12 Rules to Guide You on the Path to a New Beginning

Written by on January 13, 2021 in Perseverance, Self-Determination

New beginnings come in all shapes and sizes, from learning a skill to moving to a new home, committing to a health care regime, or taking a different path in life.

Some we eagerly embrace as exciting new adventures, while others blindside us as heart-wrenching endings.

Then there are the times that moving forward, writing a new and better chapter, is just what you need – what you long for – but you struggle to find the energy or where to even begin.

With all we’ve gone through in the past year, I know many people are feeling this way right now.

To help you take those crucial first steps I’ve listed below 12 timeless rules to guide you on the path to a new beginning, but before we talk about moving forward I want you to take a moment to give yourself credit for surviving 2020.

You faced challenges, uncertainty, and disappointments too numerous to count, but you made it.

It may not have always felt like it at the time, but you were incredibly resilient, adaptable, and flexible, and as a result, you have grown in more ways than you realize.

The latest chapter in your journey was made up of many things you couldn’t control, full of surprises, and they weren’t always good. At times stretched beyond reason, maybe, but you are still standing and stronger than ever. You are a survivor.


12 Timeless Rules on New Beginnings

12. You Are the Driver

A guide, particularly someone who has no preconceived opinions about what you ‘should’ do, can be invaluable, but in the end, it is up to you to make the choices and determine your direction.

Yes, there will be obstacles and detours, things, and people you have no control over, but you always have control over your responses.

This power you have over the direction you choose to take your life can be frightening at times, but fully embracing it can also be incredibly liberating.

11. Create a Vision to Guide You

A new beginning will look different for each of us, but whatever the goal may be your chances of succeeding will be far greater if have a clear and compelling vision to guide you.

The point of a vision is simply to determine the direction and the significant things you want to accomplish along the way.

It gives you focus and purpose, which will keep you motivated and serve as your anchor when you hit a stumbling block or unexpected detour.

10. Not Everyone Will Be a Fan

Not everyone will support your efforts to change – some will hate it.

Maybe they feel threatened or just plain jealous because they’ve never dared to improve their own life. And to be honest, some people are just jerks and there’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t try.

The good news is many more wonderful people in the world will be thrilled for you for having the courage to reach for what you want, so hang on to the good ones really tight and let go of the rest.

9. This is About YOUR Life

No matter what the change you are undertaking may be, there is bound to be someone who will either boast about the ease of their own successful transformation or who is all too eager to unload horror stories about all that can go wrong.

Some will wonder why you’re not making faster progress while others will accuse you of moving too quickly, all of which can make you begin second-guessing yourself.

Remember, this is about your life, not someone else’s, so make the journey in your own way and time.

That said, let’s be honest. If you choose to spread the news of your plans to change all over social media, then for better or worse you are posting an engraved invitation for others to judge your choices and progress.

8. Embrace the Role of Beginner

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to embrace the role of a beginner.

We all like to feel like we know what we’re doing, but regardless of the nature of your goal, it is likely you will be doing some things for the first time, so there will be surprises, mistakes, and a few detours.

I like to approach change as an experiment. I expect the best, plan for the worst and if I hit a snag, I simply take a step back, evaluate what I’ve learned up to that point, and make adjustments.

It eliminates so much stress if you can think of your change as a process rather than a win or lose proposition.

7. Don’t Wait to Fill the Gaps

It’s not uncommon for the first steps of a new beginning to focus on eliminating unsatisfactory circumstances or relationships that contributed to your decision to change.

It could be a habit, a toxic relationship, or something about your environment.

Whatever it may be, unless you want to end up right back where you started, you can’t just remove something you have to also plan to fill that gap with something better.

The most familiar analogy would be changing your diet. Eliminating junk food is just the start; you also have to plan to fill that void with healthy food.

Another example would be reducing the number of commitments you have so you can have more time for yourself and your family.

Again, eliminating the obligations is only the first step, you also have to make concrete plans for spending time with your family otherwise it won’t take long before new commitments on your time begin to appear on your calendar.


6. Sometimes You Just Have to Trust

You can’t always know if what you’re doing is right. You can look for answers but life rarely comes with guarantees.

The truth is we’re all just winging it most of the time anyway, so at the very least, it should be comforting to know that if you feel clueless from time to time, you’re far from alone. 

5. But if You Mess Up, It’s Up to YOU to Fix It

If you make a mistake, it’s up to you to fix it. As long as you’re willing to embrace the consequences of your choices and actions (including those that affect other people), then it’s well within your ability to make things right.

4. Lighten Up and Enjoy the Scenery

By their nature, new beginnings generate enthusiasm and hope for a better future, so it can be tempting to micromanage the process to hurry things along, only to end up frustrated when plans aren’t going precisely as you had intended.

If you can lighten up a little, not become too rigid in your expectations along the way, you may discover an unexpected delay or detour opens the door to opportunities you could never have otherwise imagined!

3. Make Self-Care a Priority

Believe it or not, the world will not end if you take time for yourself. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s an act of survival, and it should be a priority when you’re undergoing a life transition.

At the very least, eating healthy and getting enough rest will help you to think clearer and keep your energy up.

2. Life Doesn’t Get Easier, You Get Tougher

People will disappoint you, and you won’t always get what you want, and there may well come a time in your life that you will have to stand outside in the pouring rain without an umbrella.

Life isn’t always easy, but the more resilient you are the quicker your recovery time, and the more you appreciate the good things.

1. Change Never Stops

Change is a continual process, sometimes fast and other times painfully slow.

There is no single destination, but rather a winding path with many adventures along the way to becoming the person you are meant to be.

If you don’t like the direction it’s going, change it. 

Your Life is What You Make It

Whatever you want to do, have, or become in life, there will be a path and the journey always begins with a decision.

Even when change is thrust upon you – a lost job, end of a relationship, or traumatic injury – it is still up to you to choose your response, and that is where your power lies.

You can choose to cling for all your worth to comfortable familiarity or put your energy into creating a beautiful new chapter in your life.

The saddest person in the world is not the poorest, it’s the person who knew they were capable of so much more and chose to settle for good enough.

Related reading:
Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach, and founder of Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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