Starting over can be difficult. When you have experienced time, energy and effort, it can be frustrating and overwhelming to contemplate beginning again, whether you are working on a project, a chore, your career, your finances, or a relationship.

Your initial reaction might be to panic, or give up. You may not see a way to get through the situation. After you have time to process your disappointment or pain, you may find that you have the capacity to rebuild, regroup, generate some options, and set some new goals for yourself.

Before you begin, take some time to think about what you want to do next, and where you want to go in your life. Write down some goals in specific areas of your life that you want to target, and tackle them one by one. Be clear about what you need to do to attain success. What changes do you need to make?

For financial goals, write down how much you need to earn, save or pay down to reach your goal. Include the specific steps that you plan to take. Do your research. You may need to consult a financial advisor or your bank.

Perhaps you need more time to complete a project or chore, and you can reschedule another activity so that you can relieve some of the pressure you are feeling. You may meed to ask for an extension, or
re-prioritize your responsibilities. If this is a regular occurrence, you should set some boundaries for others so that you can limit what you take on. Developing a habit of saying “no” when the demands are too great, and communicating with others about your workload can be important first steps to making changes.

You may need to negotiate with your family or your supervisor to reduce your workload. They will learn how to manage their expectations if you are consistent and assertive. Don’t be surprised if others try to convince you to over commit, and don’t be flattered or pressured into giving into their demands. Set reasonable limits based on your time and stamina, and take care of yourself.

When the area of focus is your career, decide if it’s time to re-evaluate your career goals. You may need to move on, or step into another role in your company. It takes time to find or create a position that is suited to your unique abilities, so try not to leave abruptly without a plan in place.

If you must move on, be professional, and leave a good impression. You may feel entitled to badmouth others or make a scene. Try to be diplomatic about your exit. It only takes one negative incident or comment to damage the reputation that you spent years building. A bad reputation will follow you. Be aware that you may encounter your coworkers or their friends and family in the future, at an industry event, socially, or online. 

Maybe you want to improve your relationship, or begin a relationship. Be clear about what you want. What are you willing to contribute or compromise on to make your relational dream a reality? What are your values? How do you want to live? Are there changes that you need to make in your life and habits to make a relationship work? Perhaps you need more time for yourself, or more quality time with your partner. Counselling may be part of your plan, in order to get some clarity, and to support you as you endeavour to reach your goals.

When you are ready to tackle that seemingly impossible chore or project, break it down into manageable pieces, so that you are not overwhelmed and tempted to give up. Set a schedule for each element, and estimate how long it will take. Be realistic about your goals and the time you need to achieve them.

You will need to be patient with yourself, because you will likely experience discouragement and setbacks along the way. Ask for help if you need some assistance to get through. Enlist friends, family, and experts to support you, advise you, and keep you motivated. Choose individuals who will hold you accountable, keep you focused, and celebrate your success. 

Some people need background noise, such as white noise, or music while they work. Choose music that will energize you, if that is appropriate for your task. Projects that require focus can often be accompanied by background music, as long as this is not a distraction for you.

Take short breaks, and make sure that you are hydrated and well-fed. Plan an incentive, so that you have something to look forward to at the end of your work session. Reward and celebrate your progress so that you are not tempted to give up. Document your success in writing to help you stay objective. This will give you important feedback about how close you are getting to your goal, and whether or not you need to make adjustments.

You may need to start over a few times along the way. Starting over does not mean that you are a failure, it means that you are human. Allow yourself to experience the disappointment, then evaluate the goal itself. Try to determine what went wrong and why, and figure out how you can improve the outcome on your next attempt. If your goal is worthy and achievable, try again, building in the necessary support and structure to make it happen.