How To Reboot And Restart Your Life: 12 Steps To Take

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You’re looking for a big change. You’re not happy with the way your life is going, and you’ve decided it’s time to draw a line in the sand, hit the reset button, and start over.

But what does rebooting and restarting your life actually mean, and how do you go about it?

Do you have to tear everything up and start from scratch, or can you just focus on certain areas of you life that you’d like to improve?

Should you throw caution to the wind and aim to transform your life overnight, or should you take it step by step?

Everyone’s approach to giving their life a reboot will differ depending on their circumstances, but if you’re looking for a fresh start, the tips below should help you get there.

And remember, recognizing that you need a change is the first step to making it happen. So just by reading this, you’re already starting out along the road to transformation.

What does rebooting your life mean?

Rebooting or restarting your life is about improving your current situation. It’s about looking at your life and deciding what needs to change, and then making that change happen. It’s about heading in a different direction, with different priorities.

It might be something you decide you need to do as a result of recent events in your life such as a health scare, job loss, or relationship breakdown.

Or it might just be that you’ve reached a point where you can’t carry on as you are any more, for any number of reasons.

A reboot can be more or less extreme, depending on what you need. After you’ve restarted your life, it might look much the same to an outsider, although you’ll know big changes have been made. But it might be totally unrecognizable.

12 tips for restarting your life:

1. Reflect on your current situation.

Having accepted that you need a change, the next step is to consider where you are right now.

Take some time to reflect on all areas of your life. It may be that although a lot of things in your life need to be totally rebooted, there are plenty of areas which are going well, and you don’t need to start again from scratch.

Think about your relationships, your job, your financial situation, your health…  You need to be honest with yourself about where the problems are, and what the main things you need to focus on are.

It’ll probably be helpful to write all this down to make it more tangible.

It’s important to make sure that you’re not blaming yourself or anyone else for the way things are, just accepting them. After all, if you can’t accept you have a problem, you’ll never be able to solve it.

It’s time to let go of the past. Whether you’re kicking yourself for it or continuing to relive it in your mind, there’s no changing it.

2. Decide on your approach.

People often ask whether rebooting your life needs to be a complete, immediate transformation, or whether you can do things little by little.

To be honest, this is entirely up to you, although not many people will be in a situation which makes transforming their lives overnight a viable option.

Due to other obligations, most people won’t be able to suddenly reboot their life by buying a one-way ticket to the other side of the world or quitting their job, or something equally life-altering. It’s just not practical for most of us.

So, most people will probably decide to focus on changing different areas of their life one by one.

3. Get rid of things that are weighing you down.

An accumulation of stuff we don’t really need can hold us back, making us feel sluggish and lethargic. Just as things take physical space around you, they take up mental space too – even when they are not being used.

So, before you can start to make big changes, it can be a good idea to have the ultimate spring clean and sort out all your possessions.

Look at all the things that surround you and, if you don’t use something, recycle it, give it away, or even sell it.

Clothes, shoes, books, household items… fix anything that’s broken but is useful and say goodbye to anything that’s not.

You’ll be amazed at just how free you feel once your surroundings are clean and uncluttered. 

4. Say goodbye to people that are weighing you down.

After reflecting upon your life, you might realize that one of the things you need to work on are your relationships.

If there are certain people who are holding you back or bringing you down, then it might be time to say goodbye to them.

This could involve some difficult conversations, but you might just be able to distance yourself from people who you know are toxic or have a negative influence on you.

That will give you more time for the people you really love.

5. Let go of thoughts and feelings that are weighing you down.

Big change in your life will often be about external things, whether people, objects, or surroundings. But the most significant changes you can make will often be internal.

Negative thoughts and feelings are often what holds us back the most in life. Make a conscious decision to consign thoughts that leave you feeling overwhelmed, drained, or unworthy to the past.

Meditation and learning to have better control over your thoughts can make a huge difference here, but so can talking to a trained professional if you have thoughts or emotions that you can’t seem to move beyond.

6. Be more grateful.

Most of us get so swept up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to appreciate all the amazing things we have.

So, before you tear up your life entirely and start again, it’s important to be grateful for all the good things you are blessed with.

