The Art of Starting Over Again

How many times have you planned to do something – to start a new habit or change a lifestyle – only to be disappointed because you cannot successfully achieve it? Have you ever started a workout regimen, a healthy diet, or a new project but stopped after a few days because the spark and excitement are gone?

Many of us have experienced the same on-and-off feelings when it comes to starting something we want to achieve. In a perfect world, when we start a new habit or project, everything will go smoothly and that we would master what we need to master. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world – and the reality is, most things in life don’t really go as planned.

Most people get off to an exciting and well-planned start with a new project, only to be disrupted by life’s unexpected (yet common) distractions. Then everything falls apart. And just like that, when things don’t go as planned – when they don’t happen the way we wanted – the spark is gone. And this project will fall into a black hole, united with countless others that have long been abandoned and forgotten.

Our longing for perfection is our greatest enemy.

The thing is, it’s not life’s circumstances that create problems – it is our mindset and our ability (or inability) to persevere in the midst of roadblocks. Our longing for perfection is our greatest enemy. When we learn to embrace the reality that things just don’t always happen as planned according to our timeline, only then we will have the capability to find another way to continue aiming for progress.

The good news is, it’s not too late to start over again. 

No matter what it is that you want to achieve, for as long as you are alive, you can still press the reset button and start again. 

There is no point in crying over spilled milk and weep about how things have fallen apart, or how you failed with your previous tries. Let go of the past and stop stressing about your failures – instead, just focus on starting over again, even if it means you have to start from scratch.

How to Get Started With Something?

You may have that fantastic idea in your mind that’s too exciting you can’t wait to get started. But when the time comes to finally get started, you realize that having the idea in your head seems a lot easier than actually doing it. And when you have this realization, that’s when the excitement begins to wear off.

Starting something is a very challenging first step. Many of us don’t know how or where to begin.

Every day is a new beginning.

You may be familiar with the saying “begin with the end in mind” – this is the second habit stated in Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, one of the most recommended books by top business magnates. This means you have to start a task with a clear vision of where you want to go or what you want to achieve.

Visualize your goals and write them down. It’s said that writing down something makes it more real – so practice the habit of writing down your goals. Use a notebook and make sure to keep it safe somewhere so you can get back to it one day to evaluate your progress.

Writing goals
Writing your goals make them more real.

Writing your goals can be a bit challenging, so try to keep these simple things in mind:

  • Start small. We all have big, ambitious dreams and that is totally fine. But to prevent yourself from getting too overwhelmed, it’s important to learn how to divide your “big dream” into smaller pieces and start from there.
    • For instance, if you want to write a book, start by setting your goal as writing one chapter per week. Or if you think one week is too short a time, then feel free to extend your time frame to a more realistic one. This way, you won’t feel like the project is too big to accomplish. 
  • Make it motivating. Use your written goals to keep you motivated. Why do you want to start this habit or project in the first place? If you want to lose weight, you may include a photo of the dress you plan to wear for the prom. Of course, this is just a motivation and should not be regarded as the final destination. Knowing your motives is necessary to keep your spark aflame.

It Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect

Most people find starting something is the most difficult thing to do, and for many reasons, it really is. This is why many of us choose to procrastinate instead of actually taking the first small step of starting. But why indeed?

It is not the fear of getting something started that delays us – most of the time, it is the fear that things will not go as smoothly as planned that prevents us from getting that thing done. Many of us want to do things perfectly at the beginning that when certain circumstances don’t allow our plans to be executed the way we want them, we lose interest.

Sometimes, when we think too much of the disruptions and our plans get messy, we tend to fall out of love and decide to let these unfortunate circumstances stop us from continuing. 

To prevent this from happening, you should have the flexibility to adapt to necessary changes. When things go wrong, you don’t necessarily need to stop what you’re doing or abandon your plans. You just need to know when it’s time to steer a different way.

Every second is an opportunity to learn from our failures and each moment is a chance to make things right.

Learn the Art of Starting Over Again

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Falling off a habit or a planned project is not unusual. In fact, it happens a lot of times to many people, and it’s not a crime. So do not beat yourself up and stress over a failed project. If you are not successful the first time, or even the nth time, it is all right. Take a break, calm yourself down, and when the height of your emotions finally wears off, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals.

Recall the obstacles you encountered during your previous attempts and how you handled them. Adjust your process and your approach as needed. Extend your timetable whenever necessary. Find out what you need to get better results.  

The unexpected disruptions will still occur somehow, but if you learn to flow with the changing tides, you’ll find that it’s simple to push the reset button and start over again without stressing too much. And with time, we will get better and better at being consistent.

Life is a journey of twists and turns. Changes, roadblocks, broken plans, and all sorts of delays are what make life more interesting. 

Every day is a new beginning. 

Every second is an opportunity to learn from our failures and each moment is a chance to make things right. A new day allows us to start anew – so find delight in starting over again, no matter if you have to start from scratch.

Start over wisely.

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