Refresh Your Metaphoric Browser: Reset, Repurpose, and Refocus this New Year

by SUSAN BOYOUNG BAILEY SCHABACKER 

If your life has been frustrating, making you feel stale and stagnated, no worries and no need to stay stuck. With our web browsers, sometimes all that’s required is a simple refresh or restarting your device when things aren’t working right. The good news is that we can refresh and reset our lives, too. 

The new year is an ideal time to do a reassess and some reconfiguring to yield the results you’re looking for. Here are some life hacks on resetting, repurposing, and refocusing your life for a better you and for a better year!

Working one-on-one with a therapist and/or life coach can be helpful and supportive, but you yourself can be the most important influence on improving your own life. Metaphorically speaking, you can empower yourself to play the role of detective or medical professional. You can reset, repurpose, and reboot your life with an in-depth, inside view. 

FIRST, DO SOME FIGURING OUT. Stay objective and be as honest, clear, and specific as possible. Ask key questions and remove any lens of judgment as you reflect on troublesome areas. Refrain from assumptions and preconceived notions as you identify murky areas that need resolution. 

THINK BACK. However complicated the matter(s), identify what might be holding you back. Write it down and keep it simple using just 1-3 keywords. Often there’s overlap and a cross correlation, as well as an overarching theme such as 1) lonely/isolated, 2) trapped, 3) bored, 4) numb, 5) burned out.

TAKE STOCK. Perhaps, there’s a deep-seated fear that’s limiting you, a reluctant jealousy that’s manifested, a nagging guilt, or an obtrusive anger that’s built up. Recognize that whatever or whoever it is you’ve been holding onto emotionally can also manifest physically.

TAKE A BREAK. You’ve made headway identifying some areas, so congratulate and encourage yourself for getting on the right track. You’re making progress piecing together what may have seemed like an impossible puzzle. 

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS.  Become mindfully aware of how you are feeling and take deeper, diaphragmatic breaths. Focus on releasing negative emotions that you’ve been struggling with. Affirm that you have the freewill, power, and control to be free from anything and anyone trying to intrude or interfere with your life in any negative way.

STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH. This may be an ideal opportunity to strengthen your faith and spiritual relationship. Consider praying to God/Jesus/your higher power to help conquer those demons (so to speak) and regain control of your life, cleansing and ridding you of any negativity. Ask for the power and intuition to heal your mind, body, and spirit and divinely protect you from any and all harm.

MOVE ON. It’s easy to get stuck ruminating on feelings of “woe is me” and “why me,” but the more you dwell in the so-called pity party, the deeper you’ll sink into what feels like emotional quicksand. So set the “why” aside for now and move on to the “when” and “how.” Estimate the time frame.  Have these feelings built up since childhood from when you were bullied in school or does this seem to be a more recent occurrence? Often, emotions start early and snowball over time. Try plotting out main highlights, or shall we say lowlights, of experiences and events that impacted your life. 

BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF.  Release. You’re in a better place with more figured out and more wisdom gleaned from life lessons along the way. Because of truthful reflections, you’re better able to understand the key issues on a core level. 

The freedom of choice is yours, both in asking for support and in helping yourself. When you feel ready, you can share this with your therapist, life coach, and/or someone you trust, or you can decide to keep it under lock and key for only you to reflect upon. 

Remember, just as life is a journey, improving your life is a process. You will be much better off piecing the puzzle together by better understanding who you are and where you’re coming from (past and present). When you spend the time to refresh and reboot the programs in your life, you can move forward with more confidence and fewer worries into a brighter future. 

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