Did you ever feel like you should just chuck it all and start all over again? There is certainly something to be said for a fresh start, but if you decide to take that step, make sure that you do it right this time!
Now, I would never recommend that someone just “give up” – far from it. However, there is something to be said for reevaluating any given situation and deciding that starting from scratch – now armed with new knowledge and experience – is simply a more effective or enjoyable use of your time.
In my recent move to the beach, there were many “must haves” that were part of the process, and by checking out the following examples, you can get an idea of how to make a fresh start in your own life, if and when the time comes to do so.
1) Decide what you want AND what you don’t want
Knowing what you want is only half the battle, because it is very easy to miss critical details if you don’t also consider what you don’t want your new life to include.
The primary goal when I moved was to get close to the beach – close being defined as walking distance. The initial search for a place was very fruitful, and there were more places to look at than there was time to do so. By the end of a full day spent looking at properties on Florida’s Space Coast, it seemed that the biggest hurdle was going to be deciding which one was the best!
However, as the details were discussed and properties started being weeded out for various reasons, it became very clear that the north/south location of the house was a bigger factor than originally realized. By putting both a northern and a southern “line in the sand” on the map, the search for a house instantly became much more productive because the desired area had now been so clearly defined. The initial search spanned almost 20 miles of coastline, while the updated search encompassed only about 6 miles.
The perfect beach side home was not found until the realization was made that there were northern and southern boundaries that I did NOT want to cross. That focus fueled the remainder of the search, and it was less than a week after making that realization that a lease was signed on the new home.
2) Define just what it is that you’ll be doing with your new life
It’s easy to say things like “I want a great relationship,” or “I want more money, “ or “I want to lose weight”. However, those types of vague assertions about what you want will only focus vague energies on the process of actually attaining them.
In my case, part of the plan when moving to the beach was to start a new fitness related business based in a coastal community. After spending 3 years as a personal trainer – and then voluntarily walking away from that life – I had to ask myself how this was going to be any different than the last time. What type of business was I going to build that would have all of the joys and benefits of the fitness lifestyle, but without the drawbacks that caused me to back away from that path before?
The answer – I am ecstatically proud to reveal – came in the form of Surfside Fitness and the absolutely magical work of my graphic and web designer, Jason LaRose. I defined the business model and Jason brought it all to life with incredible skill, professionalism, and vision. I don’t know what I was more excited about – the detailed business model that I came up with, or how well Jason brought it all to full-color life.
Click my beautiful Surfside Fitness logo to check out the splash page of the site, and while you’re clicking, be sure to visit Jason’s site and hire him to bring his magic into your world as well.
3) Realize the contrast between your new life and the old life
The age-old definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result. If you don’t do things differently than you did before, then you haven’t recreated anything – you’ve just copied and pasted.
How are YOU going to be different in your new life? It’s not just about picturing yourself with all of the joys and trappings of the new life that you want to create, because that is just putting the same habits and lifestyle choices that you have now into a world that looks a bit different. If YOU aren’t different, then your new life will not be any different than the old life.
In my situation, it was a matter of getting back into the “public eye”. I have done the majority of the writing that I have done at Today is that Day for almost 2 years while living a comparably secluded lifestyle. I have worked from home or at local coffee shops for the majority of the time, and a business like Surfside Fitness cannot be run from a coffee shop!
My contrast will be going from a life of almost seclusion to a life of being out in public almost every day. The last time I lived that lifestyle I was well on my way to attaining a 6-figure income…
4) Check your old habits at the door
A conscious decision like the one discussed above to be a different person is all well and good, but what about those nasty habits that will be leftover from your previous lifestyle? Any habits that take you away from the dream life that you are building need to be kicked to the curb.
In my case, it is electronic communication. I’ll admit it now in front of all the world that I am an Internet junkie! I send an email when I should call someone. I go to Google when I could just pick up the yellow pages or call information. I send text messages or leave comments instead of just having real-time communication.
Yep, I’m hooked! However, now that I am the figurehead and the primary trainer for a brand-new, ultra-cool fitness company, I’ll need to give my keyboard something of a break. The Internet and my blogs will always be a part of both my business and my personal life, but as the owner of a “real world” company, I need to kick the electronic habit and start communicating with people more often in real world ways.
5) Make a serious commitment to yourself
In today’s day and age, starting a “business” can be as quick and easy as putting together a website, and that level of ease also brings with it the danger of not taking things as seriously as we sometimes should.
Life is meant to be enjoyed and – as a general rule – should not be taken too seriously. However, at the same time, if long-term success or happiness is the goal, then something more than just a token effort will probably need to be applied.
My example of this is with regard to my own level of health and fitness. If I am going to teach and lead others to fitness success, then I have to be in great shape myself. As regular readers know, I started the P90X home fitness program 3 months ago, and stuck with it through the duration – right up until the last week and half that is!
The P90X program is a 90-day system, which ends up being a total of 13 weeks of training. Mid-way through week 12, I simply ran out of time. Between packing, moving, painting my old house, unpacking at the new house, and fixing some things that needed to be fixed there, I simply ran out of daylight every day. I was up at 6:00am, out the door by around 7:00am, and not home again until late that night, and then I repeated that sequence every day. There was simply no time available to exercise for an hour each day, so I had a tough decision to make.
Do I “give up” on P90X and just say that I ALMOST finished the program? Do I “pad” the truth and say that I finished it, even though I only made it through 11 1/2 weeks?
Well, I am not the type to lie or to even stretch the truth, nor am I the type to “almost” finish something. So, I did the next best thing:
I committed to start all over again!
Yup, I’m insane like that. Well, at least that’s how it seems, but the truth of the matter is that I am not crazy, I am just committed to my career and to leading by example. That type of commitment takes serious will power, but it also leads to serious success.
The key thing to remember here is that a new life requires CHANGE. You can’t hold onto a previous life if you want to build a new life. I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll probable say it many times more:
If nothing changes, then nothing changes!