By Leo Babauta
One of the biggest obstacles to sticking with a habit change, a new system, a goal or long-term project is that we get disrupted.
Something interrupts our progress—we skip a workout day or two—and then some programming in our brains turns that into a message of how we’re not good enough, we can’t do it, we should just give up. This stops so many people from making long-term progress. It stops us from simply starting again.
This is because most of us don’t realize the power and magic of a Fresh Start.
A Fresh Start is when we get to start anew, with a blank slate. It’s waking up to a brand new morning, with a day we get to use however we want. When we miss a few days of meditation, or eat junk for a week because of various celebrations, or fall off from writing our book instead of making that to mean that this whole thing is a waste of time or that we somehow suck we can look at it as a Fresh Start.
I’m not simply re-framing things to “be positive.” There’s a lot of power available to us in a Fresh Start that we miss out on.
A Fresh Start is magical:
We can see the habit or project with fresh eyes, as if we’d never seen it before, and bring a sense of wonder and curiosity to what we’re doing.
There’s a sacredness to letting everything go from the past and just showing up in a new moment.
We can learn something from the past failure or disruption, and use this new start as a way to get better at that difficulty, armed with this new information, so that every Fresh Start becomes a new opportunity to learn, grow, get better at something.
We get to reinvent ourselves, reinvent what we’re taking on, reinvent what we want to make our lives to be.
We can recommit, and remind ourselves of why we’re committed to this.
This is all missed when we ignore the magic and power of a Fresh Start!
The beautiful thing is that a Fresh Start is available to us not only when we get disrupted or stumble … but in every moment. Every day. Every new meditation or workout or work session. Every new meeting with someone, every new conversation.
Every new breath.
Editor: Dana Gornall
Leo Babauta is a regular guy, a father of six kids, a husband, a writer from Guam (now living in San Francisco). He eats vegan food, writes, runs, and reads. He is the founder of Zen Habits which is about finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.
This article was originally published on Zen Habits and re-published with author’s permission.