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How to Restart Your Life

August 15, 2018 Philosophy and Religion

Many reasons may prompt you to hit the ‘refresh’ button on your life. Perhaps you are going through a divorce, overcoming an addiction, healing from a serious injury or illness, or rebuilding after an emotional wound like betrayal. Regardless of where you’re coming from, you can make the road ahead more rewarding by setting a good foundation. Get a fresh start on your life by figuring out where you want to go. Then, adopt small positive changes to gradually improve your life. Or, if necessary go to the extreme and implement a major life shift.

Steps

Method 1 Finding a New Direction

  1. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 1 Define your personal values. If you have a desire to reboot your life, it may be because you don’t feel like you are living according to your principles. Values are the beliefs, opinions, and ideas that drive your decision-making and serve as a foundation for your life. To ensure that your life reset gets off on the right foot, figure out your values.[1]
    • Perform a self-assessment in order to pinpoint your personal values. Ask yourself:
      • What kind of things get you fired up talking about?
      • What would you be willing to sacrifice your life for?
      • If your home was on fire, assuming all living beings had been rescued, what three items would you want to take with you?
      • What aspects of your community or the world would you like to change?
  2. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 2 Envision your best possible self. To further direct your path, do a visualization exercise. Visualization can be a powerful tool to clarify our desires and move us closer to obtaining them. Spend some time imagining who you would like to be in 5, 10, or 15 years.[2]
    • Go someplace quiet where you can sit without distractions. Close your eyes. Picture in your mind’s eye yourself at a specific point in the future (e.g. 1 year or 5 years). Imagine that you are at the peak of success during this time. You have realized all your goals.
    • What are you doing in this vision? What is your career? What kind of lifestyle do you have? Who are you surrounded by? What do you do for fun?
    • Absorb this image fully. Then, grab some paper and write out some details about it. What skills or strengths do you need to make this vision a reality? How can you gain these skills?
  3. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 3 Take a look at your daily choices. It’s often said that most people overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what they can do in a day. True enough, life consists of weeks, months, and years. However, you get there day by day. Think about the kinds of things you do daily. Do these actions or habits line up with your ultimate goals?
  4. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 4 Set realistic goals. After you have spent time envisioning your dreams and assessing what you are doing daily, you can develop an action plan to bring you closer to where you want to be. What can you do today to get you closer where you want to be tomorrow? Set SMART goals that you can break down into smaller steps. That way, you can take some positive action towards reaching your goals every day.[3]
    • For example, perhaps in the visualization exercise you saw yourself running your own business. Your ultimate goal may be to “Be an entrepreneur,” but that’s a lofty goal to take on all at once.
    • Break your goals down. You might need to “Develop a business idea/plan,” “Secure investors,” or “Rent a location” to house your business. These steps may serve as starting places to move you closer to the larger goal.

Method 2 Refreshing Your Life in Small Ways

  1. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 5 Go on a retreat. One small way to hit the reset button is by participating in a retreat. Depending on your specific circumstances, there are retreats to suit virtually every preference. A retreat offers you the chance to depart from your everyday environment for a few days or longer in order to regroup and gain a new perspective or sense of inspiration for your life.
    • Retreats can serve a general or specific purpose. For example, a retreat may be hosted especially for writers, married couples, fitness enthusiasts or those looking to improve their diets.[4]
  2. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 6 Learn something new. If your daily life feels uninspiring, you may need to invigorate your brain cells with a challenge. A pick-me-up in the form of a new skill or hobby could be just what you need to refresh your schedule.[5]
    • Sign up for an evening class to learn a new language, ballroom dancing, master French cuisine, or train in martial arts. Maybe you once enjoyed running or sewing, but stopped. Reflect on passions you used to enjoy and pick them back up. Whatever you do, find some way to challenge yourself and jazz up your routine.
  3. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 7 Play. Life can start to feel colorless if you spend all your time working or attending to responsibilities. Burnout from work or caregiving can cause chronic stress that threatens not only your mindset, but your health, too. Assess your daily schedule to see what tasks you can cut out or cut down to make more room for fun.
    • Include some time each day for play. This may translate to throwing a ball to your dog, tickling your kids, playing a video or board game, or watching a comedy film.
    • Take note of how you feel when you make more time for fun in your life.[6]
  4. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 8 Clean up your diet. Indulging on processed or fast foods, sodas, caffeinated beverages, or alcohol can worsen your mood and outlook on life. These foods and beverages make you cranky and affect your sleep quality—two things that contribute to how you feel in day-to-day life. Counteract the negative effects of poor dietary choices by making a commitment to eat cleaner. This small change could have resounding benefits on your health and well-being.
    • Cut out salty, sugary, and caffeinated foods for a plant-based diet. Make fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains the foundation of your diet. Also, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to properly hydrate your body.
  5. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 9 Spruce up your home. Your environment impacts your mood. If your home is cluttered, dull, or decorated in a way that does not reflect your personality, you may want to hit the reset button on home décor.
    • Let the light in by opening blinds or hanging up sheer curtains. Organize clutter by researching creative storage solutions. Donate old clothes, books, records. Paint the walls if you can, and hang up artwork that inspires you.
  6. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 10 Read more. Technology is the top choice for entertainment these days. Too much TV, web-browsing, or social media can jeopardize your health if you are sedentary. Plus, making comparisons on social media often leave people feeling depressed about their own lives. Take a detox from these sources of information.
    • Visit a library or bookstore and select a book in your favorite genre. Or, if you prefer, download a book on your tablet or ereader. Make a vow to read for at least 30 minutes each night before bed.
  7. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 11 Compliment yourself. If you view your life as dull, there’s a chance you’ve been engaging in self-defeating thought patterns. When you feel uninspired by your life, instead of looking outward to the possibilities, you may beat yourself up for not being where you want to be. You can instantly feel better about yourself by taking time to acknowledge the positives.
    • Take a few minutes each day—whether in the morning or at night—to compliment yourself. You might say things like “You are such a caring person” or “I love my smile.” For extra points, do it in front of a mirror.
  8. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 12 Volunteer. Perhaps you feel like you have been behaving selfishly or are taking your good fortune for granted. A wonderful way to reboot your inner humanity is by giving. Seek out opportunities in your community where you can be of service to others.
    • Volunteerism can equate to many different actions. It could mean starting a regular commitment with a non-profit organization, or it could simply be doing kind things for others when you have spare time. Read for children at the library. Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog. Help your disabled family member keep their home tidy. Think of ways you can help those around you.
  9. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 13 Meditate daily. Sometimes, a life reset means slowing down and enjoying the present moment. You may feel like you are always running from place to place and never have time to just be. Mindfulness meditation is a beneficial practice that helps you become more aware of the present moment.[7]
    • Start by setting aside just 5 minutes each day to sit in silence. Close your eyes or focus on a neutral spot a few feet in front of you. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Hold the breath for a few seconds. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth. Focus on your breath or the spot in front of you. If you notice your attention wandering, bring your focus back and continue breathing.