Practicing gratitude can totally transform your outlook and perspective. It can mean you’re clearer about what your priorities are and the direction you want to take your new life in.

Try writing down three things you’re grateful for, big or small, every night before you go to sleep.

Keep gratitude at the forefront of your mind as you reboot and restart your life – you can and should take things with you into your new future and gratitude will tell you what those things ought to be.

7. Picture the life you want.

Now that you’ve realized how you don’t want to live your life, it’s time to focus on what you do want out of it.

You’re going to reboot your life, but what will the rebooted version look like?

Don’t be afraid to be specific or ambitious. This will change and evolve over time, but it’s great to start with a clear vision to aim for and adapt it as you go along.

Don’t just stop at the practical things such as where you’ll live or what you’ll do for work. Consider your emotions and what you want to feel in this new future of yours.

If you have a particularly stressful life right now, you might prioritize peace of mind and body above all else. If you are a bit bored of life, you might make excitement and fun the focus of your transformation.

It can sometimes be easier to work out what you want to feel and then work backwards from there to find the aspects of your life you should address first.

8. Picture the person you wish to be.

Maybe the reason you want to reboot your life is because you have grown into a person who you no longer recognize – one with traits or behaviors that you don’t really like.

It can be hard to look at yourself in the mirror and accept the brutal truth about the person staring back, but as with all self-improvement, identification of the problem is the first step to overcoming it.

Maybe you have gotten lost in a spiral of negativity fueled by the 24/7 news cycle and social media.

Maybe you are cynical and untrusting of others because of the hurt caused to you by someone close.

Maybe you are arrogant and close-minded and this is causing difficulties in your personal relationships.

So, in looking to the future, ask yourself what negative traits you wish to leave behind and what positive traits you wish to adopt.

Do you want to be a kinder, more accepting person who gets along well with others? Do you want to be more humble and willing to ask for help when you need it? Do you want to be a more disciplined and hard-working individual who gets things done?

Whilst traits and behaviors tend to take a lot of time and work to alter, there is nothing to stop you from improving upon them. Whether that’s something you can work on by yourself, or whether it requires the help of a therapist, you can achieve big changes.

9. Set goals.

Set yourself tangible, achievable, and realistic goals based around your new priorities and your vision for your new life.

What do you want to have achieved one month from now, six months from now, a year from now, and even ten years from now?

Make sure your goals are measurable, so you’ll know whether or not you’ve actually achieved them. 

And what’s more, don’t go overboard with your goal setting. Whilst some people will want to transform their lives entirely all in one go, it’s generally more practical to focus on the things that will make the biggest difference to your life, health, or relationships first.

10. Build your goals into your routine.

Big goals are great, but if you don’t work toward them a little every day then you’ll never reach them.

So, think about creating a new routine, and how you can make little changes every day/week/month that will add up to a big change over time.

For example, if you want to transform your fitness, make sure you plan regular exercise every week, starting with short, manageable sessions and gradually building up from there.

If stress is a big problem for you at the moment, find ways to incorporate calming activities such as meditation, yoga, or just escaping in a good book into your routine.

You and your well-being are the product of the things that you do most often, so align those things with your goals and the future you wish to have.

11. Focus on your bad habits.

Rebooting your life means you want to change the way you live it for the better, so now’s the time to say goodbye to the bad habits you know are holding you back.

Start by thinking about what the triggers are for your bad habits. For example, if you reach for the cigarettes when you’re stressed, think about how often that happens, and decide what else you could do to calm your nerves rather than smoking.

Whatever your habit is, think of a practical substitute and don’t be discouraged if you slip up now and again. No one breaks a bad habit immediately without any slip ups, so don’t use that as an excuse to give up.

12. Be kind to yourself.

Restarting or rebooting your life is never an easy thing to do. So, when you’re going through this process, you need to go easy on yourself.

Be patient and kind. Make sure you’re pushing yourself, but not too far.

Expect highs and lows. Moments when you’re so happy you’re making these changes, and moments when you wish you’d never started.

But know it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Still not sure how to go about rebooting your life? Want someone to hold your hand and guide you through it? Speak to a life coach today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one.

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About Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.