How to reset your life: tips to refresh, rejuvenate and reignite happiness
4TH JANUARY 2024
Resetting your life can bring many benefits, from renewed drive and focus to peace of mind and even joy. Here are my tips on how to do it (the creative way)...
How do you do a hard reset for your life?
Traditionally, January is a time to cleanse the soul, clear out our homes and our minds, and visualise the kind of future we want for ourselves, to set us up for a magnificent year of growth. It allows us to start a whole new chapter. For me, especially the older I get, it’s not about ‘fun-sponging it’ or enforcing strict resolutions but about adding to your life… enriching not restricting.
As Tony Robbins said, “Life is a gift and it gives us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” That’s why I feel excited that my word of the year this year is ‘reset’. If you want to flourish and grow, you need to take action — and resetting is a great way to do it. As the saying goes, “Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll keep getting what you’ve got”. We all need to take stock once in a while, declutter (emotionally, physically and spiritually) and allow for the transformative power that refreshing different parts of our lives can bring.
What is a life reset?
For me, a life reset is where you reassess how you are living and arrange it differently to achieve a better result — or ultimately, less stress and more happiness. It’s not just about tidying up at home (though we all know, that can be as good for the soul as it is for the mind). It’s about surrounding yourself with creativity and inspiring yourself, setting yourself up for success, being clear on your aspirations and whether or not these have changed. It’s also about taking a moment to realign. Your happy place this year might not be the same as it was last year (I know mine isn’t) — and this is kind of a thrill for me actually. It puts me back in control and there is really no better feeling than that. So here are some tips…
Resetting: where do you start?
- Assess where you’re at now. Are you happy? (Now there’s a question!) What could make you happier? As Bobbi Brown said on my podcast, if today was your birthday and you could do absolutely anything, what would it be?
- Think about your values and priorities. Are you fulfilling them? Are you clear on your purpose? Is what you are doing now in line with that?
- Outline your goals for the year. What is it you’d love to achieve? What would stretch you and help you grow? Could you create a mood board to make these clear? I’m a big believer in manifestation actually (and working bloody hard to make it happen!). My founders and I used to have a board with our dream podcast guests on, that once felt rather ridiculous. We’ve now recorded nearly all of them!
- Plan the journey to help get you there. What clear steps could you put in place? What boundaries will you need to protect in order to achieve it? When would you love to do this by? It’s not about putting any pressure on yourself to do it overnight or anything but about growing and inching closer to your goals each day.
- Use affirmations and reminders. What will help you keep these good intentions in place? I find art is great for this for me. Whether it’s having quotes in frames or on a beautiful notebook. It spurs me on and keeps me going.
How to make your space inspiring: the art of the creative refresh
It’s actually easier than you think to refresh your living space without major overhauls, and this is one of my absolute favourite things to do. It’s also incredibly important. In a way, your home is an extension of your energy field. Living in an inspiring environment uplifts us.
William Morris famously said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” But let’s face it, crap creeps in doesn’t it?! Especially if you don’t live alone… So it’s worth spending a little time decluttering.
Plus, Marie Kondo said, “The space in which we live should be about the person we are becoming now, not the person we were in the past.” Just think about that for a moment. Is yours? Are your walls singing with motivational art? Do the colours inspire you? I love the idea that your home can be somewhere you grow into and that it can help lead you into the future somehow.
Decluttering at home, clearing your castle: organising your space for 2024
On a more functional note, I probably don’t need to tell you the impact that an organised living space has on mental well-being. A OnePoll survey showed that 63% of respondents find home organisation to be a significant de-stressor. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford University, told The New York Times that decluttering one's home and getting organised is "one of the ways we imagine a positive future."¹ And I love the idea of that.
But there’s also the whole ‘Boring women have clean houses’ argument. As I always say, nobody’s going to come along and give you a gold star for cleaning and few (if any) of us will look back from our deathbeds and feel glad we did it. But it does pay to get organised.
Set up subscriptions to save time shopping. Split the chores with others. But most importantly, get your everyday things in order (and read my ‘How to get organised’ article for hacks on this). Ultimately, the trick is to make the tools and stationery you use to do this so stylish that you actually want to keep using it! Another tip is to file for how life actually is (think gift organisation and colour coded wardrobe tips, as well as utility-type folders).
Reigniting your entrepreneurial spirit: is it time to start or grow a business?
Anyone who knows me or has read my book Do What You Love, Love What You Do, knows that for more than 20 years, I’ve been encouraging women to start a business. I believe that entrepreneurialism is the new women’s movement because it gives us the flexibility to fly. We can do this at any age and in almost any circumstance (many women before us have), and I’ve curated a special Do What You Love collection to help inspire this.
Considering how much time we spend at work, reassessing what we want out of our working lives is important to do regularly. To be blunt: if you’re not doing something you’re passionate about, you’re wasting time. Explore new paths. It’s all there waiting for you. If you swapped just one of the hours a week you spend scrolling social media with listening to an inspiring podcast, the difference could be immense. What have you got to lose?
The habit revolution: resetting and sustaining healthy habits
As women, we often fall to the bottom of our own to-do lists, don't we, and even the habits we create (trust me, I’ve made a few over the years!) tend to be external facing. Yet our habits have a crucial role to play in creating a happier and healthier life. Rather than focusing on weight for instance, how can we prioritise self-care and self-growth? What would help get you where you need to go? What’s a good reminder of it? Whether it’s choosing sunlight over screen light, waking up next to someone who makes you happy, getting more exercise or taking your vitamins, put it on your walls. Surround yourself with it to keep you going.
Then make mini commitments each week. Anything that gets you slightly nearer your goal is a positive action. Embrace change and uncertainty, and don’t let it throw you off course. As good old Arnie (Schwarzenegger) says, “Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.” Keep going! Having a diary to look ahead or a journal to look back on helps keep you abreast of the journey, too. Stay enthusiastic and optimistic. It is worth the world. These are just some of the ways I use to reset but find yours, too. You’ll soon find a happier you. I wish you all the luck!
Sources: 1. Forbes article on stress overload