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Managing Major Life Changes

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, Young woman sitting at window, smiling

Sooner or later, by choice or by circumstance, you’ll likely find yourself facing the opportunity to start your life over. Maybe you’re ending a long-term relationship, moving to a new city (or a new country!), committing to a healthier way of life, or changing careers. Whatever the change is, you’re certain to experience different feelings amid the upheaval, and likely to face some major challenges. Simply put, you’re beginning your life again!

While change is never easy, there are certain steps you can take to make this period of change more manageable, and to ensure that you’ll come out the other side thriving. Here’s a short list of six things you can do to ease the transition as you start your life over.

  1. Envision the Life You Want

This time of facing change presents a great opportunity for you to do some soul-searching regarding how you want your new life to look and feel. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What about my old life was unfulfilling?
  • What should my new priorities be?
  • What would truly make me happy?
  • If I could do or be anything, what would that be?

Use these questions as a jumping-off point to dream up your new path, and to start yourself down it on the right foot.

  1. Start a Journal

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This time of transition is the ideal time to put pen to paper, or to start a new document on your computer, to jot down your feelings about starting your life over. Write out your goals, your needs, your fears and your expectations. You may also want to include some inspirational quotes.

Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Don’t worry about writing in complete sentences. Maybe don’t  even write at all! You might prefer to draw pictures instead. Well, go ahead! The important thing is that you’re creating a record of your journey. This record will help you stay on track, so you can get to where it is you want to be.

  1. Don’t Forget about Self-Care

During this time, it’s important to focus enough attention on yourself. The stress of wanting to start your life over will likely be difficult to manage. Don’t let caring for yourself fall by the wayside. Be sure to have a strong self-care routine in place. This routine is critical for transitioning with ease.

Be sure that you’re getting enough sleep, and that you’re exercising and eating right. Also, be sure to devote time to positive thinking. This is not the time to waste your energy being around people who are discouraging, or who may be trying to dissuade you from achieving your goals.

  1. Take the First Step

start over 2

Whatever it is that you’re embarking on or moving towards, it won’t happen until you take the first step. Every new beginning starts with one simple step. It continues as you take another, then another, then another.

If you’re ending a relationship, get rid of your ex’s stuff, and clear out the photos that remind you of the relationship. If you’re seeking a new career path, revisit your resume. If you’ve decided to make a significant lifestyle change, clear your pantry of foods that will keep you from meeting your goal.

  1. Stay on Track by Asking for Help

As you start your life over, enlist the help of a supportive friend or family member to be your accountability partner. Having a “cheerleader” as you go through this transition will help you feel less alone and make you more likely to keep going, even when it’s difficult.

This person can act as a sounding board for you as you make this transition. The partner should also be able to listen to your progress, and encourage you to remain on this new path if you get discouraged.

  1. Look Back on Your Progress

As you continue on your journey, don’t forget to look back from time to time to see how far you’ve come. Seeing this tangible transformation over time will continue to inspire you as you do the work to start your life over.

Every now and then, page back through your journal and read a few old entries, or scroll through photos of your past life to remind yourself of who you were then and who you’re becoming. You might even consider meditating on what your life would be like, right now, if you didn’t make a change.

Those six easy steps will help you face significant life changes with courage and self-awareness. They’ll help you grow as you move on and transition into your new life.

 

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