Sometimes, our lives don’t go the way we thought they would. As youngsters, we imagine THE life we’d like to have. We imagine being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world, enjoying our dream job, and building a family we’ve always wanted. Then, we grow up and realize that adult life isn’t always as simple as it seems. Sounds familiar, no? Maybe your dream job turned out to be a nightmare, with long hours that eat into your work/life balance and demands that are causing stress at home. Perhaps the person you thought would be “the one” turned out to be another hiccup on the path to happiness, and now you’re questioning your relationship. What you need to do is start a new life. Sometimes, a fresh start is just what you need to identify what doesn’t make you happy and take measures that lead to a better you.

Creating a New You Is a Wonderful Thing

Ever started a project and realized half-way through that you’ve done something wrong? You can try and adapt to the error and keep building anyway, or you can take everything apart and start over. The decision to start new life is all about going back to the drawing board with a positive mindset. You take what you’ve learned from the last few months and years and apply it to your new strategy for happiness. Making the choice to build a new life means:

  • You can learn from your previous mistakes and failures without letting them hold you back. Look for lessons in your errors, but don’t dwell on them.
  • You get to be better by making the conscious choice to pursue what you want. You’re not just settling for what you have right now. You’re actively focusing on reaching your goals.
  • You get to go on a journey of discovery, finding the things that really work for you and make you happier.

How to Start New Life In 12 Easy Steps

So, how do you begin to build a new life?

1. Make a list

Say you were planning on building a new business website, complete with a new SEO strategy. You wouldn’t just ignore all the things you’ve learned about site-building up until now and start fresh. You’d look at the existing website, see what works and what doesn’t, then plan from there. If you’re pursuing the beginning of a new life, start by looking at what you like and dislike about your existing one. Maybe a list of the things you currently enjoy, like your relationship or your home, and the things you’re not so fond of, like your stressful job and annoying boss. While you’re making your list of things that you do and don’t want in your new life, try to ask yourself what’s actually realistic for you. For instance, you might not be thrilled with the fact that you don’t have a lot of cash in your savings right now. Unfortunately, just changing up your current lifestyle and deciding to create a new life isn’t going just to improve your personal finances overnight. You’re going to have to work on changing things like this with a long-term plan, using better budgeting, and maybe seeking out an improved income.

2. Look for lessons to take with you

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to start a new life is to forget all about their past or sweep negative experiences under the rug. Sure, we’ve all had bad experiences that we’d rather leave behind us. However, it’s important to make sure you’re not missing out on an opportunity for growth. The lessons you’ve learned in your old life could be brilliant for motivating you to reach your new goals. Look back on your mistakes and ask yourself what went wrong. And don’t fall into the trap of looking for ways to blame your issues on someone or something else. Rather, focus on the things you could have done differently and how you’re going to reach your goals.

3. Decide what to tackle first

Now that you’ve looked at your past, what you’ve done wrong, and what you actually want from your life, it’s time to take action. Decide what you’re going to tackle first. If you’re unhappy with your relationship, your job, and your living situation, you might not be able to deal with all of those things in one go. Start with the one that’s having the most significant impact on your life right now. For instance, maybe your relationship and living situation is suffering because of the extra stress you’re taking on at work? Research your current life to find out.

4. Build some courage

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to be working on first, it’s time to train your brain for success. It’s ok to feel terrified about heading into uncharted territory. Don’t let the fear paralyze you though. Try:

  • Deconstructing your fears: Ask yourself what you’re worried about, and whether those concerns are realistic. For instance, you might think if you quit this job you’ll never get a new one, but that’s highly unlikely.
  • Visualizing your future: Use your ideal image of the perfect future to motivate you and start pushing you forward on the path to success.
  • Creating a mantra: When you start to feel scared or nervous, repeat something in your mind that can help to build your confidence, such as: “I can overcome this. I deserve the life I want.”

5. Find the roadblocks

There are going to be some roadblocks on your path to success. If you start rushing forward blindly and hit an obstacle, then you’re more likely to end up getting stuck – feeling like you can’t move forward. However, if you can identify the obstacles that are most likely to hold you back, you can find a plan to overcome them. For instance, if you fear not being able to leave the rat race, find the funding to start your own business. Then go and do your research on what’s available before you give up your day job.

