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How To Start a New Life and Rediscover Happiness

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If you’ve always felt trapped your entire life, it’s never too late to change that. There are several ways to change your day-to-day life, from finding a fun side hustle to building a meaningful social circle or even something small like picking up a new book.

But to do that, you’ll need to make some critical changes. So, if you feel like it’s time to go back to the drawing board, here’s how to start a new life. 

Why Start a New Life

We have all had dreams as kids that eventually came to naught, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on them. No matter what the reason is, if you feel stuck and unhappy with where your current life is headed, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t reboot and start over. 

You could be in an unhappy relationship with someone you don’t like, or maybe you work in a toxic environment and just want to get out – either way, don’t accept your current condition.

You can achieve almost anything with enough effort and hard work, and it’s easier to do it if you flip your life upside down instead of living as usual and not being proactive about your dreams. 

You can’t really expect drastic change without making drastic changes.

How To Start a New Life in 7 Steps

If you’re ready to have a fresh start and leave your old life behind, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Reflect on Your Current Life

Before kicking your old habits to the curb, you should try to understand what went wrong. 

Grab a pen and paper and write a list of things you’re unhappy with. Review your past decisions and identify what led you down the path you now dislike. This will help you avoid making the same mistakes when starting your new life.

But don’t linger on past mistakes.

Think about the things that are going well for you — maybe it’s your job and career choice, your family members, or perhaps it’s the one person in your life who’s always there for you. 

Write down your greatest achievements, think about how they made you feel, and think of ways you could achieve something similar in the future.

Learn from your self-reflection and past decisions to make sure you don’t repeat mistakes and end up right where you started. Also, don’t blame others for your mishaps or think someone else’s error was your own. 

Step 2: Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Establish a clear roadmap of where you want to be and create a loose plan for getting there. 

For example, if you want to be a registered nurse, graphic designer, or an entrepreneur, start by reading about what the job entails and the type of education and training you need to get there. 

The same applies to other life goals unrelated to work — independence, relationships, and inner happiness.

Once you find something you like, dive deep and be thorough. Create a new vision board and write your goals down, the steps to get there, and motivational quotes.

You could use a large cutout for a major goal and surround it with steps as smaller sticky notes. When you complete a step or achieve a goal, cross it out with a thick green marker instead of removing it from the board. It’ll serve as a powerful visualization of your progress.

Also, set deadlines for your goals and adhere to them as much as you can. You can utilize the SMART technique for this — your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

But don’t stress yourself out too much if you can’t achieve something on time; push the deadline a bit. Starting a new life isn’t easy, and remaining flexible’s important.

Step 3: Say Goodbye to Your Comfort Zone

With your goals and the steps to get there set, it’s time to start working toward them. 

For instance, if you struggle with mental health, have anxiety, and feel depressed, reach out to mental health professionals to get the help you need. Or maybe you want to bring your body into shape and start hitting the gym but feel self-conscious.

Here’s a little secret: your first time with anything is tough, but it’ll only happen once. And when you get used to a new routine, such as a weekly mental health check-up or a 3-day-per-week gym schedule, it gets easier. The hard part is getting started.

Facing your fears and taking risks is essential to starting a new life. And it takes real courage to do the things you fear.

Your brain creates ever-growing walls to keep you inside your comfort zone without any real reason. Be mindful of that fact when you head out to do something new for the first time.

Step 4: Build and Maintain a Social Circle

Regardless of how independent you feel, you need strong emotional support to achieve important milestones in your life. Toxic people will only bring you down, and it’s time to get rid of them immediately.

If your new life doesn’t revolve around changing your circle of friends because you already have all the love and support you need, that’s great. 

Unfortunately, many of us weren’t as lucky, which means it’s time to start making new friends. 

If you complete step 3 successfully, you’ll find yourself in a new environment surrounded by new potential friends. This is even easier if the new environment is related to work or education, as you’ll have to talk to colleagues, and it’ll happen organically.

But don’t be distraught if people aren’t approaching you and you’re not connecting with them straight away. Take your time to build up the courage to reach out to someone and start a casual conversation — that’s a great way to forge a new friendship.

Do that a few times until you find a few people who can be your safety net. Then work on maintaining your new friendships, and don’t forget to do the same for any friends and family you have left over from your past life.

Step 5: Work on Self-Improvement

You have a new environment and are surrounded by a few people who can provide you with emotional support, which means it’s time to dedicate time to self-improvement.

Whatever you’re struggling with — work, mental health, or general dissatisfaction — your fate isn’t set in stone.

You should continuously work on yourself and toward achieving the goals you set. Consistency can only come from intrinsic motivation, and while your old self may have faltered, you’re a new person now.

You’ve already laid out a list of goals in step 2, and it’s now time to chip away at them. After all, the new version of you is already here; it just takes time to bring them into the spotlight.

Remember to acknowledge your progress regularly and set new goals as you complete them. 

Your vision board of goals will eventually become a trophy of achievements, but don’t stop there. You can rack up a pile of vision boards if you really want to.

Step 6: Live in the Moment

This step is all about mindfulness and embracing your new life to make sure your happiness sticks around.

For example, when you’re at your new workplace, immerse yourself in the moment by focusing on your tasks. Don’t think about your past mistakes or what the future holds. 

It may sound funny, but excessively worrying about the future does nothing but build up anxiety that’ll consume all of your attention and cause a negative feedback loop.

Regardless of what you do — work, watch a movie, play an instrument, or play video games — do it wholeheartedly. It’ll enhance your quality of life.

Step 7: Be Grateful and Embrace the New You

As you continue living your new life and focusing on the present, you should also occasionally remind yourself of what you’ve been through and give yourself a pat on the back. 

Did you survive an abusive workplace but now do the job of your dreams? You have nobody but yourself to thank for that. You did it. Congratulations!

Now that you live happily, practicing gratitude is all that’s left. It really is as simple as it sounds — take a minute a few times throughout your day to be thankful for where you’re at and what you have.

Also, consider reconnecting with family and friends from your past life if you’re comfortable with that idea and if they’re not toxic people. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Adjust to a New Life?

It generally takes three to six months to adjust to your new life. Big changes, such as moving to a new city, affect every aspect of your life, and it takes a while to get used to the new lifestyle.

Can You Keep Past Relationships When Starting a New Life?

Yes, you can continue being in contact with people from your past life, but only if you can trust them and they’re not toxic for you. The people in your life should never make you feel bad about who you are or your dreams – they should lift you up.

Is It Too Late To Restart My Life?

It’s never too late to restart your life and make big changes — even if you’re in your golden years. You can always move somewhere new, find a new job, meet new friends, pick up new skills and hobbies, etc. These changes will bring lasting wellness to your life.

Wrapping Up

A fresh start is an exciting opportunity to leave all the negativity of your old life behind and work on yourself. The key is to have a clear vision of your goals, an understanding of what went wrong previously, and to stay optimistic throughout the change.

Have you ever turned a new chapter in your life before? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to send this article to someone who needs a blueprint for a fresh start.

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