We’re all familiar with the term “reboot” when it comes to computers. Rebooting is a troubleshooting method: when your computer is giving you trouble—for example, a program locks up or is simply not responding–you shut it down and restart it. In addition, a common way to reboot your computer is to press down on the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys simultaneously.
Sometimes an area of your life—or perhaps more than one—has gone completely off track and makes you feel bogged down and like you just can’t move forward. If this is the case, instead of making small changes here and there, you may want to wipe the slate clean and simply restart in that area of your life. Here are some ways in which your life may need a reboot:
You’ve been eating unhealthy foods for a few months and you’ve gained weight and are feeling sluggish.
You’ve been staying late at work for what seems like forever and are feeling burned out.
Your schedule is so packed with things you need to get done, that you feel nauseas when you look at it.
Your relationship with your significant other hasn’t been going well for a while.
If you feel like you need a fresh start in any area of your life, read on. Below you’ll find some ways to reboot your life and get a fresh start.
1. Reboot Your Diet
If you’ve been eating unhealthy foods for a long period of time, you probably need to reboot your diet. You can do this by following a detox plan.
“Detox” is short for detoxification. It consists of a focused, short term diet that will allow your body to eliminate toxins and jump-start a weight loss program or help you to completely alter your eating habits. One of the main goals of a detox diet is to eliminate toxins from your body – which is why it’s also called a cleanse.
Wheat—such as pasta and bread—is usually eliminated completely during a detox–, as well as sweeteners — such as refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. In addition, most detox diets encourage you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, sometimes as smoothies and shakes.
Going on a detox diet can help you to reboot your diet and set the stage for improving your eating habits and your health.
2. Reboot on a Retreat
We all need to get away from it all from time to time, especially when we start to experience burn out. Chronic stress can make you feel exhausted–emotionally, mentally, and physically. In addition, stress can zap your motivation, interfere with your ability to concentrate, and even cause health problems.
Going on a vacation—or more specifically, a retreat—can help you to leave the mayhem of the day-to-day behind so that you can reconnect with yourself and what really matters to you. A few days at a retreat can help you to clear your mind and gain new perspective.
There are even retreats which focus on specific life areas. For example, you can find retreats for any of the following:
In addition, one option is to go on a one-year sabbatical.
3. Reboot Your Internal Clock
If your sleep cycle is out of whack–you stay up until 3:00 a.m. watching Netflix and checking Facebook–and you get up sometime after 10:00 a.m., you need to restart, or reboot, your internal clock. Your body’s clock is “set” by cues like light, when you eat, or when you exercise. Here are two ways to take advantage of these cues to reboot your internal clock:
Stop eating during the 12-16 hour period before you want to be awake. So, if you want to start waking up at 7:00 a.m., stop eating at about 5:00 p.m. the day before. Don’t break your fast until you wake up at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. There’s scientific research to back this up.
If you want to start getting up at 7:00 a.m., get thirty minutes of bright light ten minutes after waking up. In addition, keep lights low at the end of the day, and stay away from bright computer screens or television exposure shortly before bed.
4. Reboot You Calendar
If you find that your calendar and daily schedule are jam-packed with activities and commitments, most of which fill you with dread, then it’s time to reboot your calendar. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and start re-creating your calendar from scratch.
Before you add anything back on your schedule, take the time to reexamine whether that task or activity really needs to be there. Question everything:
The tasks that you carry out on a regular basis and whether they really need to be done;
The amount of time that you spend on each task;
How often you perform certain tasks; and so on.
Only put back into your schedule the things that you absolutely need to do, and the things that you love to do.
5. Reboot Your Finances
If financial stress is keeping you down, you need to reboot your finances. Do the following:
Get all of the food that you’re going to need for the month.
Get necessities such as toothpaste and toilet paper.
Write down the absolute essentials that you have to spend money on throughout the month, such as bus fare and the cost of utilities.
Then, for 30 days, spend absolutely no money except for the things on your “absolute essentials” list. Use the 30 days to reevaluate what you’re currently spending your money on, create a budget, and create a plan on how to better deal with your finances.
6. Reboot Your Goals
There’s a little less than 100 days left of the year. How are you doing on the resolutions that you set at the start of the year? If the answer is “not well”, then you need to reboot your goals. Do the following:
Take a look at the goals that you set at the beginning of the year.
Choose just one and discard the rest.
Start fresh on that goal, as if it were January 1st.
It doesn’t matter if you tried to go on a diet in January and were back to eating junk food by the second week of February, or if you started working on your ebook in March but quit after a few days. You’re giving yourself a fresh start on your goal.
Ask yourself why you failed to follow through on your goal, make the necessary adjustments to your plan for achieving your goal, and get to it.
7. One-Hour-A-Day Reboot
You can get a fresh start each day–that is, reboot every morning–in just one-hour-a-day. Regardless of what may have happened the day before, you can start each morning with a clean slate by devoting the first hour of the day to doing the following:
Spend fifteen minutes eating a healthy breakfast.
Spend fifteen minutes journaling or writing Morning Pages.
Spend fifteen minutes meditating or following a yoga routine.
Spend fifteen minutes exercising–you can rebound on a trampoline or walk a few times around the block.
Give yourself the gift of a daily reboot.
8. Extreme Reboot
Sometimes life goes so severely off course that we need an extreme reboot. The extreme version of a life reboot is to quit your job, file for divorce, sell everything that you own, and move to a new city (or even another country).
Only you can decide if such drastic measures are necessary. However, more often than not by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys in one or two areas of your life, all other areas will start to fall into place.
If you feel that you’re stuck in a pattern, you’ve been following the wrong path for too long, or your life needs a jolt, you need to reboot. You can get started with the reboot strategies explained above. Live your best life by rebooting any area of your life in which you need a fresh start.