6. Stop being afraid of setbacks

Ever heard that the only thing to fear is fear itself? Usually, that’s the case when you’re pursuing a fresh start in life. You have no idea what lays ahead, and you’re probably pretty convinced that you’re going to make mistakes again. The best way to get over that fear is to accept that you might be right. Figuring out how to create a new life for yourself is tough. You’re going to make mistakes. The important thing is how you choose to move on from those errors. How are you going to respond if you do have a misstep? Are you going to let it stop you from reaching your goals or learn from them?

7. Start challenging your comfort zones

One of the most common reasons people end up living a life they’re unhappy with is that they’re not sure how to step out of their comfort zones. Here’s a kicker: You can’t say “I want to start a new life” but be totally unwilling to change anything about where you are today. If you’re afraid to take risks, you live your life based on fear rather than what you want. Taking the right risks can actually transform your life. Failing to take risks basically means that you’re guaranteeing nothing can change – either for the better or worse. Challenging your comfort zones with little, manageable risks will get you on the right track. For instance, you might not feel comfortable changing jobs right now, but maybe you can practice saying “no” to your boss when he offers extra work.

8. Build a support group

If you want to start a new life, you need the right support. Although your own motivation and drive will get you most of the way towards your goals, you can only do so much on your own. Figuring out how to start fresh in life is a tricky process, and it’s not something that most people will be able to accomplish without a little emotional support. Look at the people who are already around you and figure out which ones positively impact your life. Family members and friends that are always there for you will help you start a new life in the way that you choose. Toxic people who try to hold you back need leaving behind – just like the things you hated about your old life.

9. Get your emotions in check

If you want to learn how to start fresh in life, you’re going to need a way to handle the overwhelming emotions that can really stress you out. For instance, maybe you can try a little morning meditation at the start of each day to give you the laser focus you need to reach your goals. If you’ve been through some seriously difficult stuff, maybe it’ll help to talk to a therapist and work with a professional to get some strategies for emotional management in place. Or maybe you can just go for a run when you’re feeling overwhelmed and work off some adrenaline. What makes you feel good?

10. Take control

This might sound odd, but many of us go through lives almost like a passive character in our own story. However, you’re the protagonist of your world – and it’s up to you to take control and ownership over your life. Figure out what you can and can’t control in your world. For instance, you can’t control the way other people feel about you as a friend or coworker. However, you can pay attention to the kind of things that your colleagues say seem a little “standoffish” about you. Look for the things you can take ownership of as you start a new life and begin creating a new you. This is your journey, after all.

11. Pay attention to your dreams

If you ever feel unfulfilled in life, but you don’t know where you’re going wrong, it might be time to jump into your subconscious and take a closer look at what’s going on. For example, you could try keeping a dream journal to go through your thoughts first thing each morning. If you have recurring dreams, this could be a sign that your brain is trying to send you a message about what you actually need. It’s also worth looking at your dreams from a less tangible perspective. For instance, what kind of future do you think would make you happy, and which of your goals are actually attainable? Are there some dreams that you need to let go of?

12. Be more mindful

Finally, people underestimate the power of mindfulness. However, if you want to start a new life, it all begins by paying more attention. Be aware of how you feel in any given moment and the things in your life that you should be grateful for. You can even add a little meditation to your routine so you can focus more directly on the parts of your body that are holding onto the most stress. Mindfulness will help you dictate which issues in your life are having the biggest impact on your happiness, so you can make an active decision to move in the right direction.

Take Back Your Life

Deciding to start new life is challenging, but it’s also something that can be incredible for your future if you do it correctly. As far as we know, you’ll only have one chance to live your life according to your rules. So do it your way. Although it’s hard to take that initial leap into the unknown, learning how to start a fresh life could mean that you finally get the happiness you deserve.

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Do you ever wish that you could just hit the pause button on life and move on to a new chapter without any negative repercussions? Do you wonder how to start a new life? Time is linear and is a social construct. In other words, your life’s timeline is yours to manage, and you shouldn’t compare your goals and achievements to those of others. Taking a long, hard look at your life to get to the root of the change you would like to see will benefit you. Focusing on what you would change in your life might help you answer what you should pursue in the near future. The great news is that you don’t have to pull a Madonna and completely reinvent yourself every time you are ready for a change.

How to Start a New Life

By implementing these 12 small yet impactful changes outlined below, you can start a new life without being extra about it.

