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Do you want to know how to start a new life?

If so, welcome! This ultimate guide will help you get there. But first things first:

What kind of new life would you like?

Some want more fulfilling relationships. Others want to switch careers or move somewhere new. Some want to simply experience more joy. I personally wanted it all: a new career, healthier relationships, a change of scenery, and passions that fulfilled me. I wanted the whole shebang.

Many of us yearn for change. Sometimes, we don’t even know what kind of change we want! We just want “more.” We feel it in our gut.

So let’s start with this infographic:

"Life Areas" by My Bold Life

These are the areas of my life that I keep tabs on. I highly recommend you create a visual like this, too! What areas of your life do you keep tabs on?

For a free, fill-in template like the visual above, sign up here:

Are you looking to change certain pieces of the pie, or replace the pie altogether?

Once you’ve answered that, write down what a “new life” means to you. Then scroll on down to your section(s) of choice. 

My hope is that this guide will help you reach alignment with your authentic self, so you can live life on your terms.

Prep Work Before Starting a New Life

“Most people think they lack motivation when they really lack clarity.” – Ryan Holiday

I think many of us are motivated to make changes in our lives. The thing is, we sometimes aren’t clear on the change we want. We have an idea, but it’s not always concrete enough to actually go for it.

So let’s do some prep work!

The items below will help you:

    • Find peace in your present;
    • Clarify what change(s) you want;
    • Come up with an action plan; and
    • Pursue change with more confidence and less anxiety
a road with turns

1. Remember: no life is linear.

We do not live the perfect childhood, go to college, get the best job, have perfect relationships, and live happily ever after according to plan. Our lives are not a straight line up the ladder to success.

Rather, our lives are filled with twists and turns. Every person is confronted with life surprises and challenges that alter their life path. 

Some changes are by our hand, and others are beyond our control. We may seek change because we want to, or we have to. 

In any case, it’s normal for life to not go according to plan. In fact, it’s guaranteed! While that fact can make life challenging, it can also make life rich and exciting.

As humans, we have this incredible ability to rebuild and adapt. Tap into that power! And remember: it is never too late to change your life.

2. Don’t reach for the re-set button too fast.

Have you ever had something bad happen to you, and thought, “I’m over this. I want a do-over”?

If so, I get it! That re-set button can be so tempting to push. But before you push it, ask yourself: what’s driving you?

If you’ve recently gone through a stressful event, such as financial challenges, injury, or the end of a relationship, reflect on those experiences. 

I know how hard it can be to tap into those experiences. It can feel anywhere from uncomfortable to soul-crushing. But the only way out is through

Before starting a new life, ensure it’s not an escape hatch.  You don’t want to make a habit of jumping ship every time things get hard. Unresolved problems or feelings in our “old” life tend to creep into the new. 

If you feel you’re not in the best place to press the re-set button, that’s okay! It will always be there. And often times, that button isn’t necessary. 

Try making smaller changes in your life. They can often have a large impact, and they’ll help you rebuild at a more manageable pace. 

And when you feel ready, you can always seek out more change.

3. How Much Pie Do You Want?

Create your own life “pie” chart like the one above, and reflect on the areas of your life you keep tabs on. (If you’d like a template, you can sign up for one above.) 

Which part(s) of your life do you want to change? Which part(s) do you want to change the most? 

When setting priorities, it’s all about balance. 

If you want to switch careers, find a new friend group, and start an exercise regimen, ensure you’re not overloading yourself. Do you feel all of these changes can be pursued at once, or is it too much too soon?

You are the best judge of what you can manage. If you feel you can pursue change in multiple areas at once, go for it! 

If you’d prefer to start with just one area of life, that’s a perfect plan, too. We all move at our own paces, and whatever pace gets us closer to our goals is the right one.

4. Be a Dreamer.

Give yourself permission to dream. It’s seriously the best!

If you could wave a magic wand, what would your life look like? 

Ask yourself questions like:

    • What values do you have? 
    • How does your life honor those values? 
    • In what ways are you aligned with your authentic self? 
    • What lifestyle do you have? 
    • Who do you surround yourself with? 
    • What’s your career? 
    • Where do you live? 
    • What are your habits? 
    • What are your strengths? 
    • How do you feel? 
    • What kind of mindset do you have?

Don’t hold back during this exercise. Really envision your best life. Think about what lights you up, what gives you joy, and what makes you feel alive.

