We often start a new year excited, with a renewed sense of determination to work on goals that we set. Some of these may be new goals such as picking up a new skill or hobby. Others may be continuing what we are already doing, but bringing it to “the next level”. Perhaps you want to continue growing your savings, working towards a promotion, or increasing your running mileage. These are the goals that are often the subjects of our conversations at this time of the year.

However, there are goals that we may shy away from sharing in those same conversations. These are the goals of “starting over”. Starting over to get your health and your weight back on track, starting over in your career or business, starting over after a relationship that has ended. Why don’t we mention these goals? My guess is, because it hurts.

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We may have stumbled, messed up, perhaps even failed. The hurt we experience may come from the judgement from others, but more often than not, from judging ourselves.  We hold an internal conversation that we are “not good enough”, or that we are a “failure”. Walking away from these goals would be a less painful option but choosing to start over and work on them again is definitely a choice that requires humility, vulnerability and courage. In this post, we share 5 tips on how to start over and try again.

1) Turn “Failures” Into Lessons and Apply Them To Your Goals

“Failures” need not remain failures. If you are willing to take an honest look at failure, you would often learn what didn’t work and what you could do differently. Quoting research professor and author, Brene Brown, who has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame,  “If you take the time and have the patience to learn from your failures, then they aren’t failures any longer — they’re lessons.” However, learning the lessons alone just serves as a good reflection at best. What makes the difference is applying these lessons to your goals.

2) Be Open and Willing To Change With The Times

There are times where what got you to where you are cannot take you to where you want to be. Sometimes, doing “more of the same” isn’t going to work. What used to work in the past may not work as well now. Being open and willing to change with the times is often the key to achieving your goals.

3) Ask For Help

You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Success if often a team effort. Even the most successful people got to where they are with the help of others. Check your ego at the doorstep and ask for help. Do you know someone with more experience or expertise? Ask that person to be your mentor or coach. They could give your some valuable guidance or advice to get you on the right track and avoid common pitfalls.

4) Don’t Be Obsessed Over “Perfect”

“Perfect” is an illusion. Different people define “perfect” differently. Often, when we get hung up on “perfect”, we focus on the flaws and pitfalls and get stuck, or worse, don’t even start. We end up spending huge amounts of time and energy on many little things that may not be important. Instead, we should focus on ensuring that the key things that matter are good, and know that it is good enough.

5) Break It Down and Celebrate The Milestones

Starting over can be scary and the journey can feel daunting and overwhelming. Instead of focusing on how big the goal is or how long the journey may be, break it down into smaller goals and celebrate each milestone you achieve. This gives your the momentum and the motivation to work towards that next milestone, and the next one, eventually leading you to your goal.