Defeat. Boredom. Lack of meaning in your life. All these symptoms, and many others, of course, are a sign that you need to start fresh. To run again. To leave the old behind and embrace the new. To ignite a new spark that will light a new life, with a deeper meaning, broader experience and much more fulfillment than you had so far. A rebirth.
I started fresh for many times in my life, and, hopefully, I’ll start fresh again. Because, like it or not, change is the only permanent thing in this Universe. Here are 50 proven (and I’m not kidding you) ways to start fresh.
1. Accept Change
Sometimes starting over means accepting that you’re no longer the person you used to be. You’re no longer attracted by the same things or persons, you’re no longer driven by the same goals. It’s ok. Don’t blame yourself for it and don’t try to resist. Start over. As hard as it may seem in the beginning. You’ll be surprised how fast things will fall into places again.
2 Just Leave
Quit the boring job, the abusive relationship, the past. Embrace the unknown. Make the first step. Every trip starts with just one step. You’re resisting to this impulse because leaving is associated with letting someone else down. Well, you won’t let nobody down if you’ll step out of an abusive relationship. But if you won’t leave, you will let down somebody very important: you..
3. Accept To Meet Someone New
Too often we’re unconsciously rejecting other people by habit. Well, make a fracture in that habit. Don’t put a label on every person you meet, assuming you know beforehand who they are, what they do and how they can interact with you. Open up, let yourself flow and look for the signs. Many times my life was truly changed when I just accepted to meet someone new.
4. Accept Defeat
And move on. Yes it hurts. Yes, you lost something, or somebody. Yes, your hopes are broken down and maybe so is the heart. Accept it. Close the battle and move on. There is this very simple thing which many people are just blindly ignoring: you can’t have a new victory until you close your current battle (by accepting defeat, if that’s what just happened).
5. Talk to somebody
It doesn’t have to be a friend. Anybody willing to listen will do it. Just take it out of our chest. Transform your experiences in words and let them out, transfer your story to somebody else. Not only you’ll feel a little better, but you may also find a new idea, a surprising solution or just the courage you lack to start fresh. Let the others be the triggers of your change.
6. Do Something Reasonably Risky
Bungee jumping, for instance, if you’re the physical type. Or, if you’re the shy guy, do a public speech in front of one thousand people. The more consuming the challenge you’re embracing, the faster you’ll get out of your comfort zone. And by getting out that comfort zone, you literally stretch your limits up to the point you’re forced to break up with the past.
7. Go To A Live Event
A concert or other stuff involving hundreds or thousands of people. Be in a crowd. In something way bigger than yourself. Blend in and lose your sense of identity (which is false anyway, we’re all part of something bigger). Confronting your own tiny ego with thisÂ huge surrounding energy will make any decision you embrace much easier. Especially a new start.
8. Write A Story About Your Past
Don’t make it a novel and don’t aim at publishing it. Just write down in your own words what happened to you. Describe the sequence of steps which drove your life to its current position. Be verbose. Don’t rush. And little by little you’re going to realize that once you put it in words, your past will become more manageable and you’ll be able to break up easier.
9. Make A Plan
And stick to it.
10. Enjoy The Victory And Move On
You don’t have to start fresh only after a big defeat. Victory is just the other face of the same coin. Don’t get too addicted to it, or you’ll end up in a continuous frustration loop. Attaching yourself to an already consumed victory is as bad as not accepting defeat. Just because your prison cell is pink, that doesn’t make it less of a prison cell. Yes, you won this one. Next.
11. Make Peace With The Past
Accept ALL your past defeats and victories. Accept all your past mistakes or brilliant decisions. Accept that the moment you stepped out of a second, there’s no way to live it again, because it’s gone. The past doesn’t really exist, it’s a human invention, just like the future . Look around and accept that the only option you have is to live now. Or not at all.
12. Write Down The Worst Case Scenario
Ok, you wanna change, but you’re not yet sure. Then write down the worst case scenario. What could go wrong? Pick the worst possible case. Write it down and be very careful at the details. It will not only make you more aware about what you really are up to, but it will also reveal that it’s much more easier than you feel. Hoping for the best and preparing for worse.