Write it all down. Better yet, get out that vision board! Fill your board with photos, quotes, mementos, and anything else that represents your version of your best life. Bring it to life.

If you’re like, “Meh, vision boards sound cool, but I probably won’t get around to it,” shoot me an email instead: [email protected]. I’d love to hear what your dream life looks like. 🙂 

We can’t achieve our dreams without letting ourselves have them, first. So dream away. We’ll talk about achieving them in just a bit! 

5. What Must Stay, and What Must Go?

Dreams can absolutely become reality! That said, no life is perfect. Every lifestyle has its pros and cons. 

You might even find that your life before change had some pros that your life after change does not! And that’s more than okay.

But it’s worth asking yourself: what must I have in my life, and what must go?

There are lots of negotiables, of course. But to change your life in a way that brings you joy, it’s important to know what you need and don’t need to be happy.

Write these things down, and revisit them when necessary. Knowing your must-haves and can’t-haves will help keep you in alignment with your goals and dreams.

6. Tell Yourself a New Story

Why haven’t you changed your life in the way you want yet?

Ask others this question, and you’ll get answers like:

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I don’t have good connections.”

“I don’t have the money.”

What do all of these statements have in common? They’re all part of the story we tell ourselves. The story that says we’re not good enough, privileged enough, or even deserving enough to reach our dreams.

And the thing is, we’re telling the wrong story. We’re telling ourselves why we don’t have something, instead of telling ourselves why we can get something.

Every one of us has the power to write a new story. To change the narrative. To step into the lives we feel we were meant to lead. 

And it all starts with believing in our own power.

7. Set These Types of Goals to Start a New Life

We’ve all got goals, which is a great start! But how do we increase the odds we’ll achieve them?

Make them S.M.A.R.T.: 

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound

For example, let’s say your goal is to write one blog post per week. Here’s how you can make that goal S.M.A.R.T.:

    • Specific: “I’ll get up one hour earlier each day to give myself enough time to write. On Mondays, I’ll research my post. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I’ll work on the first draft. On Thursdays, I’ll edit and finalize the draft. On Fridays, I’ll format the post and prepare it for publishing.”
    • Measurable: “The post will be at least 1,000 words, and I’ll track my progress by using Word Count each day.”
    • Attainable: “I know from past experience that I can write at this pace.”
    • Relevant: “What makes me happy in life is helping others through my writing. Achieving my goal of writing one blog post per week will help me lead a life I love.”
    • Time-bound: “I have one week to complete each blog post.”

For more on S.M.A.R.T. goals, check out this post.

8. Make Achieving Your Goals Even Easier

After creating your S.M.A.R.T. goals, think about how you can make achieving your goals even easier

What strengths can you tap into? What areas would you like to improve on? How else can you set yourself up for success?

For example, strengths to achieve the goal above could be, “I’m a morning person,” and “The ability to help others through writing is a huge motivator for me.” 

Areas of improvement could be, “If I often become distracted by others, I can better communicate my goal to others so I have distraction-free time to write.” 

Other ways you can set yourself up for success? Ensure your work space is clean and organized.

road symbolizing learning how to start a new life

9. Expect Bumps in the Road

It can feel great to head towards greener pastures and even reinvent yourself entirely. I’ve been there!

But before you set out on your journey, remember there will be bumps on the road ahead. How will you handle them? How will you ensure you keep moving forward?

Think about potential setbacks in advance, and prepare for them. This will keep you centered so you don’t think, “Was changing my life a mistake?” immediately after encountering a setback.

Setbacks are normal. They may even help you further refine or change your life vision. And there’s nothing wrong with that! 

Self-discovery is a beautiful process where we discover exactly who we are, what we want, and what we stand for. 

So have a game plan for handling setbacks. For example, let’s say you expect people in your life won’t support your new life vision. What will you do? 

Here’s one option: express to them how important your desired changes are to you. Ask for their support. If they don’t give it, express you’re sorry to hear that, but you have to do what you’ve got to do. Then press onward.

People may question your choices. You may even question yourself. But don’t let your inner critic hold you back. You can achieve far more than it lets on. 

You have the power to stay true to your course, even if there are bumps in the road. And if you so decide, you have the power to change course. 

10. Who’s Got Your Back?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “It takes a village?”

Well here’s the good news: you don’t need a village to learn how to start a new life. You’ve already got this. That said, a village can’t hurt!

