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How to Have a Fresh Start Without Giving Up a Lot in life

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How to Have a Fresh Start Without Giving Up a Lot in life

There is a common belief that when you want to embark or start on something new, whether it be a project, a hobby, a job or some big life change, a certain sacrifice must be made. “Out with the old, and in with the new” as they say. It’s almost as if we’re not capable of handling more than what we already have unless we let go of something. But is that really always the case?

When I was young, I took up violin lessons. I enjoyed playing the violin, but when I saw a friend playing the guitar, I got interested in that and wanted to start playing the guitar. My parents however, insisted that I continue with violin lessons and felt I should give my full attention to one instrument, rather than a few; they didn’t believe in being a Jack of all trades. And so sadly, I never got to take up guitar lessons.

What Does a Fresh Start Mean?

A fresh start means turning your life around and starting a new one. Some people wait for a new month, a new project at work, and in extreme cases, new years eve to think about a fresh start. A fresh start can be a catalyst that you need in life to make things better and achieve more.

“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written. ”

A fresh start can seem like something out of your control but you need to remember that at any point in life, you always have the power to turn things around and move in a better direction.

When you leave behind the aspects of your life that were weighing you down, you have the option to take on new opportunities and explore more about yourself and the world. Many people are scared of leaving their comfort zone and embracing uncertainty. However, a fresh start can make a lot of difference if taken at the right time.

Is Starting Fresh Good?

A fresh start can seem a lot like running away or giving up, and in today’s society, we consider it to be abandoning responsibility.

The first thing to understand is that we need to address how we have been socially conditioned into believing we owe our life to others. Be it people, a workplace, a project, or anything, commitment is valuable as long as it is not at your own expense.

This is why a fresh start needs to be seen as positively as we see taking a mental health break in today’s world. A fresh start is good because it gives you the chance to recalibrate the importance of certain things in your life and have more control over your surroundings.

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It gives you the room to make better decisions for yourself and possibly distance yourself from negative influences on your life.

How To Tell If You Need a Fresh Start

The most important aspect of a fresh start is how it is timed. Timing is essential because you need to seize opportunities at the right time to make a difference. Hence recognizing when you need a fresh start is just as important.

Here are some indications that you need to start anew:

  • You have been thinking about how your life used to be or how you would like it to be and feel helpless over how it is at the moment.
  • You feel like your current obligations are weighing you down and you might be sacrificing too much of yourself to meet expectations.
  • Your hometown or workplace is starting to seem suffocating and the people make you feel like an outsider.
  • You have been crying due to dissatisfaction with your life lately. It is important to understand the impact of a situation on your body.
  • You would much rather accept death than continue with your life, the way it is going at the moment.

If any of these applies to you, then you should weigh your options and seriously consider a fresh start in life.

Do You Need to Give Up All That You Have to Start Fresh?

Are you at a crossroad right now, and you’re trying to decide on whether to stay on in your current job, or move on to something completely different?

You’re not truly doing something you love or are passionate about, and so you want to make that change… but it’s a risky plunge.

You’re going to have to sacrifice everything that you’ve worked for over the years. You’re going to have to say goodbye to that big salary, the benefits that comes with the job, and you’re going to have to adjust to the changes.

Thinking of all that is already detering you from stepping out to take that plunge, isn’t it?

Or maybe you have many responsibilities in life and little time for yourself. You have a spouse and children to take care of, maybe you’ve even got aging parents to think of.

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At work, you’ve got subordinates waiting on you for advice. As a leader, you have to manage the team. You’ve got conference calls in different time zones to take, business trips to make, decisions to execute.

You have a lot on your plate, and you wish you could just set aside some time to enjoy the pleasures in life. Golf more, take the kids out more, go on vacations more.

Sure, if you wanted all that time, you could take on a lower paying job that would require less of your time. But that would mean a big pay cut and less comfort in your life. If not, you’ll just have to wait till retirement.

Play It Safe and Regret It Later

In these situations, it usually feels like an all or nothing approach. And, it then becomes the ‘smart’ thing to just ignore the challenge and stay put. Unless you’re overly confident that things are going to work out, or that you have a back up plan in place, most people never truly dare to take on new opportunities after a certain age or stage in life for fear of losing out, falling behind or having to give up whatever it is that they’ve already accomplished thus far.