1. Always Learn Something New

Perhaps you have achieved success in your career — only to find you want more. If you feel stagnant in what you are doing for work or are bored with your day-to-day, expand your options. One way to make yourself more competitive in various career fields is pursuing further education. Most of us don’t have the bandwidth to invest in attending classes on a college campus. Luckily, online universities are nationally recognized and more affordable than traditional in-classroom schooling. Consider signing up for some asynchronous online classes that fit your work schedule so you don’t have to interrupt your life to get ahead.[1]

2. Take Steps to Face Your Fears

It is amazing how many of our decisions are based on fear. We fail to take risks, avoid conversations, and miss opportunities because we are afraid of the outcomes. Here’s the deal: ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ Taking risks, within reason, can change your life overnight. If you have had your eye on the cutie at your local coffee shop, take a shot and ask them out for a drink. The worst that can happen to you is a slightly bruised ego. Even if they are already in a relationship or simply uninterested, your flattery may have made their day. Don’t go through life with too many regrets. Going back to that coffee shop after being turned down is just another opportunity to face your fears.

3. Maintain a Meaningful Social Circle

Most of us have heard the timeless adage “you are as good as the company you keep.” Expanding your horizons to include new and interesting people might be the spice in life you were looking for. Take a holistic view of your friends, family and professional relationships. Make a mental checklist of the relationships that most positively affect you and why. Take that checklist with you the next time to go to a social event. Try to strike up a conversation with new and interesting people that check those boxes. While you’re out being a social butterfly, don’t forget where this exercise started. Be sure to not leave your old, longtime friends in the dust while fostering new friendships and relationships. You don’t want to be “that guy” in your friend circle.

4. Find Healthy Ways to Cope With Anxiety

If you experience excessive anxiety in your daily life, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. They affect 40 million people over the age of 18 every year, which represents 18.1 percent of the U.S. population. [2] Finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety has the ability to turn your world upside down. Many people have looked toward CBD to help ease and manage anxiety. It can be used to target anxiety as it arises without the need to take daily medication.[3] CBD is not commonly prescribed by mental health professionals — at least not yet anyway. Some have compared it to having a glass of red wine after a long day. However, it is important to practice a sense of heightened self-awareness and recognize if you are negatively self-medicating with overconsumption. Here’s the kicker: Anything you do to relax can be done in excess: exercise, watching Netflix, drinking, or shopping. Be sure to choose an activity that works to relieve your anxiety in a manner that is healthy and can done in moderation.

5. Become Part of a Movement

You know all the hours you spend scrolling through social media idolizing other people’s lives? Well, they could be better spent. ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ As humans, we naturally seek out a connection with others and desire to feel as if we are needed. Finding a cause to get behind can help you to feel as if you are contributing to the common good. Whether it is a social justice issue or an environmental movement, there are many different opportunities to focus your time and energy to help you feel needed. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be protesting every weekend to feel as if you are creating change. Making small changes in your life can make a big impact. Using your consumer power to only support businesses who have sustainability at the forefront of their business practices is a powerful choice. It is small actions like this that have caused big businesses to reevaluate how they conduct business. Feel empowered by spending your dollars wisely.[4]

6. Take Ownership

It is all too easy to move through life as a passive passenger. The good news is that you don’t have to give up anything in your life to regain control over it. Take ownership over your life by taking control of a particular aspect of your life. It could be as simple as no longer being a public transport passenger and instead, using your own body’s physical power to get you to your destination. Knowing that you can depend on yourself to make your morning commute is incredibly empowering. Free yourself of passivity and become the captain of your own ship.

7. Pay Attention to Your Dreams

If you feel unfulfilled in your life but aren’t sure why, try tapping into the esoteric side of life. Diving into your subconscious can be liberating and freeing if you allow yourself the mental space to do it. Not everyone remembers their dreams, but you can train your brain by keeping a dream journal next to your bed. Dreams can reveal unconscious hopes and fears that we either ignore or prefer to be unburdened with during our waking lives. Understanding what your dreams mean is like learning a new language — requiring you to pay attention to clues, signs, and symbols. [5] If you are the type of person to remember having recurring dreams, pay attention! Your subconscious is sending you a message. However, here’s the catch: Dreams are irrational and a product of our psyche we can never truly comprehend. Don’t make any rash life decisions because a little blue man in your dream told you so. ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

8. Unplug to Tap Into Creativity

What are you reading this on right now? Are you on your phone or your laptop? Well, after you’ve finished reading through how to start your new life, unplug it. Being tuned into technology all the time creates mental fatigue — leaving little energy for creative processes. By spending time in nature the prefrontal cortex of the brain is able to rest. [6] Find out what inspires you in life and use it to take the new life that you are seeking into new dimensions. Your muse may be found in unlikely places. Be open to saying “yes” more often to allow inspiration into your life.