So who’s got your back? 

Who can you count on to pick up the phone when you’re having a hard day? Who are your cheerleaders? Who can you trust to give it to you straight when you want some perspective? 

There are plenty of people who have single-handedly changed their lives. But if you have others in your life to help you through it, be so, so grateful for them. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for help, when you need it. And don’t hesitate to return the favor.

woman journaling about how to start a new life

11. Check in With Yourself

Making life changes can bring up all the emotions! So check in with yourself: how are you feeling?

Journaling can be a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings. There is something so therapeutic about getting it all out onto the page! 

And if you’re able to journal consistently, you can refer back to prior entries and keep track of your thoughts and feelings over time. 

This can help you clearly see your progress over time. It can also help you identify patterns in your thinking to illuminate the way forward.

For example, here are some thoughts and feelings I experienced when I was making a lot of changes in my life:

  • Fear – you guessed it! It’s damn near impossible to change your life without fear. I feared I was putting my whole life on the line for a new life that was uncertain. I feared others would judge me. I feared I’d try out a new life and crawl back to the old one, eventually. I had rational fears, irrational ones, and everything in between. But you know what? Fear of change + changing anyway = courage. I know you’ve got it.
  • Impatience – I had put a lot of thought into the changes I wanted to make in my life. And when I finally went after them, I wanted results asap! But it takes time to effect change. More importantly, you have to be happy with who you are and what you have now. I realized I could strive to become the best version of myself and be grateful for my life as-is at the same time. You can make peace with progress, too. 🙂
  • Excitement – Now let’s get to the good stuff! The minute I really decided to change my life, I felt a rush of energy. I felt an even bigger rush the first time I actually made a change. And soon enough, I got my zest for life back! I was like, “YES! This is what I’m talking about!” I felt that for the first time in a while, I was in alignment with my authentic self. I was doing life my way.
  • Empowerment – Even before my life changes started yielding fruit, I was like, “Woah! I actually went for it!” I felt proud and empowered. I was feeling myself, you guys! And as a former people-pleaser who was besties with my inner critic, self-pride was not a familiar feeling. There was no greater feeling than taking my life into my own hands.
woman starting a new life

12. Enjoy the Journey

Changing your life can feel difficult sometimes, but so can living a life that doesn’t inspire, excite, or fulfill you. The difference is that change opens up many more doors!

Explore new things. Say yes to new opportunities. Take more risks. Go after your dreams. Learn. Grow. Relish in your feelings of strength, independence, and empowerment.

Life is a journey, and you decide what journey you go on. Take a bold step, and lean into yours.

All right! So if you’ve done all the prep work above, it probably feels like a lot. And it is. Soul-searching ain’t easy! 

So go grab a glass of wine if that’s your thing, and come back to me! This is the part where we apply your learnings to different areas of life. Check out whichever areas apply to you for some additional insights. 

 

How to Start a New Life in These Areas:

Romance

“Sometimes you wake up from a dream. Sometimes you wake up in a dream. And sometimes, every once in a while, you wake up in someone else’s dream.” – Richelle Mead

There is nothing greater in this life than love. How good does it feel to have a deep connection with someone, where you just want the best for them and they, you? Where you’d do anything to ensure they’re happy and safe? With love, we discover all the more deeply who we are.

When you first find someone you love romantically, it can feel like a dream. Like everything in your life is just a bit easier. Like everything has taken on a rosy glow. 

But sometimes, it turns out another path is meant for you.

I know how painful this transition can be. Learning how to start a new life romantically isn’t easy. It involves healing your wounds, mending your heart, and slowly building up the courage to try again, if you so choose.

And should you choose to learn how to start a new life romantically, I’m here for you! It is never too late to try again. And in my opinion, the possibility of finding love again is worth the risk.

