were things like:
- Walking every day and getting fresh air
- Being able to do a forearm stand in yoga
- Being full of self love
- Having amazing relationships (both with a future partner and my current friends)
- Nourishing my body with good foods
I looked at the type of person I was and who I wanted to be and I set motivating goals that were going to help me in moving forward and creating that fresh start.
When starting over, start small
A fresh start in life can seem overwhelming and really far away. When we look at who we are and then think about who we want to be, we get stuck in that gap. It seems like we have so much work to do that we’re overwhelmed before we even begin.
Starting over is best done in small, bite sized chunks. For example, a common goal is to exercise. When we go from the couch to the gym it’s such a BIG step. It can be intimidating. I started with the above small goal of walking every day. From there, I developed my love for running.
A fresh start in life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey, a process, and every small goal and step counts. Starting small got me to where I am today.
Related posts: A List Of 20 Goal Ideas For 2020 (Updated)
When starting over, remember the process will be up and down, be flexible with yourself!
Some days are not great. Some days are amazing. When we make the powerful decision to reboot and reset our lives we need to remember that it doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth sailing. As they say, progress is not linear. Starting over is full of ups and downs. I went through this whole process many, many, times. Sitting with myself, focusing on the relationship with myself, holding myself accounting to my behavior and my values is something I work towards every day. Some days, things will slide.
The best advice I can give you that has helped me the most is to be self-compassionate and gentle with yourself during this process. Expect to have to be flexible. Allow yourself flexibility. On your tough days, acknowledge and love yourself as much as you do on your good days. Tough days, bad days are another change for a different type of growth, it’s not a set back, it’s another way of moving forward. We develop strength, resilience and find out more about ourselves during these days.
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