We always think of making a fresh start in January … new year, new resolutions, new life. But how many of us actually stick to those? I have always thought of April as a time for new beginnings. The spring just fosters a sense of rebirth in every facet of life. The days get longer, the flowers bloom, the weather gets warmer, people smile and interact with each other more. I just find spring to be an easier transition period from old to new from the smallest to the biggest changes.
15 Steps to Starting Fresh:
1. Let go of what didn’t work – past grievances, emotions, negative thoughts etc. Letting go is not forgetting. It just allows you to make peace and move forward.
2. Be clear about your changes/goals. Write it down or make an audio note to yourself. But definitely make a list of what you want to change or enhance (even if it’s just 1 or 2 things). Be concrete. For example, say you want to lose 10 pounds. Write on your list “I am going to lose 10 pounds by increasing my workouts from 2 to 4 times a week.” Be specific!
3. Keep your list short. If you have a long list of goals/changes, pick your top 3 and focus on those for the next 3 to 6 months. Then move on to the next ones. This will feel less overwhelming and help you to maintain your focus and achieve your goals.
4. Mistakes are lessons – Learn and grow from them.If you can’t learn from your mistakes you will keep repeated them. What to do with mistakes … Acknowledge, Let Go, Learn and Move Forward.
5. Seek help - You don’t need to do it alone. Talk to someone who can offer you unbiased advice and strategies, whether it be a friend or professional. Reach out to a few people if need be. People who listen and motivate you are great assets to helping you move forward and stay on course.
6. Remind yourself constantly why you are making these changes and why they are important.“I want to lose 10 pounds because I want to look and feel healthier.” “I want that promotion because I am an asset to the company, I’ve worked hard and I deserve it.”
7. Commit and stay committed.Things don’t change without commitment and determination. Stay focused.
8. Be patient.Changes don’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and give it time. You may stumble a bit on the way and that’s okay because you will get there.
9. Forget perfection and strive for YOUR best. We are all different. Your best may not be my best so you need to aim for yours. Perfection is overrated. What is important is that you strive for excellence because that is not an end point but a beginning. You can always be better.
10. Positive self-talk and energy is vital.I always stress positivity, whatever the source - energy, self-talk, thoughts, people etc. Surround yourself with optimism and positive energy. Everything/everyone around you, including and most importantly yourself, should lift you up and make you a better person.
11. Accept that there will be bad days. There will be lulls and moments when you just aren’t feeling it. We all experience them. But don’t give up just give yourself a break. Take a day, sleep on it, tomorrow will be better. Remember what you are trying to achieve and why. Stay positive. Allow your “funk” 24 hours (but no more time than that) then dismiss it and get back on track.
12. Embrace challenge.Challenges make us stronger, smarter and more resilient. If you start to feel overwhelmed break it down into smaller steps, focus on each step individually until you feel strong enough to jump into the whole task. Based on the same example above, you want to lose 10 pounds so you increase your workouts to 4 times a week. But this stresses you. Solution = Shorten the workout sessions. Start by going 20 minutes each time and gradually work your way up to 45 minutes every time.
13. Visualize your future success.Visualize your life 2, 3, 6 months from now when you have achieved your goal. See all the positive transformations take hold and come to life.
14. Empower yourself.Every thought and action should empower you and encourage the change you are striving towards. If you falter or are in doubt ask yourself, "Does this behavior/decision/person help me move forward, or block my progress?" You always want to strengthen not weaken yourself.
15. Celebrate the change!Every time you feel wonderful or feel the change celebrate! Be happy, dance, laugh, jump up and down, whatever makes you feel good. You deserve it!