Method 3 Taking Drastic Measures

  1. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 14 Drop unhealthy or unproductive habits. If you are in the market for a major life overhaul, you may want to start with some of your habits. Habit change is a serious undertaking. However, when you replace negative habits with positive ones, you will notice your life starting to change for the better.
    • Pick out a habit that has been holding you back from reaching your goals or being the best version of yourself. Poor habits may include swearing, lying, cheating, excessively drinking alcohol, smoking, watching too much TV, drinking too much alcohol, being late, or procrastinating.
    • The best way to break a bad habit is to find a positive one to replace it. For instance, if you want to stop watching so much TV, you might find another activity you could do during this time like reading, coloring, or working on a puzzle. Create a reward system so that you reinforce you choosing the other activity over TV.[8]
    • For more serious habits like drugs, alcohol, or binge-eating, you may need to seek professional assistance.[9]
  2. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 15 Go back to school or change careers. Suffering from burnout or lack of inspiration at work can lead to dissatisfaction in many other areas of life. If you don’t like what you are doing for a living, come up with a feasible plan to advance in your chosen field or switch fields altogether.
    • Career counseling may help you narrow down a career path of interest.[10] You might also learn information about your career aspirations by reexamining your values and the best possible future self exercise.
  3. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 16 Move to a new place. If your hometown lacks opportunity, culture, or other features that are important to you, it may be time to relocate. Or, maybe you love your current job, but don’t enjoy the daily commute. Talk with your family, partner, or close friends to help you decide whether moving could be the right choice for you.[11]
  4. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 17 Improve your appearance. If you feel like you are stuck in a style rut, pressing the reset button may include a makeover. It’s up to you how big you want the change to be. If you feel like your wardrobe is out of date or colorless, go shopping for some newer pieces that flatter your body. Include some pops of color to brighten things up.
    • On the other hand, an appearance change could also involve getting a haircut, losing weight, getting your teeth whitened, or wearing makeup.[12]
  5. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 18 End toxic relationships. Rebooting your life also includes your social connections. If you are surrounded by unsupportive people who mistreat you or fail to appreciate you, it’s time to nix those relationships. A spouse that verbally abuses you, a friend who always cancels at the last minute, or a boss who fails to recognize your contributions can all affect your life satisfaction.[13]
    • Think carefully about how each person in your life makes you feel. Cut out negative influences and expand your circle to include positive people. If you aren’t able to completely terminate certain relationships, get as much distance as you can.
    • Meet new people by joining clubs or organizations, taking a class, or connecting with people at work.
  6. Image titled Restart Your Life Step 19 Develop a financial wellness plan. If you have been spending exorbitantly, or are struggling to meet your basic needs, you may need to reboot your relationship with money. Start by developing a monthly budget that factors in all of your expenses and luxuries to figure out where your money is going. Then, devise a plan to either cut back on spending or increase your income to save more.[14]

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Tips

  • Don't change for anyone, other than yourself.
  • Smile more. It makes you seem super confident even if you aren't and it will make you seem more friendly to the world around you.
  • Create the person you want to be. You can do anything, if you want it enough! Start over. Delete your past and start living as you want.

Warnings

  • Don't hang around with people who lie, cheat, steal, bully, or use drugs and alcohol.

Original Article

How to Restart Your Life
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