13. Clean Up Your Closet
Throw away clothes, things, devices, memories. They drag you down. Clean up your room, wipe the dust, get rid of the clutter. The more you do that, the more you’ll realize that things are not you. The more you let go, the more lighter you’ll feel. And that will make you move easier and faster. Change will look like a natural path, not an effort.
14. Limit The Stuff You Own
Get rid of your possessions. Do it until your life will finally become a matter of enjoying your time here and not managing your stuff. I’m sure everybody was there: you badly need something, you get it and enjoy it, but after a certain time (and a certain number of things you own) you spend more time managing your inventory than living your life.
15. Format Your Hard-disk
If your brain could be assimilated to a computer hard-disk, do a raw format. “Accidentally” lose some data. Re-arrange drastically all your information and intently destroy some of your hard-disk sectors. After you’ll finish moaning the “disaster”, you will will have no other chance than to push yourself forward, in order to be functional again.
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16. Update Your Life Device Drivers
Redesign your social circle, your friends, your goals. Continuing the metaphor above, if your brain is a computer hard-disk, than your interactions will be assimilated to the drivers. Re-write them. Re-engineer your social life at a much deeper level. Ignore the old devices, update and upgrade. The old you is obsolete and your old life is deprecated.
17. Break Up A Habit
Sometimes all you need in order to ignite a bigger change is just shifting some small, unconscious behaviors. Like a habit, you know. Before engaging in a bigger change, start by breaking up a small habit. Tiny moves (or baby steps, if you prefer) are easier to do and to monitor. Just stack small victory over small victory. You’ll soon be there.
18. Create A New Habit
But, as hard as it may be to understand and accept, we are living huge parts of our life on auto-pilot. By habit. So, breaking up a habit will only take you half way. From there, you gotta try to build a new habit. The good thing is that you’re consciously choosing a new habit now. There is not any bad thing about starting a new habit, by the way. 🙂
19. Find Out What Went Wrong
And write it down somewhere visible. Keep it in front of your eyes. Day in and day out. If you really did something wrong, then make it painfully obvious. If somebody else did something wrong to you, remember it. In both cases, tell to yourself: “I won’t do this anymore”. This aggressive visualization will push you to something new. And maybe better.
20. Commit To Someone New
A new friend, a new personal relationship or a new business partner. The keyword here is “commit”, not “new”. Be there for somebody else, hook up to something or somebody. Too often we’re hit by life when we try to unglue, to subtract ourselves, to give up, to avoid. Exercising commitment to somebody new will help you avoid this situation.
21. Reconnect With An Old Friend
Find somebody you didn’t speak to in the last 10 years. Re-connect. Start understanding his or her life, see how your paths took different ways. Your life will certainly look different after this reconnection. By shifting your perspective, you’ll start to understand which parts of you are the same, and which ones are changed. Like in a spiral path.
22. Move Somewhere Else
Live in another place. Your physical environment has a memory of itself, interlinked with yours. Changing your current surroundings will make those dragging memories fade away. It can be as easy as choosing from the dozens of moving companies and getting out of town. Moving in a different city, or even a different country will push you to completely redesign your life. It may be stressful and painful in the beginning. But, eventually, it will change.
23. Flip A Coin
The elders had a name for it: asking the gods. If a coin won’t do the job for you, feel free to use whatever divination method you’re comfortable with: dice, yi-king, astrology, whatever. Just keep in mind there will be a significant amount of hazard in this. And sometimes hazard is exactly what you need in order to destroy a poisonous structure.
24. Restart Your Morning Routine
Mornings are certainly underrated. They have a huge influence on our lives. A small insertion in your morning routine could have incredibly deep effects. In fact, the way you’re starting your morning will completely shape the way you’re spending the whole day. A butterfly wing in Venezuela can generate a storm in Australia, they say.
