Ah that sweet familiar feeling of Monday morning. A brand-new notebook which hasn’t experienced your childlike handwriting quite yet. Even the first day back at work after two weeks of R&R somewhere sunnier than home.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying to the human mind than being able to “start afresh” – just check the reaction on social media when the new month starts on a Monday. It’s like we’ve all had a hit of motivation to our blood stream and we’re ready to tackle our goals head on. Until Tuesday afternoon that is.
I made a remark on Twitter recently about being in the midst of wanting to completely reinvent my life, and I couldn’t believe the response it picked up. Hundreds of others agreed, quick to reply that they too wanted to start again, move away, buy a whole new wardrobe, quit their job, travel the world.
Team Reinvent was strong.
As a generation, with so many possibilities at our fingertips – or at least the opportunity to see what possibilities others are grasping through the power of our phones – are we addicted to the feeling of a fresh start?
Side note: As I write this in Costa sans Marlborough Light, flashbacks of Carrie Bradshaw posing a question to her audience come rushing back. I’m living the dream right now, minus the Manhattan brownstone apartment.
The Benefits of a Fresh Start
Let’s start with the benefits of a fresh start. When I decide to get a hold of my life and make changes, whether that’s changing my body, the way I run my business, or my home, the optimism is almost palatable.
You only have to look at #MondayMotivation to understand how powerful the start of a new week can make us feel. It poses endless possibilities for the next chapter, the chance to make ourselves a better version of who we currently are.
Would I say I’m addicted to fresh starts? Absolutely. I’ve moved around my whole adult life, every time thinking, this is it. This is the time I’ll finally get my act together and live the life I think I’m supposed to. I’ll meet the right guy, I drop a casual two stone, finally get my finances in order.
When I moved to London in my 20s, I envisioned my whole life changing. It didn’t. Which then led me to move back up north, imagining how everything would fall into place. It didn’t.
But would I change any of that? No. Because the feeling of a new start, where I could forget my past and imagine myself in my dream wardrobe, with my dream thigh measurement, living with my dream partner, in my dream house, is all so real. Where would be if we didn’t have hope or the ability to envision?
But Where Does our Addition to Fresh Starts Become Dangerous?
Planning a new start and envisioning our new life offers a sense of escapism. How many times do you lay in bed imagining what life will be like when you finally lose that weight, or you finally get a new job?
The danger is when you start to self-sabotage because “you’re starting again tomorrow” You know the feeling, when you eat the entirety of your fridge on a Sunday night because Monday will be the day you finally get a grip on your diet. Except you do the same on Monday evening during Love Island. And the night after that. And the night after that.
Or when you take the day off again to watch Netflix, because tomorrow’s the day you’re going to smash your to-do list. Except tomorrow has been coming for over a week and clients are starting to get annoyed with the total lack of communication.
When self-sabotage, anxiety and feeling of failure creeps into the process of ‘starting again’, it’s an addiction you need check. Not treating yourself in the right manner now, all because you tomorrow’s a new day, is a vicious cycle. It can leave you feeling lost, especially when the realisation of moving to a new city or losing weight hasn’t completely changed your life and you have a much more deep rooted issue to solve.
It’s not the location you’re in, it’s not the dress size you’re in, it’s the mindset you’re in. Without sounding like a self-help cliché, you need to work on being happy at your core first. And then you can get excited about packing everything up for the summer and moving to Santa Monica (yes, this is my fresh start idea). I’m not sure my life will change in California, but I’m hell as sure the sunshine and sand under my feet will increase my already-happy mindset.
How To Give Yourself a “Fresh Start” Without Upheaving your Life
If you’re part of the Team Reinvent squad like me (I’m blaming the moon as I do everything in life), I wanted to share some ways you can get that fresh feeling without selling all your belongings and moving to Bali.
- Press the reset button. I wrote this blog post on how I use Sunday’s to reset my buttons ahead of a brand-new week, making Monday the most productive yet.
- Form a positive habit. Whether that’s pushing yourself to go for a walk on a lunch, or meditate on a morning for 10 minutes, forming a habit that has a positive effect on your day to day life is a great way to get a fresh perspective on things.
- Decide what you really want in life. You can use my scripting process to really picture how you envision your life to look in a years’ time and have clarity over your future.
- Set a goal and work out how to achieve this. Reverse engineer your goals, starting from the finish point and moving backwards through each step you need to take to get there.
- Forget the time limit. The feeling of fresh-start-failure comes from having a specific time limit. Would my life have changed for the better if I’d have stayed in London longer than a year? Perhaps. Giving yourself the space to step into your fresh start feeling and not put too much pressure on having motivation on tap (we’re human, that’s simply not possible), allows you to embrace it for a much longer period.
If you’re looking at how to start fresh, the key is balance. Don’t be afraid to wake up every day and try to be a better version of who you were yesterday. There’s no shame in wanting to be better. But also, don’t be afraid to wake up and realise you’re pretty damn perfect just as you are. Wherever you are in the world, whatever you’re wearing and whoever you’re with.
Are you addicted to that fresh Monday feeling?