Welcome back to the Flourishing Fiercely blog! I hope you had a chance to rest, recharge, or do something that brings you joy over the July 4th holiday weekend. As June came to a close and we headed into the weekend, I spent some time reflecting on being at the halfway point in 2023 (already!) and thinking about fresh starts. Normally, most of the talk about starting fresh or starting new happens at the start of the new year (and I wrote about setting goals back in April) but fresh starts can happen any time–there’s no schedule or calendar or rules for when you can start fresh on something. In fact, sometimes this time of year can be great for a fresh start.
Maybe we’re feeling energized by warmer, sunnier weather and longer days. Maybe realizing that we have six months down and six months to go in the year makes us want to take stock of what we’ve done so far, and what we want to do or change for the second half of the year. No matter what your age, your career, or your stage in life, anyone can make a fresh start. Finding a new way to do an old thing–or leaving something that is no longer working–is a wonderful way to begin again.
What is a fresh start, anyway?
A fresh start is a do-over or a starting of something new. For whatever reason, sometimes we lose our way. We forget our dreams, or let them go for a number of reasons. At some point, life opens up opportunities to begin again. To reimagine itself and regenerate. Life wants to be lived to its fullest potential, and it will nudge you again and again until you are reminded of who you’ve always wanted to be and what you’ve always wanted to do. A fresh start is a clearing of the mind, body, and/or soul, making way for new things. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some ideas to get you thinking about what it is you’d like to see fresh and new in your life. I’ll focus on brand-new starts in the areas of career, finance, personal style, and health. These subjects are typical areas where life may be stale or not played out as well as you would have liked. I hope these posts will get you thinking about these areas and I’ll offer specific tips and tactics to reinvent yourself and reclaim the version of yourself you always imagined.
Why might you need a fresh start?
Life may have started out just fine, but somewhere along the way the lemons became more prevalent than the lemonade. Can you relate to any of these scenarios?
- You settled for a career that has been unfulfilling
- You never developed or pursued your personal passions
- You fell into debt and haven’t climbed out
- Your health, energy level, or physical activity isn’t where it once was or where you’d like it to be
- You’re feeling “blah” about your home or your personal style
A fresh start makes it possible for any of these scenarios to turn around. You can have a fulfilling career, or some clothes in your closet that make you feel fabulous or be ready to tackle a fitness challenge like a 5K. There isn’t as much as you may think holding you back. With this month’s blog posts, my goal is to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and get you racing towards it.
When is it time to think about reinvention and fresh starts?
I often use music to give me energy or help me think and reflect on my life. (You might remember, I wrote in a couple of prior blog posts about how much fun our group of Black Woman Leading LIVE participants had jamming to Mary J. Blige on our dinner cruise, as well as the powerful song that Black Woman Leading founder Laura Knights played to close out the conference.) As I tackled this topic of fresh starts and reinvention, I thought about another favorite song of mine, the Nina Simone classic “Feeling Good.” I love the mood it evokes: easy, laid-back, joyful, like a warm leisurely summer day in the sun.
Of course, not every day or every moment of our lives can feel like that. Some days we’ll feel stressed, busy, anxious, sad, annoyed, or overwhelmed–and that’s OK too! I try to ground myself in that feeling that Nina Simone’s lyrics create and remember that I’ll find my way back there soon, even if I’m having a bad day or week. But if you’ve lost that elemental sense of joy in your life completely, it may be time to think about reinvention. Reinvention isn’t something to feel guilty about or set you into a depression. Reinvention is the letting go of what isn’t working and saying hello to every option in the universe.
Reinvention doesn’t require changing the things you love; it calls for changing whatever no longer suits you or beginning new things that better express who you are now.
It’s time to think about reinvention when:
- Your heart has a longing for something new and specific
- You know that you need to start or stop a behavior for your own good
- Your life shifts through divorce, empty nest, lay-off, health issue, etc.
- You find a renewed determination towards a purpose
No matter the reason that sparks your reinvention, the key is to embrace that urge and get started towards the changes you want. You deserve all good things, and nothing has to stay the same. You can make dramatic changes in your life without threatening the most important things: family, friendships, and community.
Top areas of life to make a fresh start
Have you felt the urge to make a fresh start? It’s perfectly normal to want something more or something different from our lives. Often, our fresh starts happen in areas like career, style, finances or health, but a fresh start is what you make it–you can reinvent yourself in any area that you choose!
Our lives are so different than they were a few generations ago. There was a time when people rarely left their hometown in their lifetime. There was no internet to explore anything and everything. It took considerable effort to investigate and explore anything of interest. People simply didn’t know how much was available to them.
Not only that, people were mostly influenced by those in fairly close proximity. There was a sameness that developed because there wasn’t much exposure to other cultures, communities, or spheres of influence. Social media is an excellent example of how influences can spark the desire for reinvention. A simple LinkedIn post, Instagram reel, or Tik Tok video can give you fresh ideas and ignite a new passion in any area of life. Something you never knew was an option that can change your career, personal style, your finances, or your health.
Today, we are able to sit at a computer and witness all the bounty that our lives could be enjoying. We are able to see and experiment at unprecedented levels. We don’t have to have a formal education to learn something new, and as entrepreneurs, there is no limit to what we can do for a career. We can explore all sorts of style – fashion, architecture, home decor, and more. The options are limitless. We can easily be taught how to manage our careers, our income, and maximize our health.
Have you felt the nudge to make a change in a certain area of your life? Do you want to start or stop something? Learn a new or better way to be on the Earth? Consider exploring a change in your life and see what doors open, close, or break free. In the coming weeks, I’ll dive a bit deeper into ways you can use this summer season to think about what fresh start you’d like to make and how you can make it happen.