Here are some things that have helped me rebuild after certain romantic chapters in my life ended:

  • Learning to love myself – When I first started dating, I had one goal: find. my. person. I put myself on the back burner. And each time things didn’t work out romantically, my self-confidence took a hit. Problem was, I was allowing others to define how worthy I was of love. It wasn’t until I hit pause, and learned to love myself, that I was able to find the love I was searching for.
  • Giving myself time – It can feel like there is never enough time in the romance department! I personally felt pressure to “find the one” in my early 20s, so I could date for several years before getting married and having children in my late 20s. I recognize now how much emotional energy I wasted on an unnecessary “timeline.” My life looks much different from how I thought it would, but I’m giving myself all the time. And I’m much happier for it. Whether you’re in your 20s, 50s, 70s, whatever—I feel rushing or forcing anything isn’t the answer.
  • Avoiding the comparison trap – Why does everyone like my friend, but not me? How did that couple find each other, and I’m having such a hard time finding someone? How are those people so happy in their relationship, and I feel unsatisfied in mine?…The comparison trap can be hard to avoid! Whether you’re single, in a relationship or marriage, or you’ve recently ended something, comparing your situation to others rarely does any good. No life is the same, and we all have unique journeys. Compare only who you are today with who you were yesterday; reflect, grow, and enjoy your journey, and you’ll be okay. 🙂 
  • Being open-minded – It’s important to have standards and an idea of the kind of partner we want. That said, being open-minded helps! First, it opens our eyes to potential partners who might be a great fit for us. Second, it helps manage expectations, so that we are not overly disappointed when someone doesn’t meet those expectations. Finally, it allows us to feel more relaxed and curious as we learn more about others and ourselves.
  • Finding the good in everything – I’m not going to lie: there have been times when I walked into a first date and wanted to do a U-turn pretty early on. And sometimes my initial judgments were right. But sometimes, they were wrong. Try to suspend snap judgments when you first walk into a date, and give it a little time. Even if you decide the other person isn’t for you, there is so much to learn from everyone! I went on more dates than I could count, and seeking to learn and grow from those dates made for a better experience.
learning how to start a new life in the friendship department

Friends

Good friends are the best. You share great memories with them, they lift you up when you’re down, they share some of your interests or perspectives, and they’ve always got your back. 

But life can be long, and sometimes, friendships evolve in ways that are no longer the best for us. 

If you’d like to know how to start a new life in the friendship department, you may feel your friends don’t bring out the best in you. 

Perhaps they’re not supportive, or you no longer share the same interests or perspectives. Perhaps there are even toxic behaviors you feel you’re best left without. 

And sometimes, you simply grow apart. This is completely okay. 

Our ability to grow and evolve in life is one of life’s greatest gifts. But sometimes, that means letting go of people along the way.  

To do this, I recommend having a conversation with those friends you feel you must move on from. You share a history after all, which likely includes good times and memories. And even if they did something wrong, having a conversation can help bring closure for both.

It’s not an easy conversation to have, and your friend(s) may or may not respond kindly. But you will have cleared the air, and created space in your mind and heart to move forward.

This also means new friendships are headed your way! Focus on how exciting it will be to form friendships that better align with who you are now and where you are headed. 

When starting a new life in the friendship department, consider these things:

    • How would you want to spend time with your friends? Would you prefer going on a hike, going to a bar, or having a night in, for example?
    • What interests would you like to share with your friends? 
    • What kinds of conversations would you like to have with your friends? 
    • What goals would your friends have?
    • What would be your friends’ communication styles? Are they direct, for example?
    • How would your friends seek to resolve conflict? 
    • What would you need in a friendship?

To make new friends, put yourself out there! Some things you can try: 

    • Joining local Facebook groups, or interest-based Facebook groups with members in your area
    • Sign up for a class you’re interested in, such as learning a language, cooking, etc.
    • Go on a Meetup
    • Join a club, such as an intramural sports club, a book club, etc.
    • Attend local events
    • If you already have some friends in your area, arrange larger “hang-outs” with their friends as well, and so on.

Nurture any new friendships you make, and any old friendships you keep. And most importantly, have fun!

Health

When it comes to knowing how to start a new life for your health, there are tons of resources. 

If you want to exercise more, there are gyms, jogging paths, bikes, sports clubs, and more. If you want to eat more healthily, there are numerous healthy recipes, nutritionists, healthy eating books, and other resources. 

No matter what your goal is, the options can be overwhelming! Which strategy works best for us? How can we get to our health goals fastest, with the least headache? 

I’m no health guru, but I’ve tried a lot of things. And what I’ve realized is this: there is no silver bullet. And what works for one person may not work for another.

To start a new life for your health, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. (see above). Setting these kinds of goals helps you gain greater clarity on what you’d like to achieve and how you’d like to achieve it. They also help keep you accountable. 

