every morning for the last 2 weeks, i’ve gotten up at around 6:30am, made coffee, opened the sliding glass door to my patio and watched rush hour traffic whiz by. there’s a paloverde tree in front of my apartment, which shades me from the sun and i can happily sit out there all morning just doing my thing
i feel calm and collected and perhaps even expanded! i feel like i have the freedom to do whatever i want with my day (aside from going to work, ha!). i feel safe and secure and like my voice matters in my tiny life. i missed those feelings.
i’m starting to feel like myself again!
you see, i’m starting over, yet again. i’ve found myself a cute little studio in downtown phoenix and i’m decompressing and assessing. i’ve been re-evaluating my life, what mistakes i’ve made and keep making, practicing some self-compassion and forgiveness for making those mistakes, compassion and forgiveness for others who were a part of those mistakes, and considering just where i want to take myself in the future. what kind of hobbies do i want to try? do i want to start a side-hustle? what can i do professionally that i would enjoy and makes me money? am i happy with my health? with my finances? with my mental wellbeing?
i have a pretty bad habit that i’m just recognizing, that is constantly getting me into situations where i have to start over, as opposed to the wanting to start over like when i moved to key west, which i invariably repeated this particular mistake, which then made me have to start over. make sense?
anyway, i’ve pretty much got this whole starting over thing down and i thought it might be helpful to share!
The Art of Starting Over
I have found these 9 steps essential to truly making lasting change when starting over.
- Find a safe space to heal – it may not be a comfortable space, or an ideal space… but it does need to be a safe space!
- Wipe the slate clean – create the space necessary to breathe, think and plan.
- Reflect & Identify pitfalls – look at where you’ve been and see if you can identify behavioral patterns that cause you to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
- Reconsider EVERYTHING – and i mean everything! home, work, finances, entertainment, friends, family, etc… how can you move forward while minimizing the potential pitfalls you’ve identified?
- SIMPLIFY – every aspect of life. so often we think we need more when what we really need is less… or at least simpler.
- Prioritize – add back the things/people/activities/work that bring you joy or are essential. look at the things you would like to do. changes you would like to make. order them so you might actually do them.
- Put it in concrete – put your priorities on the calendar so you’ll actually do them!
- Plan ahead – every month look at the next 3 so that you know what’s coming and you can plan accordingly.
- Do it! – close the gap between wanting and doing by taking action!
right now i’ve just completed steps 1 & 2 (i’m particularly good at step 2!) and i’m resting on steps 3 &4… these steps take a while, require the most self-compassion and are, i believe the hardest part since humans are not very good at challenging their own beliefs, values and patterns. we tend to suffer from the backfire effect and fight with all our might against change, even though it might be a change that we want/need. silly lizard brain 🙂
do you have certain things you do when starting over?
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