One of the most frequent questions my clients ask is, “How do I start over?” 

Although life doesn’t come with a re-set button, you can give your life a “fresh start” any moment you choose. Life is a journey, not a destination. I believe life is 5% what happens to you and 95% what you do with that. If 95% is up to you, where do you start when you are blown off-course on your life journey?   

Understand that starting fresh is making a change and the first stage of any change is Resistance. Making a change is taking a risk and can cause paralyzing fear. Whenever I feel resistance about making a change, I think of Wayne Gretzky, the hockey star who said, “You miss every shot you don’t take.” 

Assess your current reality. How satisfied are you with your progress in key areas of your life? Consider your level of satisfaction with your health, relationships, career and finances. Even when you think you will only be “starting fresh” in one area, it’s important to know how you’re doing in other areas. You are multidimensional and enhancing one area will affect the other areas as well. For example, if you want to re-start your career, this could impact your health, relationships and finances.  

Examine your most important values and your life purpose. Who are you and what do you stand for? As the late Stephen Covey said, “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the business of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” Take time to understand yourself better. What are your talents and skills? Your hopes and dreams?

Reflect on your past. Your rear view mirror can provide insights into what you’ve learned and why you want to let go of the past. Review your successes and learn from your mistakes. Are there destructive patterns that have held you back?  

Keep only supportive, positive people on your Personal Board of Directors. This is the time to remove toxic people from your inner circle. Consider your closest relationships and decide who should stay, who should be re-classified, and who else can be recruited to support you. 

Create your “Action Plan” and visualize achieving your goals. Now that you have examined your past, your present and chosen your team, start to visualize your future. Write down what you want to change and steps to do so. Start with small steps and include timelines. 

Start moving. Begin with small steps. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, so now it’s time to get going! 

With these steps, you can strategically re-pack your gear for the next part of the journey of your life. Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% what you do with that! 

Dr. Susan Murphy is a best-selling author, coach and speaker who specializes in relationships, conflict, leadership and goal-achievement. Dr. Murphy can be reached at [email protected] and (760) 674.1615.

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