9. Challenge Comfort Zones

If you are attempting to step away from a life of stagnation, you have to step out of your comfort zone. But don’t strap into that bungee cord harness quite yet. You don’t need to unreasonably take elevated risks that put certain aspects of your life at stake. Challenging your comfort zones are meant to empower you to see what you are capable of achieving when put to the test. It is understandable to want to relax in the comfort zone after working so hard to get there, but there comes a time when you have to level up. Set your sights on the next attainable dream and go for it. If you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, set up a strenuous training schedule to get you there. Learn how to push through the pain and the mental blocks that have kept you from being your own champion. Dig within yourself, figure out where to set your hard ceiling, and push towards reaching your goals to live your best life — you deserve it.

10. Practice Daily Mindfulness

If you want to turn your whole world upside down, integrate a mindfulness practice into your daily routine. Meditation, yoga, journaling, or breath work do not require anything from you besides a commitment to being in the present moment. You may be rereading the title of this article because you assume these words are convincing you to become a monk and take a vow of silence. You don’t have to go that hardcore with your mindfulness practice. Meditation is called a practice because it takes time to become comfortable with sitting still and focusing for a long period of time. However, you will be happy to learn that the effects of meditation are immediate. Just taking five intentional deep breaths at your desk during a stressful day will help to lower your blood pressure and aid in regaining your mental focus and clarity to get you through your day.

11. Assess Your Budget

Money is the root of all evil — but it is also the driving force behind why we wake up and go to work each day. The less you spend, the less you work. Doesn’t that sound like a better way to live life? ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄ To be able to pursue a path in life that allows you to feel more fulfilled and happy, you need to know where your financial boundaries are. If the new life you picture takes place on a beach, you do not need to sell your family heirlooms to get there. Instead, set yourself up with a budget and a plan so you can save and make your dreams a reality.

12. Manifest Goodness

If you are considering starting a new life or recreating how you project yourself to the world, you need to know what you want the new version to look like. Does your new life have big financial goals, or is it your intention to move away from focusing on your career to spend more time with your family? Creating a vision board is one way to help you to manifest what goodness you want in your life. Flipping through magazines and newspapers to snip out people, places, and items that help to define your dreams can be an eye-opening experience. Certain words you previously did not associate with yourself may be more appealing than before. Sounds silly? It’s not. Consider creating them with friends or family members to see if their perception of you holds any weight in your plans for the future. Friends and family members can act as a mirror for ourselves at times. Seeing them surprised by your interest in different things may cause you to either think twice about that decision or pursue it with more vigor. Be sure to revisit the board often to remind yourself of what you are working towards. It is normal for projections to change over time. There is no harm in creating a new vision board every year to refocus and fine-tune your intentions as you evolve as a person.

Remember, It’s Your Life!

When looking at the big picture of what is your life, note what you dislike, make a plan to change it, and move forward with decisive action. You’ve only got one chance to live life on your terms (that we know of, at least). You have everything you need to achieve the level of success you hope to have in this life — you just have to reach out and grab it! Featured photo credit: Roksolana Zasiadko via It happens to everyone. At one point or another, you’re tired of the way you’ve been living your life and you want to make some positive changes. But while a complete overhaul might seem like the most logical answer, there are more subtle changes you can make to create the life you want instead. While there’s no such thing as a perfect life, there are small ways to help better your life every single day, no matter what. If you feel like you’ve been going down a path that you’re not necessarily proud of, there’s a way for you to change it, but it has to start with you. No one else can tell you how to live your life, but at the same time, no one else can help you create the life you want, either. You are in charge of your destiny and it’s better to start late then to never start at all. In the last five years, I had to make a lot of decisions to get where I am today. And even though my life is still a work in progress, I’m proud of who I’ve become. Don’t let fear get in the way just because you’re not sure what exactly change will bring, and don’t be complacent because you’re comfortable with your life — even though you know you can do better. If you feel like you’ve been having these thoughts lately and you’re not really sure how to take the next steps to better your life, here are some pointers on how to help you get on track for a much better, positive life that you’ve created yourself:

1. Decide What You Want Out Of Life

Identify what you want to change about your life, and how you want it to blossom into the one you want. By deciding what you want to do, it can help you focus on the promises you’re making to yourself. According to Forbes, Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, said to identify your Keystone Habit — the most important habit you want to change about your life. When you want to find out what that habit is, ask yourself, «What constantly gnaws at me?» Is it something that you don’t want to do anymore? Or maybe it’s a dream that you’ve been dying to start. Either way, try to focus on one change at a time. It can help you focus better on each single habit that much better.

