Do you ever feel like you need a fresh start? Ever wonder about starting a new life? Want to change your money story? Most people feel the urge to change something about their lives once in a while. But what if you want to start over completely? We’re talking a full reboot of your life – much more than the standard January 1st resolution or reset.
Maybe you feel lost like you’re on the wrong path, or stuck in a rut. Or maybe you just want to get your life together. If so, it’s time to do something about it and make a change! No matter what the date is, today is as good a day as any to start a brand new life.
The first place to begin when starting a new life is with your finances. Finances are so intertwined with everything that we do. Focusing on improving your finances is key to starting a new life. Let’s dive into how making changes to your mindset, relationships, and finances can all work together to help you start a brand new life.
Mindset shifts to make when starting a new life
It isn’t easy to start a new life without changing your mindset, so that’s a great place to begin. What is your mindset like? How do you talk to yourself? Do you believe in yourself and your ability to change? The following are all important mindset shifts to make when embarking on life changes:
1. Drop your perfectionism
Perfectionism has its benefits and its drawbacks. On the one hand, perfectionists hold themselves to the highest standards and usually get excellent results.
On the other hand, perfectionists are often so fearful of messing up that, instead of trying something new, they choose not to try at all. They won’t move forward unless they know the outcome. This means that perfectionists often stay stuck and have difficulty starting over.
There are many ways to combat perfectionism. The first is to recognize when your perfectionist tendencies appear. Do you hold yourself back in a certain area? Do you struggle when beginning new projects? Realize when this is happening and try to push through, remembering the mantra that, most of the time, “done is better than perfect.” This simple approach can make life so much easier.
2. Stop the self-sabotage
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Self-sabotage is when you get in your own way and prevent yourself from reaching your goals. Your self-sabotage might come in the form of financial self-sabotage, like paying bills late or disregarding your retirement savings. Or maybe your self-sabotage shows up in relationships, where you do things like shutting down emotionally.
All forms of self-sabotage have one thing in common – you are the one preventing yourself from making a life change. Recognize where in your life you do this and address the underlying reasons why and you’ll be on your way to starting a new life.
3. Embrace change
When you decide to start a new life, so many things are going to change. As you’re becoming a new person, you will naturally leave things (and people) behind.
This might be difficult at first. But know that the changes you’re making, as uncomfortable as they may be, are necessary to start your new life and reach your new goals.
4. Face your fears
You’re going to feel fear on your path to a new life, and that’s totally normal. Change can be scary. Sometimes, change can be downright terrifying! Don’t try to be fearless or pretend you’re not afraid. Instead, face your fears and take the first step toward change anyway.
Remember that just one small risk can change your entire life. If you stay stuck where you are and never take risks, embrace new challenges, or meet new people, you’ll never know what opportunities you’ll miss.
5. Practice gratitude
The benefits of a gratitude practice are well-documented. It can improve your health, relationships, sleep, self-esteem, and more. All of these things boost your overall mental state and help you make the shifts you need to make the changes you desire. And remember, you can still enjoy the life you have while wanting to make changes – the two are not mutually exclusive.
How to start over: Assess your relationships
The people you surround yourself with are an important factor on your journey to change. To support yourself during your life restart, try doing the following:
1. Talk to someone about starting a new life
Open up to someone who you trust about your plans. Having someone to support you along the way is invaluable. Just remember to make sure this person will be there just to listen and support, and not judge. They may just be what you need to get the courage to continue on your journey, especially when times are tough.
2. Make space for new relationships
With a new life comes new relationships. Assess your current relationships and really decide if they will serve you in your new life. If you have any toxic people in your life, now is the time to let them go.
Doing so will clear your life of the stress they cause and open up space for new relationships that will bring new perspectives and opportunities.
3. Reconnect with old friends
Just because you’re letting go of toxic people and making room for new ones doesn’t mean you have to let go of all of your old relationships. Try reconnecting with old friends who might be more aligned with your new goals than with your past self.
How to start a new life: Forgive yourself for past financial mistakes
One of the key aspects of moving on and beginning a new life is accepting your past – all of it. Forgive yourself for anything you deem to be a mistake, and let it go.