For example, if you love to swim, finding a gym with a pool is a great way to stay fit. But if you’re short on time, commuting to the gym and taking the time to shower before and after entering the pool could make things more difficult. 

woman learning how to start a new life in terms of health

Consider the pros and cons of various options, and choose the option you feel would best help you reach your goals. If that option doesn’t work, move on to the next one. Sometimes it requires a bit of trial and error. 

As you work towards achieving your health goals, be kind to yourself. So often our inner critics can meddle in things they have no business in.

If you have a “cheat day,” don’t get down on yourself. It is hard to effect change sometimes. And allowing yourself some flexibility will go a long way. 

Remember, bumps in the road are okay! You are still headed in the right direction.

Career

If you’d like to know how to start a new life in the career department, I can relate! Having to go to a job that doesn’t speak to your passions, strengths, or life goals can make you feel unmotivated and uninspired. But I believe there’s a solution.

In my mind, you have two options: practice seeing the good in your current career, or set out for a new one. 

If you feel now is not the time to change careers, practice seeing the good in your current career. Here are some things you can consider:

    • Do you have any coworkers you enjoy working with? 
    • What aspects of the job do you like? 
    • Are there benefits of your current career that are lacking in other careers? 
    • Do your peers respect and value your contribution? 
    • Do you have independence in making decisions? 
    • Are you well-supported?

Practicing gratitude is not only helpful in a career context, but also for life in general. Over time, making peace with your current situation can improve your outlook and even help you perform better at your job. I pursued this option at one point in my life, and it certainly made that career choice easier and more fruitful.

That said, I’ve also pursued option number two: switching careers. For me, it was the best choice I ever made. And if your heart is pulling you in a similar direction, I’ve got your back!

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you know exactly what you want to do? Or do you just know your current job isn’t it?
  • What do you value in a career? Is it recognition, impact, pay, collaboration, independence, who you work with, etc.? 
    • Once you’ve made a list of values, “weigh” them. Which values are most important to you? For example, if you found a job with great co-workers and a collaborative environment, but it had low pay, would that be enough? What if you found a high-paying job that was cutthroat? Would that be more your thing? Ideally, your future career would have everything you want, but certain career paths may require some give-and-take
  • What are your strengths? What career paths would best leverage those strengths?
  • What aspects of your job do you dislike? What other career paths might have less of those things?
  • How long would you like to be in your next career path? Do you want a career path that will work out for the long-term, or is something more short-lived sufficient?
  • Do you have savings or other financial support, in the event you’re unemployed before you find your next job?
  • How can you best prepare yourself and your loved ones for the transition?

Whatever you choose, know this: finding happiness in your career is entirely possible. 

Location

If you’re looking to learn how to start a new life in a new place, I commend you! It takes courage to leave the comfort of what you know for something new. 

Changing locations can mean anything from moving to a new neighborhood to moving to a new country. What kind of change are you looking for?

If you’re considering a few options, write down the pros and cons of each. For example, if you want to move to a new country, you may have to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. On the flip side, you’ll be able to have new experiences and adventures. 

Once you’ve chosen your desired destination, come up with a plan to ensure your transition is as smooth as possible. Here are some suggestions:

  • Visit your desired destination before you commit to it. What is it like to be in that environment? How is it different from where you live now? (Ideally, visit the exact neighborhood where you intend to live. Is it a noisy area? Is it safe?)
  • If you plan to commute to work, consider living in an area that makes commuting easier. Is it possible to live close to work, or relatively close to a bus station, for example? If you drive, what will the traffic be like?
  • Consider how you’ll build a new network when you arrive. Are there clubs you’d like to join? Events you’d like to attend?
  • See how you can get the most bang for your buck. What areas are affordable, so you’re not under too much financial pressure as you adjust to a new area? For an idea of some cost-effective countries to consider, check out this post.

To-Dos

Learning how to start a new life doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor. It can be as simple as re-thinking your to-dos!

Your to-dos may include things like cleaning the house, doing the laundry, organizing your closet, paying bills, responding to email, grocery shopping, and a whole host of other things.

Sometimes, it can feel like a never-ending list. And just as you’ve checked an item off, two more are added to the list.