2. Start To Envision That Your Life Is Already How You Want It To Be

When you start to envision your life as the way you want it to be, things can start to move in that direction. According to Forbes, Karen Mason Riss, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, said that when you want your life to change, you should try to already envision your life like that by asking yourself, «What are the things that I already bring to the table?» Just because things aren’t exactly the way you want them to be right now doesn’t mean that you haven’t already started going in that direction. Make sure you invest in yourself and think positive thoughts. This can guide you to continue to make progress. The thing you choose to do now can alter your future. So choose things that can make you into the person you want to be.

3. Think About The Experiences That Make You Happy And Repeat Them

When you’re trying to figure out how to create the life you want, try to think about the experiences that truly make you happy and do them as often as you can. For some, that might entail working on their dreams, and for others, that could mean playing with their children or writing in their journal more. However you want your life to be, make sure you are repeating these positive actions to create a positive, happy life. According to Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., founder of the Inner Mammal Institute, who spoke to me over email, «You can have the life you want if you think carefully about the individual experiences that make you happy, design behaviors to fit, and repeat the behaviors every day until they’re wired into your brain. It’s hard to repeat a new behavior so commit your time and energy to this priority.» Not only can this create a new habit in your life, but it can force you to be more positive. You have the control of how you think — so conquer your thoughts and flip your life around.

4. Become Goal-Oriented

This is the time to be selfish and figure out exactly what you want. Try to set goals for yourself. If you want a certain job, master some skills until you get there. Even just thinking about your goals can help you complete them faster. According to Psychology Today, mental practices can get you closer to where you want your life to be. Apparently, a lot of athletes have been using this technique for years to help enhance their performances. To get started, establish your goals and imagine that you have already achieved that goal in the future. When imagining this, try to fully immerse yourself into this situation. You can combine this thought process with mediation or positive affirmations. This process helps you visualize yourself in your changed lifestyle and it can be easier for you to embrace it when it actually does happen.

5. Forget The Past

It always seems that the past can be one of our biggest obstacles in life. It can hinder us from achieving the life we want, and can alter our thinking because we’re fearful of repeating old mistakes. According to Psychology Today, Lisa Firestone Ph.D., clinical psychologist, author, and the Director of Research and Education for the Glendon Association, said, «Once you recognize the undesirable ways your past is affecting your present behavior, you can make a conscience effort to act differently. You can teach yourself to stop reacting instinctively and to really think about the kind of person you want to be.»

6. Don’t Worry About What Others Are Going To Think

It might sound selfish, but when you’re trying to turn yourself around, you really need to try to focus on yourself and not worry about what other people are going to think. It’s easier said than done, but it is possible. Just because a path worked for someone else doesn’t mean you have to go down that same path. According to Elite Daily, people will always have their opinions, but if you decide to make choices based on what people say, then you will feel stuck. Break that thought pattern, and do whatever you feel is best.

7. Let Go Of Fear

When you’re trying to form the life you want, you need to let go of the thought of fear. It will only hold you back from achieving your dreams and what you are destined for. The fear of making a mistake is natural, but the only way you will ever know if you made the right choice or not is by simply making a decision to begin with. According to WebMD, Laura Berman Fortgang, life coach and author of Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction, said if you ever feel frightened of all the changes you are making, try to have an anchor to remind you of your goals and why you are doing this. It can be a person you can talk to, a mission statement, or an object. Return to this anchor to help keep you focused on your goals and why you want to better your life.

8. Communicate Your Wishes With Others

To help get your life on track, tell your loved ones the changes you are making. Once you start putting that good juju out there, it can come back to you at full force. Let everyone know what you are trying to accomplish. Your friends can influence and help you when they know why and how you are changing your life for the better. According to The Huffington Post, Deepak Chopra said, «Anything worth having only increases when it’s given.» By sharing your thoughts and passions, you are being vulnerable, but it can make you stronger and help keep you focused on your path. To create the life you want, you might need to make some major changes in your life. Trust yourself and strive to have the best life ever. If you decide to take charge of your life now, just imagine what your life will be like in the next couple of years. Love yourself enough to be the guidance you need in your life. Create the life you deserve, because, well, you deserve it. Images: Tim Robberts/Photodisc/Getty Images; Giphy

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