Do you need to start your life all over?
There are a lot of changes going on right now. There are economic changes, political changes and for some, big life changes. This can be a scary and confusing place to be.
All these changes, are leaving people in a place they never thought they’d find themselves. They need to start all over again.
Regardless of how you might have ended up where you are at, starting over is not easy. Most of us have forgotten what it is like to begin again. We grew so used to our life and the way it flowed, that we aren’t even sure how to handle waking up not knowing what to do.
I urge you not to give up! A new life is out there for you. Yes, you have some work to do and no it won’t necessarily be easy, but you can do it. You can build yourself a new life. Let me share some thoughts with you on how to go about it.
Six Steps to Starting Your Life All Over
Starting fresh may seem attractive to some, but for most of us it is a very difficult place to be. That’s totally understandable. If you find yourself in this position, then hope is not lost, but you’re probably going to need to reset your thinking in order to find a new life.
I hope these suggestions will help.
1. Get a Plan to Guide You to a New Life
The number one thing you need when you are trying to start over is a solid plan. Big life changes can be paralyzing. They can leave you feeling afraid, confused and hopeless.
A good plan will help you to overcome your paralysis. It will guide you step-by-step through a process to decide what you want and how to get it. After all, you wouldn’t start a trip without a destination in mind and a map to follow, now would you?
The plan that I’d recommend is Discover Your Passion: A Step-by-Step Course for Creating the Life of Your Dreams. It was developed by Barrie Davenport, a career and life transition coach. You will not find a better resource to get you back on your feet. Barrie’s material will help you start over from the beginning to build the perfect life. Don’t hesitate to get this great guide to starting your life over!
2. Adjust Your Perspective to Your New Situation
Take an honest inventory of your life. Many people find this very difficult. They refuse to accept that they are starting over from scratch. Instead, they bury their heads in the sand and try to continue living like they always have. If you really need to start over, then denying it simply won’t work.
Put your pride aside and be willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild your life. Frugal Dad recently highlighted a book called Scratch Beginnings. It details the real-life journey of Adam Shepard, who upon graduating from college put aside his degree and all his worldly possessions and tried to start over in a new city with only $25.
While Adam’s situation was self-imposed, I believe the lessons he learned and the attitudes he adopted would be helpful to anyone having to begin again. Getting the right perspective on where you are at is an essential first step to getting your life back on track.
3. Dig Deep and Remember How You Did It the First Time
Most of us started out in life from a clean slate. We built our lives from scratch once so surely we can use some of the same methods to do it again. It is a stretch, but recalling how you did it the first time is probably a very useful exercise.
Take the lessons that you learned the first time around and use them to avoid repeating any mistakes you made before. Mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of admitting. Our mistakes are how we gain experience.
If you are starting over, then you probably have a good deal of experience on your side this time that you didn’t have before. This is to your credit. Use your experience to jumpstart your new life!
4. Set a Few Simple Goals
You’ve got to clear your head. As Ron at The Wisdom Journal points out, having too many goals is like having none. You need focus right now and the best way that I know to achieve this is to set a few simple goals.
I suggest that you set two or three short-range goals that you want to accomplish in the next three months. Also, I recommend looking out a year from now and envisioning where you want yourself to be. Be realistic but also stretch yourself.
In his book, Adam Shepard set short-range goals to get out of the homeless shelter and to have a job by a certain date. Your situation may or may not be this dire. The point is to get focused on exactly what you want to accomplish. Set a few goals and pursue them vigorously!
5. Become a Master of Your Finances
Money is the fuel you need to keep your life going while you are recovering. You’ve got to get absolute control over every penny you have. Madison at My Dollar Plan shares some great resources for doing this in Money by the numbers.
When you are starting over, you can’t afford to make a lot of financial mistakes. Generally, you are walking a economic tight wire. Fortunately, there are a ton of free resources on the Internet to help you become a master of your financial destiny.
Of course, you want to exercise caution and remember, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." Don’t be tempted to try a shortcut to getting back on your feet. It will likely lead you into a blind dead-end. Be patient and work your plan. You’ll be living a new life before you know it!
6. Wheel and Deal to Accelerate Your Recovery
You’ve got to negotiate with everyone on everything right now to get your new life going as quickly as possible. Sara at On Simplicity recently wrote a fantastic guide to bartering that I recommend reading.
Trading your labor or expertise for things you need is a great way to save money and to build new relationships as you start a new life. You’ve got to think differently right now. Most of us, don’t negotiate and barter enough in our regular lives. We get stuck thinking too narrowly.
Now is the time to break free from these ruts and discover new ways to get even more out of life. Be bold. You’ll get more than you expect if you will just ask. Make deals and deliver value to everyone you meet. This is a sure way to rebuilding a life you’ll love in no time!
Discover a New Life Better than Your Old One
It is probably hard to see now, but often when forced to rebuild our lives, we find the new one is even better than the old. I got a taste of this when I lost my home to a tornado back in 1999. It was a trying time, but we made it through. When it was all said and done, we had a new life that was even better than before!
Have you ever had to start over? What advice would you share?
Photo by Marco Bellucci