If you’re looking to change your life by making your to-dos more manageable, here are some suggestions:

  • Use Asana. It’s a task-management software that has a free version. You can create “projects,” color code them, and create tasks under each project. It’s easy to visualize tasks in Asana’s “calendar view” and check things off. Using a tool like Asana can help you better keep track of your tasks, so you don’t have to remember everything in your head! Letting it all out will help declutter your mind, reducing stress. 
  • Ask for help. Do you have roommates that can pitch in to clean the house? Do you have a partner who can run some errands for you? If you have a dog, do you have friends open to dogsitting? Being able to ask for help can go a long way.
  • Try out the Pomodoro Technique. This technique involves breaking your day up into 25-minute chunks with 5-minute breaks in between. After about four sessions, you take a 15 to 20-minute break. Having set time intervals to complete tasks can increase productivity, and having forced breaks can help prevent burnout. Try it out as you’re tackling your to-do list!
  • Consider hiring outside help, if that’s a financially feasible option. If a lot of your day goes to cleaning, consider hiring a cleaning service. If a lot of time is spent on cooking, perhaps you can hire someone to do meal prep every Sunday. If your inbox never seems to be empty, consider hiring a virtual assistant. It doesn’t hurt to look into options, and see if anything is within budget!
  • When you’re working on a task, put your phone on silent, and turn it face-down. This will minimize distractions and keep you focused on the task at hand. You can catch up on any missed notifications when you’re done! 
  • Consider minimalist living. The more things you have, the more things you have to manage. So why not eliminate some things? Ask yourself what things you really need, and what things make you happy. Keep them, and toss out the rest. (Easier said than done, I know!) Even if you don’t take this approach to its extreme, doing a spring cleaning every now and then can work wonders.

I’ll stop here, because I don’t want the to-do list for tackling your to-do list to get too long! 🙂 At the end of the day, you’ve got options.

Hobbies

If you’d like to know how to start a new life, try a new hobby! Better yet, try several. Exploring new hobbies can help us gain greater clarity on what kind of “new life” we want.

For example, if you’re a creative type, exploring hobbies like writing or painting can help you reconnect with your creative self. 

If you’re an adventurous type, hobbies like traveling or extreme sports can re-ignite that spark you were looking for.

For me, my hobby is (you guessed it) blogging! There is nothing that makes me feel more alive. It injects meaning and excitement into my life, and has become a part of my identity.

Hobbies are much more than fun things to do when you’re bored. They help you connect with yourself and spend time doing what you love.

Mindset

I created a “mindset” section for those looking specifically to address this, but truth be told, a proper mindset is required for all other sections in this ultimate guide. All change begins in the mind.

Often times, change evades us because we tell ourselves change isn’t possible. We don’t have enough time, or money, or talent, or other advantages to change. 

But the thing is, we’re only as capable as we believe ourselves to be. And we are often far more capable than we give ourselves credit for.

There are ways to get time, and money, and talent, and other advantages. There are people in this world who lacked all of these things, and still found their way. I believe you can too!

woman who has learned how to start a new life

This isn’t to suggest things will be easy.

Some things can take years to build. Other things can take a lifetime to grow. And some things will be a life-long pursuit. 

But that’s no reason to shy away from everything you are and can be. 

Know that you are beautiful, and worthy, and capable, and deserving now.

Know that you can be all of these things, and still be committed to growth. To becoming the best version of yourself.

If you have ever doubted your potential, I get it! Self-doubt exists within all of us, and it usually requires some practice to conquer it. 

If you’d like some help conquering self-doubt, this cheat sheet will help! 👇

Finances

If you’re looking for info on how to start a new life financially, I’d imagine you’d like more money. I’m with you on that! So let’s start with this question:

What would you do if you had all the money in the world?

Here’s my answer: I’d quit my job, travel the world, spend more time with friends and family, and just have a ton of fun. I’d imagine most of us want some variation of this!

So the question becomes: is there a way to get these things, without having all the money in the world?

My assertion is yes. 