25. Create And Keep Close A Minimum Survival Kit
It’s not about clothes or food, this minimum survival kit. It’s more about a certain attitude and life skills. Be prepared, keep hope and avoid excessive baggage. Stay thin. If you’re on the adventurous edge, you can also stay fool and hungry, that will certainly bring some excitement in your life. But don’t forget that survival kit, it’s incredibly useful.
26. Change Your Game
We’re all playing games. Even if we think we don’t, we do. We play the game of the career, the game of the family, the game of being rich or poor. By transforming every part of your life into a social game, you will empower yourself. It’s much easier to start a game than to repair a serious situation. It’s just a game, what could go wrong in a game?
27. Do The Magic Fairy Exercise
Every time you’re stuck, go meet your fairy tale. I know, we’re not all having our personal fairy tale, floating around ready to fulfill our deepest, craziest desires. And yet, you can do something else: you can pretend that fairy exists and that she can really fulfill you any desire. Just be very careful about what you’re asking. Because you’re going to get it, eventually.
28. De-virus Your Mind
If you’re going to start fresh, one of the things that would really help is to realize your mind is not perfect. In other words, don’t believe everything you think. Your mind may be the victim of many social viruses, and you’re certainly not aware of many of them. Just take some distance from your own thoughts every once in a while. De-virus your mind.
29. Laugh More Often
It may be that you’re fighting to get back your life, to find your purpose or to attain your goal. Be there, be a warrior, but don’t forget to laugh. Even in the most difficult part of your lives you can find reasons to laugh. Too much commitment, too much strain, too much seriousness will have in the end the opposite effect. They’ll drag you down.
30. Start Teaching Others
You do have a talent. You do have some special skills. That talent, it doesn’t really have to be spectacular, you know, but it’s really something that defines you. Use it, don’t loose it. Sometimes the only way to learn something new is to teach others. By sharing your knowledge, time and experience, you’ll in fact ignite new ways to live your life.
31. Write A Book
Any book. Unblock your thoughts, if you’re the organized type and just got stuck, or get the courage to imagine new worlds, if fantasy is your type. Chose a topic you know or like and stick with it. A book is wonderful milestone. Even if it won’t change your entire life immediately, something important will shift inside. Creativity is a magical thing.
32. Practice Your “Yes”
Change is never about negativity. You cannot change as long as you are in denial, right? This is what denial means, by the way: resistance to new. Any genuine change will be fueled by your capacity to say “Yes“. The good news is that this ability can be strengthened the same way you strengthen your muscles at the gym. Practice your “Yes”.
33. Practice Your “No” Too
It goes hand in hand with the one above. Learn how to say “No“. To an abusive relationship, to a boring job, to a limiting context. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at. Don’t take anything for granted. You have the power to say “No” to certain things in your life. You have the power to say “No” to the past, and “Yes” to the present.
34. Quit Being A Quitter
Quitting something (your job, your family, your friends) doesn’t mean you start fresh, it means you’re not finishing your stuff. Quit doing this, take responsibility and do your part of the job. If you committed to something, finish it. It may be difficult, but until you consume everything you set up for a meal, you won’t be able to fill your plate again.
35. Keep (And Read) A Log Of Your Breakthroughs
Sort of a personal history of things your consider important in your life. It may be the fact that you had the courage to speak to somebody, or the fact that you climbed the Everest. If you think it will help, you can share them, but that’s not compulsory. What is compulsory is to read them from time to time. It will pump you up beyond expectation.
36. Learn How To Be Ridiculous
Too often we’re rejecting change and avoid starting fresh by fear of rejection. What if I’m going to be laughed at? What if people will reject me because I will be clumsy or shy in the beginning? Well, they may reject you. You will be ridiculous if you start something completely fresh. And that’s the good news. Learn how to be ridiculous. It’s an art.
37. Take An Interview With Yourself
Yes, you’re a star and yes you deserve exposure. You can light this world with awesomeness. Take an interview with yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to contain exactly these questions, but you can start with them. Just be honest. Put it aside for a week or two and then come back and read it. You really want to be that person?
