Do you want to learn how to start over and hit the “reset” button for your life?
Sometimes there’s a period when the daily routine and bad habits start to drive you mad. At this point, you seriously need some changes, new adventures, new goals, and more excitement.
In this article, you’ll find 10 great ideas that will help you to achieve just that. Not only you’ll be able to start over but you’ll also develop more confidence in your abilities.
1. The Locus of Control
The Locus of Control theory says that your well-being depends directly on the amount of control you feel you exert over your life. Most people are dis-empowered because instead of being “the captain of their own ship” they feel controlled by external circumstances.
You are responsible
Is it the economy, your partner, your boss, or is it you who’s responsible for the quality of your life? The best way to regain control is to assume 100% responsibility for everything that happens. Say: “I am responsible” 50 times a day. It might sound silly, but trust me – it’s going to change your life.
When you start complaining about something, stop and say “I am responsible”. Something doesn’t go as planned? “I am responsible”. You think your childhood was bad and you can’t do this or that – “I am responsible”.
After a while, this thinking pattern will become a habit and you’ll be back in control. You’ll feel that if you want to change, you better stop wishing and start doing something about it.
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins
2. Accept the past
Yes, you have bad memories and you’ve done some regrettable things. But now, you’re essentially a different person, aren’t you? When bad memories come back, instead of dwelling on them and relieving the situation, try to accept it. Just swing through:
When the memory comes to the surface, say “oh yes, that happened in the past but these things happen to everybody, and now I’m a much better person – it’s ok”. That’s the first step to self-acceptance which in turn enables you to let go of the past and look into the future.
Just remember that it’s also a pattern of thinking and you’ll need to repeat it many times until it becomes automatic. In the beginning, you have to make it conscious.
“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.” – Brian Tracy
3. Set new goals
The third step to reset your life is to set new goals. Maybe you don’t feel like getting up in the morning because there’s no excitement for the future?
Without detailed, measurable goals, your days lose their flavor and life becomes boring. When you watch the same movie for the fourth time, and don’t know what to do, it’s time to sit down with a piece of paper (yes, paper) and sketch out a simple plan of action.
Create a compelling vision for the future
Put this question at the top of the page: “What do I really want to do with my life?”
Then create a vision for the future (for the next 3 to 5 years). Imagine that you have no limitations. Let your imagination go wild – you’ll see that almost instantaneously you’ll feel excited about the possibilities.
Complete the 10 goals exercise
Your vision might look a bit overwhelming at first. That’s why you have to create more detailed plans to make it more plausible. I highly recommend doing the “10 goals exercise” I’ve learned from Brian Tracy.
Take a piece of paper and write down 10 goals you’d like to achieve over the next 12 months. Remember – the goals have to be yours and only yours. Otherwise, you’ll be going against the grain all the time.
How to formulate goals
These goals will help to move you forward to your grand vision. Let them be positive, written from the first-person perspective, and time-bounded. Example: “I have a great new job in web-development and earn X amount of money – by 01.03.2017”.
Break them down
When you have your main goals, write down all the small steps that will help you to achieve them. Then put these steps on your daily to-do list. Start really small and build from there – you need to develop some confidence first.
As you complete your tasks, you’ll start feeling much better about yourself. Put your list in a visible place and come back to it every day.
“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” – Jim Rohn
4. Apply Zero-Based Thinking
If you want to restart your life, there’s nothing better than letting go of some of the emotional baggage you’ve accumulated over the years.
Ask yourself this all-important question:
“Is there anything in my life that, knowing what I now know, I would not start up again today, if I had to do it over?”
Apply this to your work, business, habits, relationships, and other responsibilities. Is there anything that takes up a lot of your time and energy but you don’t really enjoy doing it? Create a shortlist of these things and eliminate them from your life ASAP. You’ll feel much lighter and you’ll be able to concentrate on what’s really important.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
5. Take care of all the small, annoying things in your life
Sometimes you feel stuck because there are too many artifacts in your life. Then, there are these small annoying things that you never fix.
If you plan to start afresh it’s good to clean up everything and declutter your life completely – a healthy environment makes room for a healthy life. One of the best books on the subject is: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Think if you can apply the following:
- If your house is full of things you never use, simply throw them away or sell them. Get rid of this attachment to things. The less you have, the freer you are.
- Put everything in its proper place.