But this is also where many individuals end up feeling regret much later on in life, perhaps as they approach retirement and have a sense of unfulfillment. There is an emptiness or a lack that they start feeling because they never answered their ‘calling’ or satisfied their heart’s desires. You may end up feeling short changed and unhappy with how things have turned out.

Most people end up feeling more bitter over the regrets of not having done or tried something, rather than in the mistakes they made when they tried something. It’s always the ‘what ifs’ that will go on to haunt you.

The Truth: No Sacrifice Needed!

The good news is, you don’t actually have to make such a big sacrifice when it comes to change! Everything that you’ve ever achieved and want to accomplish comes from you – your mind.

You set the limits and expectations for what you want in life, which is why the first step to breaking free from your limitations is to learn how to control and change your perception of your current situation. With this in mind, you can now actively take charge of your circumstances to build and create new opportunities.

How to Have a Fresh Start in Life

So how do you begin?

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Think of being at the beach, where you can see the tides coming in. When the tide is against you, it feels like an uphill battle. But, when the tide is with you, like when you’re surfing, suddenly there’s this invisible force – a momentum that pushes you along; you’re able to ride the waves smoothly, just how that momentum pushes you towards your goal.

So part of taking charge of your circumstances is to systematically turn the tides in your favor. That means actively and strategically building up momentum for yourself to propel you where you want to go. But, first, you have to know what you want. You need to know where you’re going in order to set the right goals and the right actions to start getting there, right?

Next, you also need to see things in terms of Trends. Do you believe that a big change requires some sort of big, dramatic decision? Well that’s not always the case!

The truth is, that change, especially big change, almost never happens as a sudden, one-off result. Change doesn’t happen in a sudden impulsive decision, because those types of changes almost never turn out well. The outcomes that do succeed are a result of a build up of underlying factors that probably started a long time ago.

Think of the last major decision you made. The seeds that culminated in it were probably planted months or maybe even a year before–am I right? You can say that those seeds began a new life trend that started gaining momentum as you put more actions into it. And, this really is how your life works.

Life is a series of trends. And a trend is a direction of change – it’s always moving forward.

But, the thing about trends is that they’re either going up or down; some are moving faster than others, but they’re always moving. Another thing about trends is that you don’t notice the change happening at the time. The vast majority of change happens behind the scenes and builds up over time. It’s not until it passes a critical point when it suddenly becomes apparent.

Real change comes from where your trends are taking you. Because a trend is like a river, once it builds up momentum, it becomes a force of its own, and nothing can stop it from reaching its destination. So the secret to turning the tides to your favor, is to control your trends.

But a trend doesn’t start with your actions. Like your limitations, it starts from your perspective – how you see the thing you’re trying to change. So once you change your perspective, believe it or not, you’ve already started creating a new trend. You’ll start doing things differently, and soon enough it’ll become automatic. Slowly at first, but over time, these will build up into a completely new you in that part of your life.

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So since trends are realized over time, this means that it’s important to start now, because big change is like a snowball. It accumulates from a lot of consistent actions. The upside to viewing change in terms of trends is that you can start enjoying the change immediately. And, the change doesn’t stop, as long as the trend keeps building up. It’ll continue to grow and get bigger and bigger..

The biggest difference between those who experience breakthroughs and those who don’t, is that the ones who see breakthroughs go through a total shift in mindset. They realize a need to see things differently, and as a result, they’re able to act differently which leads to successful outcomes.

The Full Life Framework

So this is where I want to introduce the Full Life Framework. This is the framework that will help you to turn your mindset around, and provide an overall paradigm shift for you to turn any limitation you may be having, into an opportunity that is achievable.

By going through this framework, you’ll be able to achieve the change that is needed to reach your goals and break free from whatever is currently holding you back. Don’t be afraid to step out and take that new plunge!

Final Thoughts

“An opportunity is what you make of it.”

It applies perfectly to fresh starts as they are only as effective as you make them. This is why a lot of thoughts need to go into how you will make your fresh start and what are the reasons behind taking this decision.

Doing this will help you understand what your priorities are and what you’re trying to avoid, once you have your second chance.

Featured photo credit: Martha Dominguez de Gouveia via unsplash.com

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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