38. Practice Hazard
Learn how to get from A to B in 5 easy steps. Leave your mind free and see where it goes. That’s a great exercise not only for enhancing your creativity, but also for strengthening your change muscles. While it will not directly build up your courage to take action, you’ll learn how to spot opportunities and broaden your vision.
39. Keep Your Brain Fit
The most important tool you have is your brain. You have this amazing engineering machinery with you all the time and yet, you chose to use only a tiny percent of its capacity. You wouldn’t be able to climb a mountain without a fit body, right? Then be sure you wouldn’t go through a complex and difficult change without a fit and agile brain.
40. Clean Up Your Lenses
The road to change may be right in front of you, but you may not see it. Why? Because your life lenses got blurred. It’s like a camera which doesn’t know how and where to focus. Move it back and forth a few times and see what picture it shows. That’s equivalent with shaking a bit things around. In the end your lenses will be cleaner.
41 Act. Don’t React
If you’re reacting to what’s happening , you’ll never start fresh. Change by reaction is rooted in fear and is just a form of escapism. Even more, you’ll end up continuously being chased by what you’re running from. Make your own judgment and don’t react to pressures like lack of money and social rejection. That too shall pass.
42. Stop Solving The Wrong Problem
Focus on what matters. What they say about you is not that important. What you really do with your life, that’s important. We do have a tendency to get lost in the details and start solving the wrong problems. Cut it short. Those tiny little things you want to “solve” around will soon grow to the size of the swamp. Don’t allow that to happen. Stay sharp.
43. Forget “I Can”, Embrace “I Do”
You’re largely what you’re saying to yourself. You actually do what you continuously tell to your brain to do. Insert yourself in this process and change all the “I Can”‘s with “I Do”‘s. “I Can” may be empowering but “I Do” is truly life changing. You can’t start fresh without taking action. Change this monologue. You’ll be amazed by the results.
44. Pay Yourself First
So you can pay others too. Altruism doesn’t worth a nickel if you can’t make ends meet. Giving and giving and giving away, without taking care of yourself, will eventually drain you out. Turn your face to yourself and find out what you really need. Start getting it. Forget the blame and the shame. That change alone could spark a new beginning for you.
45. Shift Your Focus
One thing we often ignore, is that our reality is generated by our focus. Whatever we’re focusing on, it grows. So, a new beginning could be in fact just the result of a focus shift. Place your attention on other things. It may be difficult in the beginning, so start training.
46. Take A Long Distance Trip
Traveling long distance is an art. Whenever I did a very long trip something changed inside. A new perspective, some unexpected ideas, something fresh and surprising emerged from that trip. If you rent a timeshare on the resale market, the trip doesn’t have to break the bank either. Whenever you feel prisoner of a lifestyle you don’t want anymore, do your best to travel far and away. You’ll be back, most of the time, as a different person.
47. Stop Trying To Be Perfect
Perfection is a big mind trap. It’s nothing more than a state of suspension in which you’re not really alive. Perfection means you reached the end of the journey. And the understanding of this end, for us, as human beings, is being dead. Just try to be better instead. Being better will always give you room for change. Chasing perfection will not.
48. Eliminate Self Sabotage
What if I’m going to tell you that the biggest enemy of yourself is… you? What if I’ll tell you that you’re afraid of success? What if I’ll tell you that you don’t live up to your dreams by fear of failure? All of these mindsets are forms of self-sabotage. And they are more dangerous than you think. Thinking that change is impossible is a form of self-sabotage.
49. Get Rid Of Your Guardians
They’re living inside of you, as images of authority. Or they live with you, in imbalanced relationships, based on power games. Whatever the place, those guardians have only one mission: to keep you in a perpetual state of slavery. To prevent you from growing, by selling you the illusion of safety. You’re much better off. As scary as it may be.
50. Recycle Aggression
You need it. You have it in yourself because deep down, when you were just a sparkle in the dark, you had a deep need to survive. And you survived. Aggressiveness is not toxic, the way you use it may be. Re-channel that huge force, that immense energy flow you get from aggression and put it to good work. Don’t bottle it deep down, let it out.
Have more? Share them in the comments.
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Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.