5 Tips to Get Out of Your Rut with a Fresh Start

We All Need a Fresh Start, But Not This Way

Don't fear a Fresh Start, but Embrace the Change
We all deserve a “Fresh Start” after living in the Covid nightmare for over a year.

Sometimes it takes a major life change to get out of your rut and achieve a fresh start. For me, they launched the Covid vaccine at about the same time as a routine medical test produced a massive cancer scare. The doctor shattered my dream of returning to a normal life after my vaccination when he described a much-needed and dangerous surgical procedure that could only be done at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Even though I’d gotten used to spending all my time at home over the past year, at least I knew what to expect each day. The doctors totally spun my world out of control, and it terrified me. When they stuck the needle in my arm with the second Covid shot, I wanted more than anything to let go of my fear and get a fresh start in 2021. Suddenly, those dreams appeared to evaporate.


As I tried to wrap my mind around surgery and chemo, my gut screamed at me to take a step back and analyze the simple theory of “cause and effect.” Sadly, the docs made a mistake during a medication change back in February. It was a major error with debilitating physical reactions. My gut instinct told me the cancer diagnosis was wrong and what they’d seen on the CT scan was nothing more than a phantom scar from my unfortunate ordeal.

It took seven weeks before the doctors admitted the error on my medication. It only took two weeks for them to schedule more testing on the cancer diagnosis. I knew the specialist was angry with my determination for more testing. I also knew I was possibly giving the cancer time to grow and spread by demanding more testing. In the end, my gut wasn’t lying. There was no cancer. What they had seen was nothing more than a side-effect of my severe reactions due to the error made in my asthma medication.

Embrace the Promise of a New Beginning in 2021 and Plan Your Fresh Start

If you feel like life has become predictable, unfulfilling, and boring, maybe it’s time for a fresh start. Deciding to make a change doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down, but it is an opportunity to stand back and revise your current way of life.

Whether it’s a lifestyle, location, or career change, there are some simple things you can do right now to get out of that rut and get some positive energy back into your life.

1. Determine What Makes You Happy

Do you ever ruminate about what makes you happy?

  • What lifts your spirits and puts a spring in your step?
  • What makes your heart sing and your energy levels skyrocket?
  • Do you feel happiest out in nature, or do you prefer sports or reading?.
  • Do you love the arts or helping people?
  • Does your spirit soar when music fills the air?

Make a list of what makes you happy, then take action so you can focus on bringing more joy into your life.

“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.”  ~Mandy Hale

2. Practice Saying “Yes.”

Most people are so busy with everyday life that they don’t make time to get out of their comfort zone and do something different. When was the last time you tried something new or challenging? If you want a fresh start, you must be open to new experiences. Start saying yes to yourself and choose to do things that feel good.

In the Harvard Education Blog, they provided six guidelines for “Getting to Yes.”

  • Separate the people from the problem.
  • Focus on interests, not positions.
  • Learn to manage emotions.
  • Express appreciation.
  • Put a positive spin on your message.
  • Escape the cycle of action and reaction.

We will only succeed when we stop viewing life as a “win or lose” proposition. Our fresh start in life can only begin when we discuss alternatives that can benefit everyone.

3. Make a “Stop Doing” List

Once you say yes to the things that feel good, you need to practice saying no. Prepare a “Stop Doing” list!

You’re probably well aware of the bad habits you’ve fallen into during Covid and the things you do that don’t bring you joy. While there are some things you have no control over, see what energy-draining tasks you can eliminate from your life.

It’s time to ask yourself why it’s so important to please everyone else. Saying “yes” to everything will only make you resentful and stressed out. Give your sense of self-confidence a boost by learning to say no to those things you really don’t want to do. Make a list to remind yourself of the things you can choose not to do, and free up time for the things that make your heart soar.

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” ~ Germany Kent

It all boils down to knowing your value and not allowing others to infringe on your ability to follow the path you set for yourself. It’s time to decide whether saying “Yes” is truly worth it.

4. Declutter

When I decided I wanted a fresh start in February, I made a conscious decision. Decluttering is the one decision I’ve had the most fun with over the past few weeks. I made a promise to my husband that I would remove the equivalent of one garbage bag full of stuff each week. I’ve donated to the local shelter and took a car full of good items to the garage sale to benefit the Humane Society. I distributed many bags of junk through recycling centers and a bit has gone to the landfill.

Most people have way too much stuff in their lives. Look around you right now and see what’s holding you back.

You can easily devote two hours per week to decluttering as I did. You can also do it on a minute-by-minute review as you move through your daily life. Each time your eye lands on something on a shelf, in a drawer, in a closet, or on the floor, categorize it and if needed, move it to a spot to dispose of it. There are only six labels that describe everything in your home:

  • Recycle
  • Trash
  • Fix or Mend
  • Put into Storage
  • Donate
  • Keep

Don’t forget that clutter includes spending hours scrolling through social media, limiting beliefs, and destructive lifestyle habits as well as all that junk in the kitchen drawer.

5. Say “No” to Fear

Perhaps the single most empowering thing you can do to get out of the Covid Rut is to walk away from fear. Fear will stop you from taking risks, big or small. It makes you too afraid to try anything new and holds you back from reaching your potential.

Fear has no place in your Fresh Start after Covid.
In order to get a Fresh Start as we learn to control Covid, we also need to learn to control our fear.

Make a commitment to yourself to take back control of your life and leap into a fresh start in 2021.

This is the sixth article in this series. If you missed the first five, you can review them below:

6 Tips to Find Joy and Change Your Future originally published 5/19/2021

7 Immediate Benefits to Change originally published 5/21/2021

7 Steps to Achieve Your Personal Goals originally published 5/26/2021

Change Your Routine Up Weekly – Enjoy Life More originally published 5/28/2021

10 Habits Apps to Track Your Progress originally published 6/2/2021

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