I’m not a financial advisor, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt, but here are some strategies that have helped me meet my life goals without oodles of wealth:

  • Finding a job that paid well enough, but also allowed me greater flexibility (even though it is not the highest-paying job out there). I did the high-paying job thing, but it was at the expense of more time with my loved ones, more freedom to explore other interests, and more happiness in general.
  • Investing in a high-yield savings account. Think of this like a savings account, but with higher than expected interest rates. Your money makes money with no additional effort from you. Look into this account type and see what you find!
  • Finding cheaper housing. No joke – I lived in a tiny “room” beneath a staircase Harry-Potter style for a year, for about half the price. Granted, I could not even fit a table into this unit (my twin bed was in a “loft” section just beneath the ceiling), but I saved a ton! It was worth it during that time of my life.
  • Investing in the stock market, if you have some extra money to invest. I personally prefer index funds. If you’d like to learn more about those, I recommend reading “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle, Founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group.
  • Practicing frugality. Admittedly, I have always been frugal! If I can save a dollar on something, I will. And when I get a good deal on something, I express my excitement to at least three people. It’s out of control sometimes. And there is definitely a time and a place to relax and indulge. But to the extent we can all practice a little frugality, that’s a good thing! Greater financial awareness can help us build savings at a faster rate.

Write down your financial goals. Do you want to make more money, save more money, learn how to invest, or have better control over your spending habits, for example?

As always, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. Then check in with your goals bi-weekly. Note the progress you’re making, and make adjustments as needed to help keep you on track.

Leisure

If you’d like to incorporate more leisure into your life, that’s wonderful! Finding the space to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate can make you feel like a new person. 

It’s one of the best ways to start a new life: a life that prioritizes your health and well being. That enables you to go out into the world and do your thing—and do it well.

There are tons of different types of leisure, such as: 

  • Going on vacation
  • Taking a trip to the spa
  • Reading a good book
  • Watching Netflix
  • Having a cocktail or glass of wine
  • Going on a girls’ trip
  • Online shopping (dangerous, but sometimes much needed 😌)

What does leisure mean to you? What leaves you feeling happy, refreshed, and whole? 

Jot down some ideas. Then strategize on how to find the time for leisure.

Will you have to have an honest conversation with a demanding boss? Ask your partner for a “me” night? Get the girls together for a weekend away?

Leisure often takes a back seat, because life’s day-to-day demands can leave us exhausted. And by then, the only leisure we crave is sleep! 

But by coming up with a plan in advance, you can create more space and time for leisure. 

In fact, leisure will help you return to your to-do list reinvigorated. I would argue leisure time makes you more productive overall. So go for it! 

To read more about the importance of self-care to avoid burnout, check out Thrive Global, a site founded by Arianna Huffington.

Family

Learning how to start a new life in the family department can mean many things. Here, we’ll focus on building a family.

Admittedly, I am quite new to the “building a family” thing! Granted, everyone has their own definition of family. 

For me, my partner and I are close enough to consider each other family. Soon, we’ll add a little pup to our family. And one day, children. But for now, here’s what I’ve learned:

Building a family requires patience, planning, persistence, and passion. It is not for the faint of heart. But if you put in the work, it can become one of the richest areas of your life. 

Having a family is like being on a team. You are strong as individuals, but together, you feel unstoppable. 

It’s a double-edged sword in that the ones you love most can hurt you the most. Your family’s thoughts and feelings can hit home in a way few things can. 

So when you’re part of a family, you have to be kind to each other. It can be easy to forget this when family members become so comfortable with one another. But remember that #1 rule, and your family will find its way.

woman with hot air balloons

Personal growth

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

There is nothing more important in my book than personal growth. What is life, without exploration, dreams, and discovery?

Take stock of your dreams and desires. What would you like to learn? What adventures would you like to have? What ideas would you like to test?

There are a million ways to pursue personal growth. Here are some ideas:

  • Watch a documentary about a way of life that differs from yours (I recommend “Dealt”)
  • Take on an interesting project at work
  • Sign up for an online class or learning app (I like “Babbel” for language learning
  • Read thought-stimulating books (I recommend “Life Is in the Transitions” by Bruce Feiler and “The Obstacle Is the Way” by Ryan Holiday)
  • Get out of your comfort zone 
  • Check out personal development blogs (I like Tiny Buddha and Marc and Angel Hack Life)
  • Join a cause you care about
  • Meet someone new
  • Immerse yourself in nature
  • Travel

Personal growth is a never-ending journey, and thank goodness! There will always be things to inspire, motivate, and intrigue us. And we’ll be all the better for it.

Unlock the Power of Change to Start a New Life

There is nothing more powerful than change. 

Yes, it can feel scary and difficult. But it can also awaken our hearts to a new way of life that leaves us stronger than we ever thought we could be. 

So take a deep breath, take a bold step, and make a change today.