- Tidy up your place – make it more specious, let in some fresh air and natural light.
- Clean up your desk and make it a pleasant place to work at. (I highly recommend investing in a standing desk – this really improved my life and productivity).
- Get a few nice plants and take care of them. They’re almost like pets and require less attention.
- Fix the small, annoying things. Is there a leak somewhere? The door handle is broken? Fix it or call somebody who can fix it.
- Put great quotes and pictures near to your desk – let them be a source of inspiration in your life.
- Sort all of the bookmarks in your web browser, delete stuff from your hard-drive, reinstall your OS if your computer works slowly, and unsubscribe from all unnecessary newsletters.
- Answer all of the pending messages, and keep your inbox empty.
“Neatness and cleanliness is not a function of how rich or poor you are but that of mentality and principle.” ― Ikechukwu Izuakor
6. Start an exercise routine
If you want to start afresh, I highly recommend you begin to exercise regularly. Just after 30 minutes of cardio, your brain starts releasing endorphins that will give a boost to your well-being. Researchers from Gallup concluded that these benefits last even 24 hours after each training session.
There are more benefits to exercise:
- Neurogenesis – yes, exercise enables your brain to create new neurons.
- Improved ability to concentrate and perform on cognitive tasks.
- We could also add – longer life, higher levels of energy, better sleep, greater mobility, lower chances of disease, more flexibility, less stress and anxiety, better sex life, and a higher possibility of surviving a zombie apocalypse.
- And best of all, you’ll feel more powerful. When you push yourself during the training, you feel like you can accomplish anything. That’s why sporty people usually do well in other areas of life.
“A healthy body is a platform for flourishing a healthy mind.” ― Pawan Mishra
7. Potential, Action, Results, Belief
Some time ago I watched Tony Robbins interviewing Frank Kern and John Reese (two successful internet entrepreneurs). In the video, Tony introduces a simple, yet profound concept of a cycle of achievement and self-confidence. It’s based on four elements – potential, action, results, and belief.
The negative cycle
You have the potential, but you might not believe it. You don’t take action because of it and then you don’t achieve the right results. And it reinforces your belief that you were no good in the first place.
That’s how most people operate.
The positive cycle
But you can actually make the cycle work for you. And it all starts with the “belief” part. With your vision, goals, and constant visualization of success, you’ll start believing in yourself.
Then you’ll start taking action, get the results, and this will reinforce your belief even more. Please take a few moments and watch the relevant part of the interview. It’s one of the best “feel alive again” videos ever.
“There is something beautiful about a blank canvas, the nothingness of the beginning that is so simple and breathtakingly pure. It’s the paint that changes its meaning and the hand that creates the story. Every piece begins the same, but in the end they are all uniquely different.” ― Piper Payne
8. Forgive, forgive, forgive
It’s hard to start anew when you’re burdened by resentment. Forgiving people who hurt you is one of the best things to heal your psyche and create a more positive outlook on life.
Many people walk around their whole lives feeling they can’t make progress because somebody (probably their parents or lovers) hurt them. To get over it, you need to forgive. Confucius says: “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
How to forgive?
- Call the person (or meet them face to face) and say you forgive them everything. It’s one of the hardest, but also one of the most powerful things you can ever do.
- Write a letter where you say you forgive them.
- If the person who hurt you is already dead, forgive them in your mind. But make a ritual out of it – this will help your unconscious to register you actually did it.
9. Practice Self-Disclosure
Sharing your innermost thoughts with a friend, a partner, or a therapist can lead to one of these Cathartic moments and lift a huge burden off your shoulders.
It requires courage but you can do it. Just sit down with a trusted person, and tell them everything that was boiling inside of you. Don’t hold back – really tell them everything. You’ll feel like being born again.
“Instead of saying, “I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues” say “I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over.” ― Horacio Jones
10. Never give up
There are two Winston Churchill’s quotes I thoroughly enjoy:
“Never, never, never give up” and “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Hardships are useful but only if you learn from them and try to overcome them. During tough times you often think about quitting. But stay. Stay until you figure it out. Endure the moments of pain and persevere. When it’s getting hard, double your efforts until you come out as a winner.
“The beginning is always today.” – Mary Shelley
How did you enjoy the article? Do you know any other useful ideas that could help others to “reset” their lives? Share your thoughts in the comments section!