Have you ever wished at some point or another that life came with a reboot button? There are times when you have experienced a long, tedious stretch and you just feel the need to hit the reset. Sometimes life gets dull, the economy squeezes you really tight, breakups happen, jobs get tough and the list goes on. The start of a new year always feels like a chance to try new things and maybe even “start over” in every area of life. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what is and what isn’t working within your life, family, career and business. Taking the time to identify these things and then brainstorming ideas on how to keep the good going and reconfigure the bad will help make your life run smoother and will help you to be more effective in your pursuits. The best way to start the New Year is to begin with a clean slate. This doesn’t mean you have to take drastic measures, instead, you can take some simple steps to ensure that you are ready to start the New Year on a solid footing as you reboot.
Reboot on a Retreat
We all need to get away from it all from time to time, especially when we start to experience burn out. Chronic stress can make you feel exhausted–emotionally, mentally, and physically. In addition, stress can zap your motivation, interfere with your ability to concentrate, and even cause health problems. Going on a retreat can help you to leave the mayhem of the day-to-day behind so that you can reconnect with yourself and what really matters to you. A few days at a retreat can help you to clear your mind and gain new perspective.
Reboot Your Calendar
If you find that your calendar and daily schedule are jam-packed with activities and commitments, most of which fill you with dread, then it’s time to reboot your calendar. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and start re-creating your calendar from scratch. Before you add anything back on your schedule, take the time to re-examine whether that task or activity really needs to be there. Question everything:
• Your commitments;
• The tasks that you carry out on a regular basis and whether they really need to be done;
• The amount of time that you spend on each task and how often you perform certain tasks;
Only put back into your schedule the things that you absolutely need to do, and the things that you love to do.
Reboot Your Goals
Once you’re clear in what you want, set goals so that you can work toward having what you want. Your goals should empower you to feel like your wants and needs are attainable, so put some thought into creating them. Consider the various aspects of your life in which you want to start over, such as your relationships, finances, education, career, health, and hobbies. Make long-term and short-term goals to keep you motivated and on-task
Acknowledge your emotions.
Don’t let past emotions hold you back or influence your ability to move forward. Start by acknowledging the emotions and recognize that you feel them, but they are not you. When you feel an emotion, label and say to yourself, “I feel angry” or “This is sadness.” Let your negative emotions exist, but don’t attach to them with judgment or identity. While running from your problems may alleviate stress or pain temporarily, it’s not a long-term fix. It’s better to acknowledge your emotions and work through them. If you’re starting over after a painful or stressful experience, recognize that you are more than this experience.
Express your emotions. Stress and emotions can often feel overwhelming, so find a healthy outlet to express yourself. Some ways to express your emotions might include dancing, listening to music, painting, crying, and talking with a trusted friend. Even if your friend can’t do anything to help, it’s often cathartic to share how you feel. Don’t hold onto your emotions when you feel them but try to express them in a healthy way. Expressing your emotions helps you move through your emotions, no matter how difficult they feel.
Forgive the people who have hurt you. While this can take time, remember that forgiveness is for you, not for anyone else. Make a choice to let go of the hurt, anger, resentment, or pain someone caused you. You don’t have to formally forgive them or even communicate to the person at all. Choose to forgive and let go of the pain you feel.
Write about the life you want. Define the things and people you want in your life. Write down your goals or ideals for your chosen career, romantic partnership, wellness, or current lifestyle. Having a list or journal entry can help you organize your thoughts and help you reflect on them and update them in the future. Perhaps you want to quit your job or make a career change. Write down what your ideal self would do for work and how it would make you feel. For example, think about the life you want right now, as well the life you want in 5 years or 10 years. Ask yourself what you would like to do, where you’d like to live, and what kind of lifestyle you would be living.