Financial mistakes, in particular, can be particularly harmful if we continue to obsess over them and what we could have and should have done. Ruminating on past mistakes is hardly ever helpful. Instead, here’s what you can do to start to forgive yourself for your past financial mistakes and move forward:
1. Close the last chapter of your life by writing it all down
Instead of obsessing over past financial mistakes, get it all out of your head and onto paper. Journaling is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to improve your finances and change your life.
2. Accept that we all make mistakes
We all make mistakes, so have some compassion for yourself. Whatever you did in the past, you are certainly not alone in your financial mishaps. Our emotions affect our finances, and living with regret doesn’t help move you forward. Instead, focus on making better decisions next time. Accept the mistakes, let them go, and move on.
3. Learn from your mistakes
Lastly, as hard as it might be, try to treat your financial mistakes as chances to learn. You can recover from even the worst financial decisions. If you view your mistakes as opportunities instead of mistakes, they will not have been for waste.
Starting a new life: Review your financial big picture
Ok, so you’ve got your mindset and relationships sorted out, you’ve forgiven yourself for any past financial mistakes, and you’re ready to move forward with starting a new life. Let’s look at how to review your financial big picture so you can successfully move forward with your new life and goals:
Assess where you stand financially
To get where you want to go, you have to know where you’re at right now. As scary as it might be, sit down and review every aspect of your finances. We’re talking credit cards, savings, investments, debt, budget, and more – everything.
Once you have your full financial picture laid out in front of you, you can start to work toward your goals. Don’t punish yourself if your finances aren’t where you want them to be or where you think they “should” be. Instead, use your financial picture as a tool for progress and growth.
Vow to take ownership over your life and your finances
Maybe you’re used to going through the motions in life. Or making your choices based on what others think you should do. Now is the time to take ownership over your own life and finances and see that you are the one in control and in the driver’s seat.
Once you realize this, the feeling can be overwhelming – in a good way. You have the power to change your life and your finances, and you can start by making changes today.
Starting fresh: Create a financial plan
Armed with a clear understanding of your full financial picture, it’s time to create a financial plan. The new “you” you’re on the way to becoming should consider doing the following to move forward with starting a new life:
1. Set financial goals
A new life calls for new goals. No matter what your idea of starting fresh looks like, it will undoubtedly involve financial goals. Take the time now to set some financial goals so nothing will derail your dreams.
If you’ve struggled with reaching goals in the past, or just want to be extra sure you’ll reach your new goals, an accountability partner can help. A trusted friend who will listen and hold you to your promises can work wonders when you’re feeling unmotivated.
2. Create a new budget
If a new life calls for new goals, those new goals call for a new budget to help you reach them. Sit down and reexamine your existing budget, or create a new one, with your new self in mind. Imagine what she will be doing and what her money needs will be.
What kind of things will you spend money on? Will this be vastly different from your current life? Examine every aspect of your life, from your daily expenses to your big purchases, and decide what this new life will cost. Then, incorporate those expenses into a new budget. If you need help, check out our favorite budget templates.
3. Get rid of excess stuff
Once you have a vision of your new life and goals in place, it’s time to take a look at all of your stuff. What will still serve you in your new life? What can you discard, sell, or give away? You don’t have to embrace a minimalist lifestyle entirely (although you certainly can!).
Even purging just some of your possessions will make you feel freer, lighter, and open up the space for new things that might better align with your new goals.
4. Consider your job satisfaction and pay
Lastly, your job and salary will have a significant impact on whether you can achieve your financial goals and the ability to start a new life.
Regardless of whether your new life involves a new career or not, it’s always a good idea to consider your job and salary satisfaction. Are you getting paid what you’re worth? Do you deserve a raise? Is it time to look for a new job or a new career entirely?
Starting fresh starts now
You only have this one, precious life to live. If you know deep down that it’s time to make big, sweeping changes and reboot your life, the time to do it is now. Don’t wait for some external force to come along and force you to change.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to tell you how to start over or when to do it. You have the power to improve your finances and start a new life, and there’s no better day than today to start!